Science & Technology: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
TABLE: Top Dogs: Where Are They Now?
Heavy spending on R&D often leads to growth and prosperity. But not always.
Take a look at past leaders in BUSINESS WEEK's rankings of R&D per employee
(excluding biotech companies, whose figures are inflated by drug-trial
Company R&D per Employee
XONICS Des Plaines, Ill. 1984: $92,347
Socked by price-cutting, the maker of X-ray gear filed for
Chapter 11 in 1984, making its top spot in the BW rankings
a statistical anomaly. In 1985, it was bought by Allied
Products for less than $5 million in cash and stock.
SOFTWARE PUBLISHING Santa Clara, Calif. 1985: $33,914
The maker of Harvard Graphics presentation software 1991: $78,109
diversified unsuccessfully and lost share to Lotus, Microsoft,
and others. It's refocusing on Harvard Graphics spinoffs
after big losses.
TRANSITRON ELECTRONIC Woburn, Mass. 1986: $66,450
Founded in the 1950s as one of the first high-tech
companies along suburban Boston's Route 128, Transitron
found success transitory. Heavy debts caused by failed
ventures in integrated circuits forced it to dissolve the year
it made No. 1--another statistical anomaly.
CHIPS & TECHNOLOGIES San Jose, Calif. 1987: $48,000
C&T thrived in the 1980s as the first company to
develop 1988: $60,828
a set of chips for personal computer clonemakers. But 1989: $67,373
once others figured out how to clone PC chips, C&T
went 1990: $68,456
into a swoon. It has regained profitability by focusing
on 1992: $86,137
graphics-display chips for laptops.
S3 Santa Clara, Calif. 1993: $80,132
S3 is booming as a creator of multimedia chips for
personal 1994: $82,548
computers. Compaq Computer recently announced it
would use S3's accelerator chips to deliver TV-quality video
on PCs for sale this Christmas.