Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Measuring Innovation in the Fortune 500





I have been examining movement in the Fortune 500, to identify innovation.

Looking at the Fortune 500 shows several groups of companies, including:

Steady performers:
IBM, Bank of America, Exxon, Microsoft, Boeing

Fast Fallers:
Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Halliburton, Altria

Fast Risers:
Apple, Amazon, L-3 Comms, CVS, Rite Aid, Murphy Oil

Slow Risers:
Nike

What this graph doesn't show is growth through acquisition. Such acquisitions would show as strong growth, when it is purchased rather than innovated growth. Apple is a standout for its growth, and Amazon seems two years behind. At&T has also grown significantly into the top 10, from the same time the iPhone came to market.

See Data Table.


See Graph below. The Graph shows the changing ranking of companies within the Fortune 500 (measured by revenue), and just some from each type of movement in the Top 200.
(1)Fast growers are diagonal downward lines to the right, while many companies especially big companies are steady.
Nike and Apple start at about the same place in 2006 (around 160) and Nike (in Pink) grows slowly, while Apple (in Orange) grows quickly. (2) Merrill Lynch (in dark blue) drops 100 spots in 2009 before disappearing. Lehman Bros dies while in the Top 50. (3) Amazon catches Google in 2010.

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