Obscured in the valuation dust of the current unicorn stampede is a key question: What actually makes a greatcompanygreat? What do the future Facebooks, Googles and Apples have in common — not to mention the current ones?
Let’s take Google and Apple. Both have reached the pinnacle of business success. And some of their flagship products — like iPhone and Android — can even be eerily similar (even before they’ve had time to imitate each other).
But the souls of each couldn’t be more different: Apple is notoriously secretive; Google is a pioneer in transparency. Apple began as a hardware company; Google started as big data research. Apple has a military-style top-down command-and-control org chart; Google has a Burning Man-inspired, bottoms-up chaos to it. Apple is driven primarily by vision; Google worships experimentation and data. Steve Jobs was a heart-centered designer; Larry Page presents…
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