Randomly saw a list of the 10 “most innovative” companies in Russia on Fast Company website. Here are the winners:
- Yandex, Internet search company;
- Kaspersky Lab, most known for its Internet antivirus program;
- ABBYY, maker of text recognition and linguistics technology, including a well-known ABBYY Lingvo dictionary;
- Rosnano, state project in nanotechnology;
- Rosatom, state nuclear energy corporation;
- M2M Telematics, maker of navigation technology and, as my source points out, “Russia’s answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System;
- Optogan, maker of energy-efficient lighting technology;
- Mikron, maker of smart cards and subsidiary of larger state-controlled company Sitronics;
- NPO Saturn, maker of gas-turbine technology, nominated by Fast Company for advancing military aviation;
- Lukoil, Russian oil company whose gas stations you can actually see in some places across the U.S., nominated by Fast Company for investing in research and development (R&D).
Fast Company also has a list of world’s most innovative companies-2011 (isn’t it too early to give out awards for 2001 when we’re only in the third month of 2011?), headed, not surprisingly by Apple. There is a whole bunch of companies I don’t know on that list, but, interestingly, 11th position is occupied by Trader Joe’s – “for vaulting past Whole Foods to become America’s favorite organic grocer”.
Trader Joe’s presence on that list caught my eye because it is my probably most frequently visited grocery store. I like it mainly because it is really close to where I live, but also because they have lots of organic food and use reliable paper bags instead of stupid plastic ones. One totally random thing that annoys me about that store is that every cashier uses a very inefficient packing technique: they first unload everything from your cart onto the table, then scan price tags, and then load your stuff in bags, instead of combining all these steps (that is, scanning price tags right when they take an item from the cart and then immediately putting the item in a bag). This packing technique must be how they have to do it by some orders from above, because literally every cashiers does it every single time. Every time I’m there I think about asking them why they do it, but by the time I get to the register I’m so tired of waiting that I just want to leave. Here’s your room for improvement, Trader Joe’s.