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Hitting the High Notes
Hitting the High Notes
Startups create the buzz, but some outfits, like music publisher Hal Leonard, born in radio days, outperform for decades.
BILL SAPORITO

We are a nation of neophiliacs. We worship the new, whether it’s fashion, cinema, gadgetry, or, especially, business. Why else would a new company like Harry’s that sells an old product like razors command a $1 billion valuation for $100 million in sales while Procter & Gamble took an $8 billion charge to its Gillette Shave Care business last year? Startups are all about future sales and profits, and we all get caught up in their stories.

No one loves startups more than Inc., but in our second annual Private Titans list, we salute those privately held firms that are no longer ingénues but nevertheless are superstars. In our worship of what might be, we can forget what some companies have already accomplished, evolving and growing for years, or decades, or even centuries as generations of startups lose their energy like dying stars.

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March - April 2020