America is a land of innovation, entrepreneurship, and determination. Some of the most successful businesses in the United States had humble origins; Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak funded their garage-based entrepreneurial venture by selling Jobs’ Volkswagen bus and Wozniak’s beloved scientific calculator in 1976. Now, Apple is the most profitable company in the United States, making $94.68 billion in 2021! While many of the most successful companies in America are rooted in technology, there are many industries with the potential for colossal success. The team at Cloud Peak Law Group has created this eye-catching, straightforward visualization of the most profitable company in every industry, spanning 73 industries in 22 sectors:
I was honestly shocked to see that Berkshire Hathaway is more profitable than Google, Microsoft, and Amazon! What does Berkshire Hathaway do? Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company, meaning that its primary business is holding a controlling interest in other companies. Its main business and source of money is insurance – the float (the retained premiums) gained is then invested in a broad portfolio of subsidiaries. GEICO is the most profitable insurance company in Berkshire Hathaway’s line-up. Other recognizable companies that Berkshire Hathaway owns include Dairy Queen, Benjamin Moore, Fruit of the Loom, and even Duracell! I was also surprised to discover that they own 26.6% of Kraft Heinz, 19.90% of American Express, 12.80% of Bank of America, 9.20% of Coca Cola, 5.60% of Apple, and 3.60% of GM! I guess it pays to diversify! Overall, it feels strange to see major names like Netflix, McDonald’s, and Walmart so small compared to the heavy hitters. It goes to show how effective a simple visualization like this can be.
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