The United States has some of the most technologically advanced companies in the world. While technology doesn’t necessarily mean innovation, many of the most forward-thinking companies in America do rely heavily on technology to sell their wares. Here are the best of the best for imaginative concepts not only as a business model but also for being leaders in their field.
Google has been one of the most widely publicized companies in the past ten years. Hardly anyone can go a day without Google. Not only does Google have very specific things they can get computers and data to do for your company but working for them is considered one of the best jobs on the planet. If you work for Google in California you get a free lunch and dinner, prepared by chefs with organic food. No wonder their stock price is nearly $550 per share (an insanely high number which is up from $380 it was a year ago).
LivePerson is a company that is taking the internet revolution to a whole new level. Founded in 1995, LivePerson went public in 2000 right before the tech crash and was in danger of going out of business entirely. Now as more and more companies are realizing the future is online computing and customer service, LivePerson offers services such as outsourcing online customer chats with company representatives over a secure network. Whether you have an entire contact center or just ten employees you can utilize the software for streamlining specific customer service needs without expensive phone lines.
Tesla Motors has been taking on traditional carmakers since 2006 with its new all-electric car that gets 250 miles on one charge and goes from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds. With super-sporty design Tesla has taken luxury automobiles to a new eco-friendly level. New will be a $50,000 sedan that seats five adults and two children that can go 300 miles and takes 45 minutes to charge or five minutes to swap batteries. No more stopping for gas.
Triple A Containers uses a unique product to make pallets. Instead of traditional wood and nails Triple A takes corrugated cardboard to make sturdy pallets that hold just as much weight as other materials. The difference is that cardboard is lighter, causes less damage, and saves on shipping weight. They weigh half what wooden pallets do and are safer to use with no nails or wooden splinters saving companies on health insurance.
Boeing leads the way in aerospace technology as evidenced by a recent launch in Florida of the next generation space plane. With the space shuttle program winding down in September, a nine month mission undertaken by the Air Force in late April will test the capabilities of the completely automated space vehicle dubbed the X-37B. Welcome to the next generation of payload delivery.
Goodyear has partnered with Danish firm Genencor to produce new tires. Within five years we could see tires on the road maid from biological materials instead of petroleum rubber. Called Bio-Isoprene, this type of rubber is made from biomass instead of synthetic materials. The American Chemical Society estimates it takes seven gallons of petroleum to make on tire. This process will take that number down to zero. When you consider how many millions of cars are on the road think how much oil this would save.
Coskata is a biofuels company that is innovating research in different ways to make better fuels for cars and gasoline engines. The beauty of Coskata is that ethanol doesn’t come from corn or food sources. Instead, this innovative company will make biofuels from trash, leftovers from agricultural and forested products, and bagasse leftover from extracting sugar cane. There are plenty of renewable resources to go around this Chicago-based company that aims to make our energy future more secure.
Whole Foods Market is the world’s largest organic grocery store in the world. With well over 100 stores across the country Whole Foods isn’t just a large chain. Local franchise owners are required to have some of their stock from local producers to sell in their stores for produce and meat. Locally produced food means less gasoline used to transport the items so your food is not only organic but better for the environment.
Apple has been making a lot of news lately with the iPod, iPhone, and now the iPad. Computing was never so much fun or mobile with entirely new ways of doing things that we never would have thought possible. Every time I see an iPad I think of Star Trek: The Next Generation when characters on the show could have a handheld computer that could basically run the entire starship Enterprise if need be. And that was in 1987. Here we are in 2010 and science fiction has turned into a reality.
Industrial Light & Magic is one of the most likable and well-known names in the film industry for special effects. Legendary film director George Lucas founded ILM to be the special effects arm for his movies and then turned into a post-production company for hundreds of movies and television shows. One of ILM’s alums, John Lasseter, became one of the founding fathers of Pixar.