Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fast Company 2009 "50 Most Innovative Companies" List

Interesting stuff from the March 2009 issue of Fast Company Magazine. With Jason Kilar of Hulu on the cover, the issue contains Fast Company's list of the "50 Most Innovative Companies" in the world.

Granted, a list such as this is compiled entirely at the discretion of Fast Company writers and staff, but in interesting nonetheless.

Some of what I found most interesting from the piece (with links to the FC write-ups!)...

* not that I don't find other companies from the list like Apple or Google to be interesting, but maybe I just now view their "innovativeness" as a given.

#1: Team Obama - pretty self-explanatory.

#3: Hulu - interesting in that it's the first example I've seen of someone making a professional video site (as opposed to YouTube whose content is largely populated by amateurs) work.

#5 & #7: Cisco Systems & Pure Digital Technologies (maker of the Flip video recorder) - I find each company interesting by itself... with Cisco's foray into the consumer and technology for sporting venue (yea, I made up the category name) markets and Pure Digital making an incredibly cool product with it's ultra simple and small camcorders. Now with the announcement of Cisco acquiring Pure Digital... that takes things a step further.

#9: Amazon - Amazon as a company appears to be at the forefront of two terribly innovative (and different) businesses. One is Cloud Computing where they rent out server space to other companies looking to store data and use Amazon computing power... putting them in the league of other tech heavyweights like Google, IBM and HP doing this. The second is with their Kindle electronic book reader... which looks like the best option anyone has put out to date for reading books electronically. The only solid competitor I've seen in this area is actually Apple, which offers various apps enabling the reading of books on the iPhone (which I posted about here).

#12: Hewlett-Packard - Particularly interesting to me with HP's focus on design (highlighted by the new Mini 1000 netbook computer) and touchscreen technology (highlighted by the Touchsmart PC).

#20: Zappos - From personal experience, it's a great place to locate hard to find shoes and a company that offers outstanding customer support.

Well, that's it for companies from the Top 50. There was also mention of some interesting companies that didn't quite make the aforementioned list:

- Ausra: solar energy
- Netflix: well, derr...
- Participant Media: Jeff Skoll's movie production company
- Twitter: microblogging
- Meebo: instant messaging across multiple platforms
- Ning: custom social networking
- Yelp: user-submitted reviews of businesses