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The Meaning of the Inc. 500

November 9, 2004

The 2004 Inc. 500 has been published and as usual it has elicited a passing interest by the investment community. To be sure, it’s an impressive feat by the staff of Inc., there are some important companies on the list and the companies are doubtlessly proud to have made it. The criteria of the Inc. 500 suffers, however, because it ranks, by revenue growth, companies that have been around for at least 4 years. Four years is an eternity for VCs. Moreover, investors are bound to care more about strategic value and margins than straight revenues. So for example, VCustomer has seen annual growth of nearly 3000%. It manages customer service call centers in India and has more than 3000 employees already. It’s a great high-growth business, with little upside on margins.
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