Top 50 VC Backed Companies

Wall Street Journal just published its annual list of the top 50 U.S. VC backed Companies.
Key criteria for ranking include fundraising success, recent growth in the company’s value
and the track record of its founders and board members.
More than 5,900 candidates were considered.

It is interesting to see that unlike in years past, none of the companies on this year’s list are in the energy sector. Also this year was also the first time that a health-care company didn’t top the ranking.

See the complete list here:


Open Innovation

As described by Henry Chesbrough, a professor and executive director at the Center for Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley “Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”.

Open Innovation benefits include:

  • Faster development and market launch
  • More diversity of innovation
  • and Improved success rate

Some of the myths of Open Innovation are captured well by ninesigma as followed:


Impact of Patents on Innovation

Today New York Times published an interesting article about impact of Patents on Innovation.
According to the article today, almost every major technology company is involved in ongoing patent battles. Of course, the most significant player is Apple, industry executives say, because of its influence and the size of its claims: in August in California, the company won a $1 billion patent infringement judgment against Samsung. Former Apple employees say senior executives made a deliberate decision over the last decade, after Apple was a victim of patent attacks, to use patents as leverage against competitors to the iPhone, the company’s biggest source of profits.
At a technology conference this year, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said patent battles had not slowed innovation at the company, but acknowledged that some aspects of the battles had ‘kind of gotten crazy.’
It is a complaint heard throughout the industry. The increasing push to assert ownership of broad technologies has led to a destructive arms race, engineers say. Some point to so-called patent trolls, companies that exist solely to sue over patent violations. Others say big technology companies have also exploited the system’s weaknesses. ‘There are hundreds of ways to write the same computer program,’ said James Bessen, a legal expert at Harvard. And so patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology. When such applications are approved, Mr. Bessen said, ‘the borders are fuzzy, so it’s really easy to accuse others of trespassing on your ideas.’