What makes a company successful?

There are many companies that we encounter every day, and many more that we haven't seen or just don’t notice. On the other hand we also have companies that seem to own the world like Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft etc. So why isn’t uncle Joe’s local shop not a trillion dollar corporation?

To understand what makes these amazing companies who they are, we have to see what they have in common. For now lets look at Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

In this article, we will analyse 3 components:
— Leadership Principles
— The Beginning
— Consistency

1) LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES

Above is the Venn diagram of the leadership principles that are listed officially in our 3 sample companies. Just because a given company does not have a leadership principle listed does not mean that they do not value it. We can see in the center of the diagram that all 3 companies have Innovation, Inclusion, and Think Big.

  • Innovation: Without innovations a company will fall behind in the now faster than ever accelerating technology, eventually dying out.
  • Inclusion: People are welcome in the company. If they satisfy the qualities, they are a fit employee that will contribute.
  • Think Big: Small products will not change the world; make an impact.

2) The Beginning

From left to right, Amazon’s first Website, Microsoft's first OS, First version of Google
From left to right, Amazon’s first Website, Microsoft's first OS, First version of Google
From left to right Amazon’s first website, Microsoft’s first OS, Google’s first version

All the companies had a beginning. Amazon had the Idea of carrying retail online, Microsoft improved computer software. Google created a search algorithm to make information fetching easier.

Key Points:

— All of the given companies started off with one product. They did not spread to different industries too early. Startups have limited resources and it is important to remain competitive in their only field.

— Your first idea is revolutionary. It is unique; not like anything anyone has done before. It changes the world. Amazon revolutionized shopping, Microsoft revolutionized computing, Google made enabled to communication and made computers even more general purpose; computers would not be as awesome as they currently are without Google.

— Have a plan. All the companies that we are taking as an example knew what they were doing from beginning to end (which still hasn’t arrived), if you are not organized, your work will be done in a messy manner and will be very minimal in terms of productivity.

3) Consistency

“It is always day one” — Jeff Bezos

A successful company will never put in less effort than the day before. The death of a big company could be a result of multiple actions:

  • Loss of ambition: new ideas and innovations must consistently be produced. Keeping up with the current world and the speed of technology is impossible without always coming up with new products.
  • Variety loss: Companies with sufficient revenue investing in other industries is very beneficial to them. One of those fields might turn out to be the next big booming technology!
  • Decaying Enthusiasm: Just because a company is a multi-billion dollar company, does not mean they can disregard even one customer. Always provide service the best as you can like your life depends on it. The customers that a company disregards incrementally add up, and trust me that crowd can get big.

4) My Own Experiences

Like all other people I have day to day experiences of a variety of companies, but the one that fits my example of exactly how a corporation shouldn't be operating is the company of Turkcell Superonline. Turkcell Superonline is a Turkish internet provider company. We asked for internet service of up to a number of megabytes, they promised that they could give us the service 3 days after we moved. They went on to give us the service two weeks later then they promised. But hold on tight, it doesn't end there. Not only did they not provide it at the desired time, the speeds of the service is at best 60% of what they promised to be “Easily accessible”. They charge the same amount as if they are providing full service… Enough with the rant, lets look at what they were doing wrong:

  • Trust: Not providing the internet service at time, delaying it by 10 days, not providing full speed internet.
  • Customer Obsession: Not obsessing and doing the best that they can over their customers which delivers a blow to customer loyalty.
  • Disorganized: They came to our house during the pandemic 3 times only to test out the internet speed which did nothing.
  • Responsibility: They did not take it on themselves for their terrible service and faults, blamed it on the fiber optic cables that are apparently in “Bad shape” (Even if they are, should have inspected before implementing and informed us)

I do not mean any of this in a toxic manner (Although I am a bit annoyed 😂), it is an opportunity to analyze and understand how they can improve.

5) Other Industries

As you probably have noticed I used Microsoft, Amazon and Google as our sample, which are all computer related companies. The rules listed above do not only apply to the computer and informatics industry, they go for all companies.

  • Biotech example: Novo Nordisk: A 90+ year old company that has been amongst the top for a while now. You would expect them to be almost bankrupt by now because of how old they are, but they are always on top of the game, foreseeing which improvements they can make to their products (Consistent Innovation!). When you look at their products page it is not only amazing how many products they have, but it is also important to notice the amount of versions they have of each of their products (ex. 3 insulin pen versions). They are not only always working on new products, they are improving their previous products which is also really important. Link to their product page: https://www.novonordisk.com/about/our-products.html
  • Fast-Food Chain Example: Chick-Fil-A: One of the top fast food restaurants, but why? Its not like their brand name is popular as Burger King, Wendy's, Dominoes, not even close. In spite of that they outrank them in revenue per year. Counter intuitive? Well, with a bit of research, not really! The reason for this is no coincidence, the answer relies on Customer Obsession & Satisfaction. The difference between Chick-Fil-A and the other Fast-Food chains is that their customers are obsessed and loyal. They love everything about them, they come back for after a day, not just grab a pizza and return the next month. Chick-Fil-A is ranked #1 in customer satisfaction according to multiple sites:
    https://www.quora.com/Why-do-employees-of-Chick-fil-A-seem-so-nice-compared-to-other-restaurants-I-m-not-saying-others-are-bad-It-s-just-that-Chick-fil-A-seems-nicer
    https://www.businessinsider.com/chick-fil-a-best-customer-service-in-fast-food-2019-6
    This list for links goes on and on, all you have to do is type in that search bar at the top of your browser.

Now that we have multiple examples from a variety of industries, it is safe to say that the “rules” listed in sections 1,2,3 not only apply to computation companies, but apply to all industries no matter what.

6) Conclusion

There are many aspects on a companies growth, its not all about one thing. There are ethical suggestion (ex. Customer Obsession, Innovate Constantly) and also management strategies like how you should not expand to multiple fields when you are a startup, remain competitive in one field because of the tight restrictions on your budget. Make groundbreaking products, not average ones. I hope that this article has added some value to your day or mindset, hope you enjoyed!

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