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World's 20 most innovative companies

Last updated on: March 25, 2011 19:00 IST

World's 20 most innovative companies

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"They are willing to fail," says FastCompany about the most innovative companies.

These companies are willing to experiment and break conventional wisdom, build unique business models and strategies, which are the keys to creating successful firms.

FastCompany lists Apple as the world's most innovative company. Shaadi.com is the only company from India in the top 50 list.

1. Apple

Apple was once written off as a big failure, but the company bounced back with innovative products.

The company has transformed the mobile phone industry with its iPhone and App store, and has recently introduced iPad 2, defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

FastCompany rates Apple Inc as the most innovative company 'for dominating the business landscape in 101 ways.' Apple has move up from rank 3 last year.

The Fortune magazine named Apple as the most admired company in the world in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Steve Jobs is the CEO of the company, established on April 1, 1976.

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Image: Apple iPhone 4G.
Photographs: Courtesy, Apple Inc.
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2. Twitter

Social networking site Twitter is estimated to have 190 million users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day.

Fast Company has described its growth as 'five years of explosive growth that have redefined communication'.

Twitter was launched on July 15, 2006. Dick Costolo is the chief executive officer.

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Image: Twitter gets more popular.

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3. Facebook

A social networking service and website launched in February 2004, Facebook has more than 600 million active users.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow computer science students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.

Quantcast estimates Facebook had 135.1 million monthly unique American visitors in October 2010.

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Image: Facebook users rise.

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4. Nissan

Nissan is ranked as the fourth most innovative company for making the electric car, The Leaf.

Nissan is a multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. Founded in December 26, 1933, Carlos Ghosn is the president and co-chairman.

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Image: Electric car, The Leaf.

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5. Groupon

Groupon is a 'deal-of-the-day' web site. Launched in November 2008, the first market for Groupon was Chicago, followed by Boston, New York City, and Toronto.

As of October 2010, Groupon serves more than 150 markets in North America and 100 markets in Europe, Asia and South America.

It has 35 million registered users. Groupon was created by Andrew Mason in November 2008.

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Image: Groupon site.

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6. Google

Google Inc is the rated as the 6th most innovative company 'for instantly upgrading the search experience'.

Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products. It generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords programme.

Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, it was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998, and its initial public offering followed on August 19, 2004.

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Image: Google office.

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7. Dawning Information Industry

Dawning Information Industry is a supercomputer manufacturer in China.

Its Dawning 4000A and Dawning 5000A clusters were both ranked tenth in June 2004 and November 2008 TOP 500 lists respectively.

Dawning has manufactured some of the fastest supercomputers in the world including Nebulae, the second fastest computer in the June 2010 Top 500 list.

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Image: Dawning Information Industry.

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8. Netflix

Netflix is an American corporation that offers both on-demand video streaming over the internet, and flat rate online video rental (rental-by-mail) of DVD-Video and Blu-ray Disc in the United States and Canada.

Reed Hastings is the co-founder and CEO of the company established in 1997.

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Image: Netflix.

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9. Zynga

Hailed as the '$500 million alpha dog of social gaming', Zynga is a social network game developer located in San Francisco, California. The company develops browser-based games that work both stand-alone and as application widgets on social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Zynga was founded in July 2007 by Mark Pincus, Michael Luxton, Eric Schiermeyer, Justin Waldron, Andrew Trader, and Steve Schoettler

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Image: Zynga.

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10. Epocrates

Epocrates Inc is an American company that makes various mobile health software applications for health care providers, providing them reference information about medicines, diseases and diagnostic tools.

The company was founded in 1998. By 2010 the company had 1 million users worldwide, including 40 per cent of the physicians in the United States. Epocrates' co-founders are Jeff Tangney and CEO Kirk Loevner.

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Image: Epocrates offers mobile health software applications.

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11. Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores headquartered in California.

As of December 2010, Trader Joe's had a total of 353 stores. Trader Joe's was founded by Joe Coulombe and is owned, since 1979, by a family trust set up by the late German businessman Theo Albrecht. The retail chain started operations in 1958.

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Image: Trader Joe's.

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12. Arm Holding

ARM Holdings is a powerful company behind small processors. This United Kingdom-based company designs, licenses and sells software development tools.

It is a market leader in the mobile phone chips market and one of the best-known of the 'Silicon Fen' companies. Warren East is the CEO of the company.

The Company was founded in November 1990 as Advanced RISC Machines Ltd and structured as a joint venture between Acorn Computers, Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) and VLSI Technology.

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Image: Arm Holding listed on Nasdaq.

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13. Burberry

Burberry, a British luxury fashion house, it offers clothing, fragrance, and fashion accessories.

A widely copied trademark, Burberry is most famous for its iconic trench coat, which was invented by founder Thomas Burberry. The company has branded stores and franchises around the world.

Its Chief Creative Officer is Christopher Bailey. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Angela Ahrendts is the CEO of the company.

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Image: Burberry.

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14. Kosaka Smelting and Refining

A company that recycles old cell phones to extract gold, Kosaka has made its mark in the recycling business.

It extracts gold and other valuable metals from old mobile phones.

Kosaka is a unit of the metals-and-mining company Dowa Holdings. With a high level of technological capability in the copper and precious metals, zinc, rare metals, and recycling businesses, Dowa Metals & Mining is steadily expanding its operations.

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Image: Kosaka Smelting and Refining co.

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15. Foursquare

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website, that makes it easier to explore cities.

By 'checking in' via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai met in 2007 while working in the same office space (at different companies) in New York City.

They build the first version of foursquare in fall 2008, and launched in Austin, Texas in March 2009. As of February 2011, foursquare had over 6.5 million users worldwide.

The World Economic Forum announced the company as a Technology Pioneer for 2011 last year.

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Image: Foursquare.

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16. ESPN

The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, referred as ESPN, is an American cable television network focusing on sports-related programming.

Founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Getty Oil executive Stuart Evey, it was launched on September 7, 1979.

ESPN has broadcasts of 65 sports, 24 hours a day in 16 languages in more than 200 countries. George Bodenheimer is the president of ESPN Inc.

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Image: ESPN.

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17. Turner Sports

Turner Sports is the division of Turner Broadcasting System responsible for sports broadcasts on Turner channels.

It is known for the television coverage of pro baseball, basketball, golf, and auto racing on TBS and TNT, and websites for the NBA, PGA, Nascar, and the NCAA. David Levy is the President of the organisation.

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18. Huawei

Huawei Technologies is a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment supplier headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

It is the largest networking and telecommunications equipment supplier in China and the second-largest supplier of mobile telecommunications infrastructure equipment in the world (after Ericsson).

Established in 1988 by Ren Zhengfei, Huawei Technologies specialises in research and development (R&D), production and marketing of communications equipment.

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Image: Huawei.

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19. Intel

Intel Corporation, an American global technology company, is the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue.

It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers.

Intel also makes motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphic chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.

Founded by semiconductor pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Intel combines advanced chip design capability with a leading-edge manufacturing capability.

Intel was founded on July 18, 1968, as Integrated Electronics Corporation by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce. Paul S. Otellini is the President and CEO.

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Image: Intel Corporation.

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20. Syncardia

The SynCardia temporary 'Total Artificial Heart' is the first FDA-approved total artificial heart. It received FDA approval on October 15, 2004, following a 10-year clinical study.

Originally designed as a permanent replacement heart, it is currently approved as a bridge to human heart transplant for patients dying when both sides of their hearts are failing (irreversible end stage biventricular failure).

There have been more than 850 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 190 patient years of life on this device.


Image: SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart.

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