30 Years of No. 1 Companies

Timothy Rice
4 of 29

1984: Pedus International
Los Angeles

1983 Revenue: $60.5 million
Three-Year Growth: 15,707%

In the year that Microsoft made the Inc. 500 at No. 80, Pedus International, a building maintenance and security firm based in Los Angeles, topped the charts. In a 1984 interview with Inc., Dick Dotts, then-CEO of Pedus, said “There's no philosophy other than having fun doing what you do.” Dotts was given seed funding from Peter Dussmann, who still runs the Dussmann Group, a global firm with 57,000 employees that started out as a home-cleaning service in Munich.