People constantly fail to realize why a successful company is successful.
- Techies praise the innovative use of Ruby on Rails here, a cheap Linux architecture there.
- Designers praise the usability and branding of the site.
- VCs praise the number of eyeballs and the novel business model.
It's like blind men describing an elephant; none of them get the full picture.
I have read at least three completely different explanations, by famous authors,
about why New Coke didn't work, and why Apple did (and didn't) work.
Be wary when people try to explain other peoples' success; they almost always
have their own agenda in mind. That includes me. But listen carefully to the
people who ran those companies when they became successful they are the
most qualified to explain their own success.