Building through the ages: Kongō Gumi’s 1446-year journey

The world of business abounds with companies rising from scratch, some succeeding and lasting, most succeeding briefly or never to succeed, and shutting down. Entire industries too have risen, only to decline and die, even in our lifetimes, mainly due to the rapid evolution of technology. According to the World Economic Forum, the average lifetime of a Fortune 500-listed business is about 40 to 50 years. For a small or medium-sized business, the average life expectancy is around 21 years. Startups have the worst luck; their life expectancy has been around 4-5 years.