Technology in the IW U.S. 500 is a diverse, wild category. It includes the top U.S. manufacturers producing goods in fields ranging from computers and electrical equipment to instruments and machinery, along with strays in automotive and aerospace, even pharmaceuticals and chemistry.
The category is even more confounding given the goods these companies are producing – Apple, for example, is as much a gadget manufacturers as it is a software design firm. Likewise, GE is as much a mini-fridge maker as it is a 3-D printing innovation hub.
Looking at the top tech companies in this year's list above all emphasizes a trend toward diversification throughout the field—a trend that has defined the market all year.
As for these companies, it's difficult to pin down any of them to a particular product or offering. Rather, they are defined by their ubiquity and their breadth—they are the makers of everything and the servers for everything they make.