The World’s Most Innovative Companies Businessweek.com April 17, 2008 By Jena McGregor Irwin, Jackie Nunez, Genna Pilon, Bethany
The recession debate shifts from "what if" to "how long" • "There's this sense of which shoe's going to drop next." • Slashing research and development budgets just got a lot more tempting. That high-risk product in your pipeline, it's about to get much more scrutiny.
Two Schools of Thought • "One is saying times are tough, so it's the most important time for us to innovate." • “We simply don't have the ability to think about innovation right now. There's a real separation between the innovation haves and have-nots."
50 Most Innovative Companies • No finger-wagging Wall Street analyst is going to keep them from doubling down on smart bets that will position them well when the economy rights itself again. • "Strong companies understand this, and during a recession, they invest."
FinancialServices 1 Goldman Sachs Group (GS)2 Bank of America (BOA)3 Citigroup (C)4 ING Groep (INGA)5 JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
Pharma / Biotech / Health Care 1 Pfizer (PFE)2 Merck (MRK)3 Genentech (DNA)4 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)5 Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Technology / Telecom 1 Apple (AAPL)2 Google (GOOG)3 AT&T (ATT)4 Verizon Communications (VZ)5 Microsoft (MSFT)
Entertainment / Media 1 Disney (DIS)2 Apple ( AAPL )3 News Corp. ( NWS)4 Google ( GOOG )5 Sony ( SNE )
Consumer Products 1 Apple ( AAPL )2 Procter & Gamble ( PG )3 Sony ( SNE )4 Unilever ( UN )5 Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ
Autos 1 Toyota Motor ( TM )2 General Motors ( GM )3 Tata Group 4 BMW ( BMW )5 Honda Motor ( HMC )
Industrial / Manufacturing 1 General Electric ( GE )2 3M ( MMM )3 Boeing ( BA )4 Caterpillar ( CAT )5 ArcelorMittal
Retail 1 Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT )2 Target ( TGT )3 Amazon.com ( AMZN )4 Apple ( AAPL )5 Tesco ( TESO )
Energy 1 BP 2 Exxon Mobil ( XOM )3 Royal Dutch Shell 4 General Electric ( GE )5 Chevron ( CVX )
Travel / Tourism / Hospitality 1 Marriott International ( MAR )2 Hilton Hotels 3 Virgin Group 4 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide ( HOT )5 Walt Disney ( DIS )
There can be an upside to the downturn. • Low-cost methods for creating new products are easier than ever as emerging markets provide both cheap labor and booming pockets for growth.
In the end, scarcity can be pretty good at prompting new ideas • Is this true? • Are there any companies that should be added to the list since 2008? • Is a recession a time to innovate or a time to highlight current offerings?