There is an interesting piece of news floating around the RSS waves. Jawwad Farid of Alchemy Tech ran some rough numbers on the number of employees of companies and profitability analysis to come up with a grand index of IT companies and their revenue.
The effort is noble – it must have taken some work to put it together, and the industry certainly needs a list like this.
But I will point out the list is often inaccurate. Most of the inaccuracies come in mis-guessing the number of employees. Some of the companies on the list actually dropped down to 20-30 range in the last year, and a few of them right-sized because of cashflow issues.
Second thing I’d point out is “number of employees” is not necessarily any measure of growth or success. I agree it can describes a “minimal benchmark” that the firm must be making to keep their employees, but most consulting firms (actual consulting firms) are effective as small highly focused group of experts — these can often make more money than a large development shop.
Also, a number of companies that are doing sizable business (in local terms) are actually working in a thin model where they outsource practically all deliverables to their “core” freelancers or partners.
Intel is great example of this — they have some 8-10 odd employees but naturally they’re doing well here. This is because partners do all fulfillment, retail management, marketing and more.
Finally, the list judges all information workers equally. Integration companies like Xavor and PiSigma are charging much higher rates / hour than PHP dev companies, even with the same number of people, just because Integration is more specialized.
Similarly SAP / Oracle or more specialized work will earn more; companies with architects as their core asset will earn more than offshore dev factories etc. etc.
Ofcourse, we all understand that this list was just the alpha release — can’t wait for the full release.