Are Apple and Google still "the most innovative companies" in the world?

Posted by: Reena Jana on April 13, 2009

BusinessWeek and the Boston Consulting Group have just released the 2009 ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. Apple is # 1 for the fifth year in a row. Google is # 2 for the fourth year. Still, these companies received fewer votes from the 2,700 senior executives polled than they did last year. (Please note that we also factor in 2008 financial performance to compile our ranking.)

And a variety of companies in the top 25 moved up, some into the top 10. Microsoft moved up a notch, from 5 in 2008 to 4 this year. Nintendo was up from 7 to 5, IBM up to 6 from 12, Hewlett-Packard up to 7 from 15, Research in Motion up to 8 from 13, Nokia up to 9 from 10, and Wal-Mart up to 10 from 23.

Does this mean that Apple and Google might be threatened, in terms of their stature as models of corporate innovation? Some of the respondents felt that both of these much-admired companies weren’t coming up with anything new that was particularly original, but were simply improving on previous inventions that have proven popular.

Could Wal-Mart, Microsoft, or RIM actually be seen in a new light by consumers and innovation strategists as companies to emulate, in terms of their innovation cultures or tactics? And how does the recession factor in to their popularity? We’d be curious to hear what you have to think. Check out the whole package online. We are also continuing to host an ongoing Web-only poll on innovation and the Most Innovative Companies ranking—please log on and participate. We look foward to hearing your thoughts.

Reader Comments

AK

April 15, 2009 2:58 PM

One thing for sure, Apple and Google are more innovative than Microsoft.

BCR

April 15, 2009 3:41 PM

Walmart innovative? How so? By importing more cheap Chinese junk than anyone else? Or by letting big vendors like P&G convince them that by putting less water in their soap, it's better for the environment, and for that benefit, we're going to raise the price... OR by convincing customers that buying fluorescent bulbs that fill our landfills with toxic mercury is the right thing to do. Yeah, that's innovation.

JMV

April 19, 2009 11:52 PM

To: AK
That statement is poor.

Surely, Apple has shown a phenomenal creativity and innovation. With respect to Google, I don't where the innovation nor creativity is coming from. I'll give Google the capacity to use their business model to make the best of it.Now, in terms of Microsoft, they have not shown creativity lately, but their capacity to improve products and give technology to everyone is undisputed. Even more, Microsoft is investing heavily in creativity and innovation (2 different things) and you will see the first results in not a distant future. You can't overestimate the perseverance of the best software company of the planet.

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What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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