Culture, Brand, (and Founders) FTW
The quality of the people and the culture of a company define its trajectory. Brand is the bank where it stores the value it creates along the way. Everything else is implementation detail.
If you don’t have great people operating in a great culture, you’re operating on borrowed time. Maybe you get lucky and can ride that luck for a while, but unless you build a sustainable, quality culture, you’re dying a slow (or fast) death. If you aren’t banking your wins in your brand, its like you’re living hand to mouth–it works fine while things are good, but bumps in the road will be painful, leading to loss of talent and an eroding culture.
With a strong team, culture, and brand, the world is your oyster. You start in books and pivot to hosting. You can start in luxury cars and extend to solar panels.
Companies that no longer have their founders are at an inherent disadvantage–the founders are the only people within the org that have the moral authority and political clout necessary to drive a strong, high quality culture and make dramatic changes to protect and grow the culture, when they are needed.