Inc.500|5000 – Measuring Success

First introduced in 1982 by Inc. Magazine, the Inc. 500, which is compiled on an annual basis, lists the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States. The list is comprised of the top ten percent of a larger analysis which ranks the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing privately owned companies. As a list that is measured on improvement in performance and financial growth, companies that feature on the list must show four full calendar years of sales (from January 1 through to December 31), with revenue in the first year being at least $200,000, and showing a steady increase in subsequent years. Moreover, companies must be based in the United States, as well as being privately held and independent to qualify.

The prestigious Inc.500|5000 list along with the annual Conference and Awards ceremony has its roots in the first issue of Inc. magazine in 1979 where a list of 100 fastest growing small companies was printed. By 1982, the list had expanded to 500 companies, with the first Inc. 5000 list being published in 2007 as a collaborative effort with The conference and awards ceremony has become a much-anticipated annual event, with past speakers including the likes of Thomas Friedman, Bill Clinton, Scott Cook, Bernard Marcus and Marshall Goldsmith.

The #1 spot on the Inc.500|5000 list as measured by percentage growth, was taken by Ambit Energy based in Dallas, TX. As part of the US energy sector, Ambit Energy reflects a three-year growth of more than 20 percent with revenue topping $325 million. In second place, Pittsburgh-based ModCloth (retail sector) recorded a three-year growth of just over 17 percent and revenue of $15.6 million. Third place was snapped up by Luke & Associates, based in Merritt Island, FL, providers of government services such as medical care at military bases, and advisory, consulting and services in various technology-based and engineering fields.

Other sub-categories taken from the Inc.50|500 analysis include the Top 10 Job Creators; Top 10 Companies by Revenue; Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs; Top 10 Asian Entrepreneurs; Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs, Top 10 American Indian Entrepreneurs, and Top 10 Latino and Hispanic Entrepreneurs; as well as the Top 10 States and Top 10 Metro Areas.