One of the many reasons why I like reading Inc. Magazine is that it keeps reminding me that what happens in tech startup lala-land is not the norm but a somewhat weird exception.
Every year Inc. crowns the Inc. 500 — the 500 fastest growing private companies in America. The list (and accompanying articles) make for a fascinating read. And get you to think:
Only 30% of Inc. 500 companies sell directly to consumers. The rest supply businesses and government agencies (!) with products and services which often end up deeply embedded in their respective value chains. Management author Hermann Simon describes these companies as those operating in the ‘hinterland’ of the value chain, supplying machinery, components, or processes that are no longer discernible in the final product or service. As such they are the sinews of our economic physiology.
And it sells. All 500 companies combined had revenues of $14.1BN, grew on average 2,926% YoY and created 44,912 jobs. Not bad in my book.
Makes you think twice about that little, cute iPhone app idea or the shiny consumer brand you envision to have one day…