Read the Forbes definition again. It describes a filter to select companies where the market expects them to make money tomorrow from lines of business they do not have today.
Since, for example, Intel makes its money from chips today, and will make money from chips tomorrow, in their terms its business model is not innovating. Forbes thinks they are a one trick pony, and more to the point since they are using market data, the market thinks Intel is a one trick pony.
It has nothing at all to do with how magical the pony is. The fact that Intel needs to find a new unicorn every year and teach it to be a pony is, from Forbes' point of view, repetition of the same old business.
I once had an EDA executive tell me that talking about innovation in the EDA and semiconductor industry is like talking about putting another layer of chrome on a crescent wrench. That's what excites EE's. Not the rest of the world, so much.
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.