The Fast Company has unleashed its list of the 50 most innovative companies for 2009. Innovation is a key nowadays to making (and more importantly, selling) products, so making a top 50 list is certainly a grand achievement. Without further ado, here is the list.
1. Team Obama: Barack Obama made the top position because his team innovated in his quest to become the next President of the United States. He employed the power of technology, using Twitter and various other internet tools to connect with voters, doing what no other President has done fully before.
2. Google: Google continues to make it to innovation lists, and with little wonder. The University-student-started company has expanded to a billion dollar global corporation, becoming much more than a search engine. Google's various tools have helped many people, including one particular service that can even track flu outbreaks before they're officially warned.
3. Hulu: Hulu is quickly becoming a very popular video viewing site, beginning to rival YouTube, because it is industry supported and can provide full, free episodes of TV content. One drawback is that it's only available to US customers currently, but Hulu are working on expanding their viewer audience to a global scale.
4. Apple: One company that many will say doesn't innovate, but it's hard to argue that they aren't leading the pack in certain fronts. With Tim Cook now temporarily leading Apple and investigating new possible devices, it will be interesting to see what products they announce next.
5. Cisco Systems: Cisco is an interesting company in that it does not respond to just one person; Cisco expands by distributing leadership across the parts of the company, and then providing incentive for them to act like start-up businesses.
6. Intel: A world leader in CPU systems, Intel certainly is creating bigger (technically smaller) and better products all the time. They continue to try and make computing a greener place to be, showing this with their recent Atom processor, using 1/10th the amount of power a regular CPU uses.
7. Pure Digital Technologies: Pure Digital Technologies is an interesting company, because it allows customers to customize their own digital cameras from a gallery of over 1000 samples. This level of customer interaction could hopefully lead other companies to do the same, making technology even more personal.
8. WuXi PharmaTech: A strange company to see on a list of innovation, but that doesn't mean it is not deserving. The company continues to hire world leaders in pharmaceutical development and is striving to create better, less dangerous and more efficient drugs to make the Earth a better place to live for all.
9. Amazon: Amazon began life as a simply book retailer online, but today, they are a lot more than just that. Amazon is essentially an online mall nowadays, selling everything you'd ever need, and they even have their own device named the Kindle that allows digital book purchasing and downloading, which is a very handy device for those on the go.
10. Ideo: Idea is a design consultancy firm, designing all sorts of things, but now they are focusing on making the world a better place. A new Smart Gauge allows Ford Fusion owners to learn to drive in a more efficient way, and a new paid video service partnered with (RED) allows customers to see how any lives they have saved using the service's donated funds.
For the full list of 50 companies, please check out the website shown up the top.