What the Fortune 500 list says about its best players

All the companies on this list started somewhere – from the bottom, with a VC, in one big splash, you name it. What’s significant is that they are now in the Fortune 500 category.

The Irony of Walmart’s Place on the List

It is ironic how the first on the list for revenue is also last in terms of profit. They earned $485 billion in revenue, but they only profited for about $13.6 billion. That is only 2% of what they gained. Has Walmart done anything wrong?

To give you an idea of how bad things are, Warren Buffet — one of the shrewdest financiers in the whole world –announced that traditional retail is dying and online department stores are rising.

“Buffett doesn’t just sound off about the demise of traditional retail — he has been pulling his money out of the industry as well.” – Business Insider

To counteract this fallout, it seems like the retail giant is taking a cue from the biggest online retail giant in the west, Amazon.com, and is slowly dipping their toes in the online retail industry. They just announced that shoppers could order their groceries online as long as they own an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

In hindsight, they’re actually on the right path. But is it going to change their profits in 2017? Based on their announcement for their “portfolio management,” Walmart may be competing against themselves in terms of speed. Maybe Walmart needs to start selling and marketing online to keep up with their biggest profit competitors.

Why Apple is now near the top but still bobbing below others?

If you’ve seen the movies and heard the references in pop culture, you all know that Apple – excuse me, Macintosh, was a dud when they first started. They now rank third on the list and is still going strong despite the dip in sales at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. Mind you, they currently stand as the top profit earner with $45.7 billion.

Perhaps, the company is growing strong because of their testament to their current mission – to offer high-quality design, usability, and integration on a consistent basis. The iPhone changed the game, but Apple continues to stay in the lead despite surprise sales dips or bad reviews of their products.

But to whom do they really owe their success? Some would say Steve Jobs, and we can all agree on that, but he was the internal human factor. Externally, why do people still buy Apple products? It’s because they adapted, adjusted, and knew when to scale. However, the biggest factor of all is that people kept talking about them – in person, in texts, and especially social media.

After the latest keynote speech, do you know what everyone said to me after? “Did you watch the keynote speech?” “What do you think of the iPhone 8?” “Would you buy the phone?” That’s how Apple remains relevant. Be important. Be the first thing people talk about. And never let them forget by giving an annual keynote speech of your latest and most innovative products.

Newcomer Activision Blizzard deserves its spot.

Activision Blizzard, one of the most successful video game development companies, just arrived on this list at the 406th place. However, they’re not just a gaming developer anymore. They are now also a film and E-sports company. Activision just monetized the heck out of two of the most lucrative industries on the planet by turning itself into a diversified media company.

Not only is E-sports doling out millions of dollars in prizes, but they are also gaining more than enough sponsorships from gamer-friendly products like Monster, Red Bull, etc. as well as super brands like HTC, Nissan, Logitech, and more.

With regard to films, they tapped into an audience that is usually ignored by mainstream media – the gaming community. These people have the money and the drive to stay in touch with Activision’s mission. Just check out their feature film, “Warcraft.” Although it failed at the U.S. box office, the worldwide audience gave them back their budget.

And they don’t even have to advertise as much because their demographic goes where they go since everyone is inarguably online and discussing Activision’s activities on a daily basis.


Activision Blizzard



Fortune Magazine