As head of a 1983 INC. 500 company that went public in 1984, I would like to point out a serious flaw in your INC. 100 qualification procedures, namely, total disregard for profitability. Although rankings are based on sales growth, your other qualifiers are obviously intended to filter out lower "quality" companies. Given the prestige of being on either the INC. 500 or the INC. 100, such filtering systems seem very appropriate. The ability to show a profit is a clear and fundamental measure of quality, particularly for a public company.

I find it insulting to be edged out of the INC. 100 by companies that show a loss in 1984 (21% of this year's list), and even more so by the 16% that were unable to show a profit in either 1980 or 1984. Any damned fool can sell a lot of anything if he ignores profit -- and many do just that. Do they really deserve applause?