The best of Massachusetts business — 2013

A look back at 25 years of the Globe 100

Twenty-five years ago, George H.W. Bush was president, Michael S. Dukakis was governor, the Berlin Wall was dismantled, and Concord Computing Corp., a firm using computers to authorize checks cashed at supermarkets, was perched atop the first Globe 100.

Photo gallery

// 25 years of Globe 100 covers

The Globe 100 rankings of Massachusetts businesses first published in 1989. See the section covers from each issue.

Company profiles

No. 1 company

A steadied aim for Smith & Wesson

Refocused on handguns, the 161-year-old Springfield gun maker rose to the top spot of the 2013 Globe 100 rankings.

No. 8 overall | No. 2 biotech company

// Biogen Idec beats the odds

Consolidation and failure are common in the biotech industry, but this Weston company — soon to be based again in Cambridge — stands apart.

No. 9 overall | No. 1 technology company

// Nuance leads way in voice recognition

The Burlington company’s software lends an ear to users of the latest high-tech gadgets.

No. 17 overall | No. 3 consumer company

// Dunkin’ is back after 23 years

Canton-based Dunkin’ Brands appeared on the inaugural Globe 100 and in the latest rankings, but on none of the lists published in between.

Globe 100 overview

Illustration by Anna Parini

Tech firms are the guiding stars for the Mass. economy

Technology companies — whether biotech or big data — dominate the Globe 100 list again this year, but other sectors are following their lead.

Letter from the business editor

// Celebrating a quarter-century of the Globe 100

Nearly 500 companies have made at least one appearance on our annual list of best-performing public companies in Massachusetts.

Left to right, Deborah Dunsire, CEO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals; Tom Stember, managing general partner of Highland Consumer Fund; and Dave Barrett, managing general partner of Polaris Partners.

Executive roundtable

How Massachusetts business will change in years ahead

Three executives of local companies talk about how key industries will change and the prospects for Boston and Cambridge to remain hubs of technology and life sciences.