The April 15 issue of Business Week featured a list of the 50 most innovative companies as determined by an independent firm, Boston Consulting Group.

A lot of the companies made sense to me, and I’m fairly certain you would agree that they deserve to be honored. The list included Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Disney, Nintendo and Ford, all firms at the top of their respective markets that have taken novel approaches to various challenges.

Also on the list was Coca Cola, which was recognized for bringing “a flash of high-tech wizardry to its fountain drink dispensing system,” and Wal-Mart “for driving down supply-chain costs.” (But really, is that any more innovative than actually providing its employees with health insurance, or straightening up its cluttered aisles?)

But noticeably absent were the really innovative companies such as Abbott Labs, for developing cutting-edge diagnostic tools, or Pfizer, for its game-changing antibiotic Zirthomax. Another winner, I thought, should have been Boeing, for manufacturing the 787 using ultra-light fiberglass instead of aluminum.

You’re probably coming up with of all sorts of candidates right now as well.

Then I thought, “Wouldn’t it be better if Business Week readers submitted their own nominations instead of some stuffy, probably overpaid consulting company choosing the winners?” And what if the magazine solicited opinions from experts in the appropriate fields – from search engines to automotive technology?

My mind then turned to our industry, and what Pool & Spa News seeks to do by collecting entries for our annual Masters of Design contest.

The issue celebrates the best projects in the pool and spa industry and the visionaries who created them.

Every year after it is published I receive calls from readers stating, “I only wish I had known about this awards competition! I would have submitted a fabulous project to you.” (In our defense, we do e-blast all subscribers and run ads in the magazine.)

Do you think you can measure up? If so, click on “Masters of Design,” and you’re on your way. Or, send us via “snail mail” photos of your best projects in the following categories:

  • Concrete Pools
  • Waterfeatures
  • Fiberglass Pools
  • Spas (portable or inground)
  • Package / Vinyl Liner Pools
  • Renovation Projects

But whatever you do, don’t tell me after all the winners are published that you didn’t know, because I’ll just say, “I told you so.”