How We Choose the TIME100 Companies of 2024

3 minute read
Sam Jacobs is Editor in Chief at TIME where he leads TIME’s global newsroom and its journalism across all platforms. Since joining TIME in 2013, Jacobs has held a variety of senior editorial leadership positions. Previously, he was national political correspondent at Reuters, associate editor at Newsweek and staff reporter for The Daily Beast. His writing has appeared in the Boston Globe and New York Observer.

In May, TIME’s Billy Perrigo traveled to San Francisco to meet with Dario Amodei, the CEO and co-founder of Anthropic, one of the most important artificial intelligence startups in the world. Anthropic and TIME100 Companies, our annual list of the world’s most influential businesses, both were started three years ago. Having Amodei and his company on the cover of this issue speaks loudly about how quickly AI has moved to the top of the agenda of the world’s leading companies, even those that are not in the business of developing it themselves. The rise of Anthropic, valued at $15 billion, also reveals how quickly influence can take shape. A lot can change and fast: only seven companies on this year’s TIME100 Companies list appeared in the 2023 edition.

See the list here

Amodei and his colleagues have become both the creators of some of today’s most powerful AI technology and at the same time perhaps the leading advocates within their field for taking a cautious approach to AI development and exploration. “We’re not trying to say we’re the good guys and the others are the bad guys,” Amodei tells TIME. “We’re trying to pull the ecosystem in a direction where everyone can be the good guy.” 

The second business featured on the cover of our TIME100 Companies is also a relatively new one. In 2020, entertainer Selena Gomez launched Rare Beauty. In the short time since, Gomez has led the cosmetics company to a $2 billion valuation, as it has become a regular subject of acquisition rumors (“I don’t have any plans on that, genuinely,” Gomez tells TIME’s Lucy Feldman) and a powerful example of how individuals with vision and strong followings can continue to disrupt consumer businesses. (If you need another example, please see our cover profile of MrBeast from earlier this year.) Gomez’s message is one that values contentment over beauty, and Rare boasts having raised millions that support mental health initiatives.

To select the list, our editors, led by Emma Barker, request suggestions and applications from across sectors, survey our contributors and correspondents around the world, and seek advice from outside experts. No single data point or financial metric makes a TIME100 Company. Instead, we are looking at a mosaic of qualities, studying impact, innovation, ambition, and success, all in the many different forms that take shape today. And as we say for our other TIME100 projects, we know influence comes in many forms, for better and for worse.

TIME100 Companies is more than an index of business success. It is an argument for what business influence looks like in 2024. At a time when leadership in other sectors is battered, surveys suggest that many look to corporate leaders first for direction. Whether it is José Andrés at World Central Kitchen, Cathy Engelbert at the WNBA, or Jensen Huang at Nvidia, each shows us how companies can provide new models and new inspiration for the future of humanity.

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