On companies that are bigger than countries
This is mostly old news, but The Pirate’s Dilemma - an excellent post on open innovation - highlighted it quite strongly: Roughly two-thirds the world’s 150 largest economies aren’t nations, but corporations.
Take a look at the top 187 of largest economic entities on Earth as measured by GDP. How many companies do you recognize?
United States; China; Japan; India; Germany; United Kingdom; France; Italy; Russia; Brazil; Korea, South; Canada; Mexico; Spain; Indonesia; Taiwan; Australia; Turkey; Iran; Argentina; Thailand; South Africa; Poland; Netherlands; Philippines; Pakistan; Saudi Arabia; Colombia; Ukraine; Exxon Mobil; Bangladesh; Belgium; Egypt; Wal-Mart Stores; Malaysia; Royal Dutch Shell; Sweden; Austria; BP; Vietnam; Algeria; Hong Kong; Switzerland; Greece; Czech Republic; Norway; Portugal; Chile; Denmark; Romania; General Motors; Chevron; Nigeria; DaimlerChrysler; Toyota Motor; Peru; Ford Motor; Ireland; Venezuela; Hungary; Finland; ConocoPhillips; Israel; General Electric; Total; Morocco; Kazakhstan; Singapore; ING Group; Citigroup; AXA; United Arab Emirates; Allianz; Volkswagen; Fortis; Crédit Agricole; American Intl. Group; New Zealand; Assicurazioni Generali; Siemens; Sinopec; Slovakia; Sudan; Nippon Telegraph & Telephone; Carrefour; Iraq; HSBC Holdings; Sri Lanka; ENI; Aviva; Intl. Business Machines; McKesson; Tunisia; Honda Motor; State Grid; Hewlett-Packard; BNP Paribas; PDVSA; UBS; Bank of America Corp.; Burma; Hitachi; China National Petroleum; Pemex; Nissan Motor; Berkshire Hathaway; Home Depot; Valero Energy; Belarus; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Samsung Electronics; Matsushita Electric Industrial; Bulgaria; Deutsche Bank; HBOS; Verizon Communications; Syria; Libya; Cardinal Health; Puerto Rico; Prudential; Nestlé; Deutsche Telekom; Dominican Republic; Metro; Dexia Group; Credit Suisse; Ethiopia; Royal Bank of Scotland; Tesco; Peugeot; U.S. Postal Service; Altria Group; Zurich Financial Services; E.ON; Sony; Vodafone; Société Générale; Électricité De France; Nippon Life Insurance; Statoil; France Télécom ; LG; Guatemala; Kroger; Ecuador; Munich Re Group; Deutsche Post; Croatia; State Farm Insurance Cos; Ghana; Marathon Oil; Azerbaijan; BMW; Fiat; Hyundai Motor; Procter & Gamble; ABN AMRO Holding; Royal Ahold; Repsol YPF; Legal & General Group; Petrobrás; Toshiba; Dell; Lloyds TSB Group; ThyssenKrupp; Boeing; Uzbekistan; AmerisourceBergen; Lithuania; Santander Central Hispano Group; BASF; Costco Wholesale; Suez; Target; Morgan Stanley; Robert Bosch; Kuwait; Angola; Uganda; Renault; Costa Rica; Slovenia; Turkmenistan; Serbia; Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Cuba.
Coming next: Megacorporations. Somehow the concept brought back memories…
Updated 2008-01-12: Some dispute the way of comparing company turnover directly to country GDP, but also in their lists companies are pretty prominent. Via Gregor Rothfuss.