The Los Angeles area continues to be a breeding ground for innovation and technological breakthroughs. The greater LA area was once again well-represented on Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500 list, which celebrates the tech, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies that achieve the greatest revenue growth from 2013-2016, placing the third most companies on the list with 38.
Nine of those companies have showed real staying power after also being recognized on the 2016 list. Making the list is getting more and more difficult each year—the winners had a median growth rate of 380 percent, and 135 percent was the minimum threshold among this year’s winners.
As is the case nationwide, software companies dominated, with 53 percent of the region’s winners coming from that sector. However, LA differentiated itself with 20 percent of its winners coming from the digital content/media/entertainment industry—well above the national average.
Emerging growth companies are a bright spot for the local economy. They are pacesetters in innovation, helping overhaul the rules of business and expanding consumer choices and experiences. And they’re accomplishing these numbers at a remarkable pace. Stimulating and maintaining growth has become increasingly difficult in an environment and at a time in which challenges emerge and evolve at a more rapid pace than ever before. In this context, it is only more impressive what this year’s winners have been able to accomplish.
These immensely successful companies are bending the perception of what “innovation” means. For so many of this year’s winners, innovation doesn’t necessarily manifest itself as a new invention or cutting-edge technology. It can also be about using ingenuity to break industry norms and to take existing assets and knowledge to create something ground-breaking and new. Many of these companies are living examples that you can prosper by taking calculated risks, encouraging experimentation and enthusiastically accepting change.
In a recent Deloitte survey of private companies, 26 percent said they use social listening to monitor and understand customer sentiment, the biggest increase in the social media category. Social listening could transform the way businesses and consumers interact with each other.
This year’s results also showed some exciting trends for where the technology industry is going—not just in LA, but elsewhere. Innovators are finding new ways to integrate the Internet of Things (IoT). Many software developers are bringing the IoT to large-scale manufacturing, using it and the cloud to take problems from virtual assembly floors and suggest instant repairs on the assembly line. This is occurring in tandem with a surge in connected devices—some 20 billion by the year 2020—that are creating new channels for data. This year’s winners included numerous companies that specialize in data storage, analysis, and sharing.
Also, the cloud is helping fast-growing companies manage ever-growing mountains of data. The cloud makes it easier for organizations to integrate the solutions to existing applications and infrastructure. Look for fast-growth companies to take advantage of cloud innovations in new areas of consumer interactions. This year’s Fast 500 list includes winners offering cloud services and consumer software.
Additionally, many companies are capitalizing on the growth of social media and the way we consume and interact with products, businesses and other people to fuel their own growth. The average person will spend about five years on social media over the course of a lifetime. Many successful companies are banking on some of those days, weeks and months to build stronger connections with their customers. Our tweets, Facebook likes and other ways advertisers track us online are all contributing to enhanced “social listening.” In a recent Deloitte survey of private companies, 26 percent said they use social listening to monitor and understand customer sentiment, the biggest increase in the social media category. Social listening could transform the way businesses and consumers interact with each other.
In terms of culture, a few shared characteristics also stand out when meeting with leaders from the area’s fastest growing companies. They were incredibly passionate about their work and their organizations, and they sought creative results by promoting cognitive diversity in their work environment. These leaders don’t let “no,” or “nobody’s done that before,” serve as excuses to not try something new or different. Instead they approach solving a problem by asking, “Why hasn’t it been done before?” and seek bold solutions.
This year’s Fast 500 results show that Los Angeles can be a hub for innovation and an important part of the overall technology landscape in North America. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, who are leading the way for the LA area and inspiring the next generation of innovators.