## Thursday, May 12, 2011

### Wednesday Search Challenge (May 9, 2011): Which companies are more than 100 years old?

My friend Alison asked a simple question:

"Can you tell which of the Fortune 200 companies have been around for more than 100 years?"

You wouldn't think it'd be that hard.  But I found it using an interesting method that you might not know about.

Clearly, you have to figure out what the Fortune 200 are.  That's not too difficult—it's just the current Fortune 500 list ordered by revenue—take 200 off the top and you've got it.

Once you've got that list, just figure out when all 200 companies were started, and then you'll know.

Here's the trick:  you probably don't want to do this by hand, one company at a time.  So... how can you search for all 200... at once?

Tomorrow's answer will reveal all!  Note:  It took me about 20 minutes to solve this.

Search on!

1. Here's how I approached the problem:

I first went to Google Squared and tried a few searches [Fortune 500] [Fortune 500 companies] even tried a few from the list [Walmart, Exxon Mobile] and didn't get very far. I did notice I could add a column for "Founded" but it would take a lot to add each of the top 200 companies.

It did give me an idea. So I did a Google Search for [Fortune 500] where I went to the Wikipedia article and from the link at the bottom of the article was bale to get to the list for 2011 on the CNN Money site http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/full_list/index.html

I copied 1-100 on the list and pasted that info into a Google Spreadsheet. Repeated for 101-200.

I titled a column "Founded". I then used the GoogleLookUp function to find the founding date for each company. Copied the formula down the sheet and then sorted the sheet by that column. Walt Disney threw it off but I left it so you could see the result.

I'm also not sure with 200 instances of GoogleLookUp how accurate it would be but for a basic list and nothing too formal I would go with it.

Interested in other ways to answer this question. :-)

2. Fred Delventhal has left a new comment on your post "Wednesday Search Challenge (May 9, 2011): Which c...":

Here's how I approached the problem:

I first went to Google Squared and tried a few searches [Fortune 500] [Fortune 500 companies] even tried a few from the list [Walmart, Exxon Mobile] and didn't get very far. I did notice I could add a column for "Founded" but it would take a lot to add each of the top 200 companies.

It did give me an idea. So I did a Google Search for [Fortune 500] where I went to the Wikipedia article and from the link at the bottom of the article was bale to get to the list for 2011 on the CNN Money site http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/full_list/index.html

I copied 1-100 on the list and pasted that info into a Google Spreadsheet. Repeated for 101-200.

I titled a column "Founded". I then used the GoogleLookUp function to find the founding date for each company. Copied the formula down the sheet and then sorted the sheet by that column. Walt Disney threw it off but I left it so you could see the result.