Five of the 50 companies on Fast Company’s list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014 have an Irish presence, with internet titan Google taking the top spot for a second year.
Cloud storage company Dropbox, online accommodation service Airbnb, microblogging platform Twitter, and e-commerce behemoth Amazon follow further down the list, at Nos 4, 6, 13 and 18, respectively.
Google, whose EMEA headquarters is in Dublin, last topped the list in 2008. The company landed in the No 1 spot again “for becoming a US$350bn giant that lets loose almost too many innovations and milestones to count”.
Fast Company cites Google’s “life-changing” projects, such as its autonomous vehicles, wearable computer Google Glass, and Google Fibre, which is bringing gigabit internet service to several US cities.
Dropbox – No 4
Dropbox, which recently chose a Dublin city centre address for its international operations, allows users to store files in the cloud and retrieve them from any device, be it desk-bound or mobile.
The company has seen huge growth in the past year – its number of users has doubled from 100m to 200m in 2013.
Airbnb – No 6
In September, Airbnb announced the creation jobs in Dublin with the establishment of its European headquarters in the Irish capital.
By this summer, Airbnb will usurp the InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide as the world’s largest hotel chain, without owning a single hotel, according to Fast Company.
The company doubled its listings to 550,000 (in 192 countries), and reportedly tripled revenue to an estimated US$250m.
Twitter – No 13
Twitter, which also has a Dublin base, has claimed its spot on the World’s Most Innovative Companies 2014 list “for again proving the power of brevity, this time with video”.
Fast Company tipped its hat to Twitter’s year-old video app, Vine, which allows users to create and post six-second videos, inspiring everyone from rappers to marketers.
Amazon – No 18
The fifth company with roots in Dublin soil on Fast Company‘s list is e-commerce giant Amazon.
The company just keeps going. For starters, Amazon has added instant tech support to the Kindle Fire HDX tablet, increased – by millions – membership of its two-day delivery programme, Amazon Prime, formed a partnership with the U.S. Postal Service for Sunday delivery, and is looking at 30-minute drone delivery by 2015.
Fast Company quoted Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as having said he views every day as if it’s day one for the company – which just may be a key point of view when it comes to continuous innovation.
Dublin spire image via Shutterstock