Each of us in business often looks around us at successful companies to try to discover the formula for success that each one was able to create. And each of them has been successful for different reasons, not just one. If it were that easy, we would all enjoy it because we would just copy it.

One successful company, Google, found its success in creating a parsed ad unit for the internet, delivering multiple text ads in the same space that a typical space ad would use. Then the cost for each one was lowered and adoption happened very quickly. Results for advertisers are what made Google successful: clicks and calls turned into business.

Apple is successful because of the quality of the product and the quality of the packaging.

Microsoft enjoyed many years of success because they were the first to create a simple way for the average person to digitize and move their information. Now the landscape is filled with many competitors, but small and medium-sized businesses remain hooked on their products because they don’t have to learn anything new.

Costco is another name that comes to mind: low-margin bulk buying and reselling drives your business.

Facebook has burst onto the Internet social scene and has created the largest user base that interacts with each other, compared to none.

Groupon made the coupon flourish on the internet, earning them a $6 billion purchase offer that they turned down to opt for an initial public offering. This is a huge success considering the company is only a couple of years old.

And, of course, there are many more names that come to mind, but for one article it is not possible to cover them all. So what do they have in common?


The market was ready; people needed what was developed to solve problems. For example, the internet was young and Google saw an opportunity to look at an expensive ad unit and buy space in the block and resell it – everyone needed a cheap way to advertise that would get results and they all jumped on it. Apple is the designer computer, which a lot of people like for that reason. It’s a cut above in the minds of users and even non-users (who don’t feel they can afford it). Microsoft offered ways to manage content when we all needed to get organized in the new digital model.

Costco discovered how much Americans love to buy a lot of things; it makes them feel safe. Facebook was in the right place at just the right time, and he understood the need to expand beyond the college scene. And Groupon used the recession to help people save money.

Finally, beyond the moment there must be something else. There is, but sometimes you wonder how you could do the exact same thing at another time and fail. So, create your IP and find the right time to deliver it and you too will be successful.