Google is the world’s third smartest company according to a new list by MIT Technology Review. Other familiar names among the top 50 smartest companies are Amazon, Dropbox, BMW, Wal-Mart Stores, Kickstarter, and IBM.
What makes a company smart has to do with how it commercializes a truly innovative technology, leadership in a market is bolstered or thrown up for grabs, and competitors have to refine or rethink their strategies, notes deputy editor Brian Bergstein. “We’re highlighting where important innovations are happening right now. We didn’t count patents or PhDs; instead, we asked whether a company had made strides in the past year that will define its field,â€ he states.
The biggest of these strides happened at Illumina, one of the top genome-sequencing businesses, which is driving down the price of DNA sequencing to levels that will change the practice of medicine. Illumina captured the top spot followed by the startup automaker Tesla Motors, which is seizing the electric car market.
Google came in at number three because it keeps pushing to increase revenue beyond the internet’s borders. Notes Robert Williams, founder of Wall Street Daily, even though it hasn’t been successful yet, the creation of Google Glass and the recent acquisition of Nest Products could change all of that, he believes. This includes Google’s addition of Nest’s wireless smoke detectors and thermostats which will likely boost to Google’s revenue.
Samsung ranked fourth for maximizing the advantages of its vertical integration as it extends its lead in the smartphone market, with 32% of the company’s share of global smartphones sold. Dopbox came in at number six with its business services that are making cloud file storage more pervasive and some 200 million users. Square, the merchant payment services company, was in ninth place, even though since the listing there’s been recent news that Square is burning up cash and may need to sell.
“The list is strictly a reflection of the companies having the biggest market impact through the sheer force of genuine innovation alone,â€ according to Williams. “MIT’s list wasn’t concerned with which companies are 1) growing the fastest, 2) have the highest sales, or 3) tout the best stock performance. The list is solely concerned with which companies are the smartest.â€
Of the “50 Smartest Companies” in the world, 27 of them could easily be considered manufacturers. As for the remaining companies on the list, they are Â all making significant technological breakthroughs.
Other familiar names such as Apple and Facebook didn’t make it on the list because reputation doesn’t matter, stresses Bergstein.
2. Tesla Motors
8. Third Rock Ventures
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