Bryan Nelson, business development manager at Google South Africa. (plus.google.com)
Speaking at Cloud World Forum Africa in Johannesburg last week, Nelson pointed to the changing makeup of the prestigious company tracking list, which was first published in 1955.
Nelson said: “In the 1950s, the average age of a company joining the top 500 was 75 years old. This was because it took a long time to build up a company.
“By 2003 the average age was 25 years old and by 2013 they were 10 years old. That means the next companies to join the top 500 probably haven’t even been created.”
He said the world is moving faster and things are “accelerating”.
Nelson used the example of open source gaming console OUYA, which is aiming to take on giants Microsoft and Sony in the lucrative industry.
Having developed the console for Android, the company went to Kickstarter to secure crowd funding.
Their fundraising target was US$1 million, which they reached within just eight hours, and after 30 days they secured US$8 million of funding from more than 60,000 backers.
Nelson believes this kind of rapid growth is due to the “rise of the smartphone”, which has led to increased consumer understanding of technology.
He added: “Let’s go back to the 70s. How many computers were there? A handful maybe. And they were all just sitting in enterprises and agencies.
“The cool technology is not in the enterprises, it is sitting in your home or in the future even on your face.”