Amazon

When the 89th Academy Awards celebration begins on February 26, Roy Price is sure to be in the audience. If early predictions are accurate, he will be anticipating an award or two for "Manchester by the Sea," a film that’s been the smash hit at all four major North American film festivals this season.

Gold Award:
Kinzer Partners

Location: Seattle  |  Employees: 12  |  Top Exec: Craig Kinzer, founding partner  |  kinzer.com 

On a recent sunny autumn morning, Amazon.com opened the doors of the high-security meeting center at its massive new downtown campus to 70 nonprofit organizations, which set up tables at the “Nonprofit Expo” to compete for the attention of the 1,000 or so Amazonians who showed up to explore volunteer opportunities.

Nick Hanauer, an early investor in Amazon, is a venture capitalist who has launched or funded more than 30 companies. He is also a social activist who played a role in promoting Seattle’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage.

The rapidly growing cloud business of Amazon Web Services (AWS) could soon begin to put the same kind of pressure on the legacy IT sector that Amazon.com has already put on the retail sector.

Customers are responding to increasingly aggressive marketing tactics by covering their ears. One in five smartphone users utilizes ad-blocking technology. And that’s just a warmup act. If marketing is a nuisance now, imagine how customers will feel by 2020, once the Internet of Things (IoT) is populated by an estimated 50 billion connected devices.

Amazon has poured tens of billions of dollars into building close to 100 highly automated ware-houses around the country to cut costs and reduce delivery times. That reality has put competitors in a quandary. How can they match Amazon’s capabilities without spending the same kind of money to build a similar network?

There’s a good chance you work at a company that made the list pf most powerful Northwest brands. You may have strong opinions about who should or shouldn’t have made this list. You may feel proud, surprised, not surprised and relieved to see some of the names here. And, when you think about it, you may or may not be able to put a finger on why you feel the way you do.

Go ahead and laugh, but companies that don’t try out all those crazy ideas are, well, crazy.