Did three of the most prestigious names in business -- DuPont, IBM, and GM -- grow in their early years at a rate that would have qualified them for any of the INC. 100 lists?
DuPont did. With a 400% gain from 1804 to 1808, the 184-year-old concern would have landed the 39th berth on the first INC. 100 published in 1979 and the 77th spot in 1980. IBM's fastest five-year growth rate was too low at 18%, logged between 1915 and 1919. GM never would have qualified for the list, since sales during its first year of business in 1908 topped the INC. 100 upper limit of $25 million for the base year. But just for the record, GM's growth rate between 1909 and 1913 was about 192% -- enough to earn the 99th ranking in 1979. None of the figures come close to the cutoff of 985% on this year's list, though.