Inc. (magazine)

Inc. is an American business magazine founded in 1979[3] and based in New York City. It publishes eight print issues annually, as well as daily online articles and videos.

September 2019 issue of Inc.
EditorJames Ledbetter[1]
Total circulation
(June 2019)
First issueApril 1979 (1979-04)
CompanyMansueto Ventures LLC
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City, New York, U.S.

Published by Mansueto Ventures. Inc. is best known for its annual rankings of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States, called the "Inc. 500" and "Inc. 5000."

The magazine's print edition has a total audience of 1.4 million, and receives 33 million monthly page views.


Inc. was founded in Boston by Bernie Goldhirsh, and its first issue appeared in April 1979.[4] Goldhirsh was an MIT-trained mechanical engineer who founded Sail magazine, which he sold for $10 million in 1980. Paul W. Kellam, who had joined Goldhirsh's company as editor of Marine Business, was one of Inc.'s first editors.[5] Goldhirsh kept a low profile, and George Gendron, who served as editor-in-chief from 1980 to 2002, was considered the "public face" of the magazine. In 2000, Goldhirsh sold the magazine to German publishing house Gruner + Jahr[6] for a reported price of over $200 million.[5] In 2005, Joe Mansueto, founder of investment research firm Morningstar Ventures, bought Inc. and another business title, Fast Company, for about $35 million, forming publishing company Mansueto Ventures.

Inc.'s office is at 7 World Trade Center in New York City. Its editor-in-chief is James Ledbetter.[7] In December 2013, Eric Schurenberg was appointed president and editor-in-chief of Inc.,[8] replacing the long-tenured Bob LaPointe. In March 2018, Schurenberg was appointed CEO of Mansueto Ventures and Ledbetter was promoted to editor-in-chief of Inc.[9]

In October 1981, Inc. became the first magazine to feature Steve Jobs on its cover, alongside the proclamation, "This man has changed business forever."[10]

Inc. publishes books under the imprint An Inc. Original in partnership with Greenleaf Book Group.[11] The books are written by business experts and cater to an audience of entrepreneurs.

Inc. produces a weekly, award-winning podcast called Inc. Uncensored, where Inc. journalists discuss startups, technology, market and industry trends, and more. The podcast has released hundreds of episodes, and won the 2016 and 2017 min's Best of the Web Awards for Best Podcast, along with a 2018 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award honorable mention.[12]

Inc. received multiple Folio awards in 2017 and 2018, including honors for full-print issues, best redesign, use of video, and use of social media.[12] Its 2016 feature "The Stealthy Sales Kings of Amazon" won a Best in Business award from the Society for Advancing Business Writing and Editing.[13]

Inc. 500 and Inc. 5000

In its first issue in April 1979, Inc. published the Inc. 100, a list of the fastest-growing publicly held small companies. In 1983, the list expanded to 500 companies and shifted its focus to privately held companies.[14] Twenty-five years later, Inc. introduced the Inc. 5000, which ranks the country's 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. The Inc. 500 is now a special ranking of the top 10% of the Inc. 5000 list.[12]

The Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by the first week of the starting calendar year, and therefore able to show three full calendar years of sales. Additionally, they have to be U.S.-based, privately held, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31 of the last year measured. Revenue in the initial year must have been at least $100,000, and revenue in the prior year (the year before applying to the Inc. 5000) must have been at least $2 million.[15]

Inc. hosts an annual Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony to promote the list's publication. The event also offers workshops and lectures by key speakers.[16]

This annual conference brings together the current year's class of Inc. 500 | 5000 honorees, the list's alumni, and entrepreneurs from the general public. The event has featured well-known business and political figures and expert speakers, including Mark Cuban, Sara Blakely, Bill Clinton, Daymond John, Venus Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Evan Williams and Stewart Butterfield.

Inc. introduced a European edition of the Inc. 5000, "Inc. 5000 Europe," on February 24, 2015.[17]

See also


  1. Inc. Media Hires Jim Ledbetter From Thomson Reuters
  2. ""Consumer Magazines"--Alliance for Audited Media". June 30, 2019. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  3. "(PDF) Trends in the Market for Entrepreneurship Faculty, 1989-1998". ResearchGate. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  4. "Entrepreneurship Education Chronology - eWeb: Entrepreneurship Education Resources by Jerome Katz". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  5. "Do the Right Thing - Los Angeles Times". March 13, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  6. "Boston Business Forward - August 2001 - Reversal of Misfortune". March 10, 2002. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  7. "Inc. Turns 35 Under Editor Jim Ledbetter". Observer. October 2, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  8. "Editor Out at 'Inc.'". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  9. Ledbetter, Eric Schurenberg and James (March 16, 2018). "Inc. Welcomes New Design and New Leadership". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  10. Isaacson, Walter (2011). Steve Jobs. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 106. ISBN 978-1451648539.
  11. Group, Greenleaf Book (September 10, 2019). "Book Distribution by Greenleaf Book Group". Greenleaf Book Group. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  12. "Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards 2018 Finalists Announced". Folio:. Retrieved September 11, 2019.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  13. "2016 Best in Business Honorees « SABEW". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  14. "Inside The Inc. 500". December 1, 1983. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  15. "Inc. 5000 List Application Guide". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  16. Continuity (August 22, 2017). "Inc. Magazine Unveils 36th Annual List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc. 5000". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  17. Staff, Inc (April 2, 2019). "The Ultimate Guide to Fast-Growth Companies in Europe: A Special Report". Retrieved September 11, 2019.
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