By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
August 21, 2018

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Growth is the good, the bad, and the ugly of business.

It’s what all companies want. Growth makes investors and employees happy. It ensures a firm has capital to try new things, plumb new markets, and hire more workers. Without growth comes stagnation, by definition. And that’s not good.

And yet there’s a dark side to growth. Companies that grow quickly tend to be playing for higher stakes. Slower growth or worse, negative growth, make a high flyer look bad. Executing at a high level is tough to maintain. Competitors see a target on the back of those who lead.

With that as prelude, Fortune releases its annual list of 100 fastest-growing companies today. It’s a measure of revenue, profit, and stock return, meaning that it doesn’t rely on one metric that can be manipulated. Tech features prominently, of course. High-tech is synonymous with newness which equals speed. Semiconductor star Nvidia is No. 7 on the list and sports the highest return. Three tech stalwarts—Adobe, Applied Materials, and Netflix—that had fallen off the list returned this year. Facebook has been on the list for four straight years. And California, the home of tech, is home to 22 of the companies on the list, nearly a quarter of the total.

The full list is here. Enjoy.


I’ve been telling you for a bit now about Fortune’s newest conference, Brainstorm Reinvent, an event devoted to exploring corporate transformation. McKinsey, the consulting firm, helped us create the conference, and judging from the accomplishments of the participants on the program we’ve struck a nerve. In a good way.

The amazing warrior-philosopher Stanley McChrystal will appear at a special dinner event to discuss military reinvention and leadership. (The latter is the topic of his upcoming bestseller, Leaders: Myth and Reality.) Perhaps no company has reinvented itself more than Apple. Jennifer Bailey, the executive responsible for Apple’s bid to reinvent payments, Apple Pay, will share lessons learned.

No company is immune from the demands of reinvention. A few other executives who’ll appear at the event—Sept. 24-25 in Chicago—will include Kathy Marinello of Hertz, Mindy Grossman of Weight Watchers, and Lori Beer of J.P. Morgan Chase.

Adam Lashinsky


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