Worlds Most Innovative Companies

This article looks at innovative companies from fastcompany.com.  You can look at innovative companies by industry vertical.  link here

The World’s
Most Innovative Companies 2011

Rank Name Last Year
01 / APPLEFor dominating the business landscape, in 101 ways 3
02 / TWITTERFor five years of explosive growth that have redefined communication 50
03 / FACEBOOKFor 600 million users, despite Hollywood 1
04 / NISSANFor creating the Leaf, the first mass- market all- electric car
05 / GROUPONFor reinvigorating retail — and turning down $6 billion.
06 / GOOGLEFor instantly upgrading the search experience 4
07 / DAWNING INFORMATION INDUSTRYFor building the world’s fastest supercomputer
08 / NETFLIXFor streaming itself into a $9 billion powerhouse (and crushing Blockbuster) 12
09 / ZYNGAFor being the $500 million alpha dog of social gaming
10 / EPOCRATESFor giving doctors and nurses instant drug reference

An artificial heart and its lightweight power drive. A better airline for Brazil. Chocolate from Madagascar and a soccer shirt made of plastic water bottles. A fashion leader escaping its pattern, a smelter, and that little coupon startup in Chicago that’s suddenly worth billions. All this from one simple word: innovation.

The 50 companies on our 2011 list have chosen a unique path. Today’s business landscape is littered with heritage companies whose CEOs battle their industry’s broken model with inertia, layoffs, lawsuits — anything that squeezes pennies and delays the inevitable. How many of these companies will be dominant in 2025? Few.

That world will be ruled by the kinds of companies on this list. They’re nondogmatic, willing to scrap conventional ideas. (A mere 30-second TV ad? Let’s do 200 online videos in two days, say the creatives at Wieden+Kennedy.) They’re willing to fail. (Google’s search team runs up to 200 experiments at any one time.) They know what they stand for. (By making home-viewing as easy as possible, Netflix walloped Blockbuster, which thought its business had something to do with stores.)

This is a list full of surprises, even though our No. 1 pick is no surprise at all. Apple itself was once written off; but the company restored innovation to its proper place, and as you’ll see when you open the gatefold to the right, our entire economy has benefited as a result.

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