In 1990, the ten largest firms, in terms of market capitalization, in the world were
industrial and natural resource giants that had been in existence for much of the century.
By January 2000, the two firms at the top of the list were Cisco and Microsoft, two
technology firms that had barely registered a blip on the scale ten years prior. In fact, six
of the ten largest firms1, in terms of market capitalization, at the beginning of 2000 were
technology firms, and amazingly, four of the six had been in existence for 25 years or less.
In an illustration of the speeding up of the...