There have always been companies that stand out from their peers and the competition. They are loved by their shareholders, hated by the competition, and known to all. Who are these companies and how do I find the next big company? All big companies have something in common. Let’s take a look at some of them:

In the July / August 2008 Conference Board article Do God’s workIt describes how a number of former academics and technicians were working on the Macintosh project, which had little chance of success until it was taken over by Steve Jobs. Jobs convinced them that they were creating something revolutionary. For three years the team worked like slaves, and Jobs yelled at them. He upheld morality by telling them that they had a higher calling and that they were doing God’s work. Andy Hertzfeld, one of the leading programmers, said, “The goal was never to beat the competition or make a lot of money. It was the best, or even a little bit more.” Ultimately, the Macintosh helped drive it Apple computer (AAPL) in the forefront of personal computing.

Before William H. (Bill) Gates became the vaccine and czar of the population, he was a ruthless businessman. From childhood, Gates was hardworking, ambitious, intelligent, and competitive. Gates used these properties to build Microsoft (MSFT) to an international giant. The company is often the target of criticism and allegations of anti-competitive business practices. Under the leadership of Gates, the company took me against the world’s attitudes and prevailed.

Lest you believe this is a more recent phenomenon, John D. Rockefeller was added in 1870 Standard oil in Ohio with a capital of $ 1 million. In response to laws restricting the size of businesses, Rockefeller developed innovative forms of organization to effectively manage their fast-growing business. In 1911, due to public outcry, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil must be dissolved and split into 34 companies. Some of the resulting company names are very well known: Exxon (XOM), Mobile (now part of Exxon), Chevron (CVX), Amoco (now part of BP), ARCO (now part of Sunco), Conoco (POLICE OFFICER), Marathon Oil Company (MRO), Pennzoil (now part of Shell).

Thomas Alva Edison, “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, was an incredible visionary and inventor. He was also an extremely motivated person. There are stories in which he works practically without a break for weeks. Edison would keep a cot in his lab to take a quick nap at night. Eventually Edison founded 14 companies, including General Electric (GE).

What will the next big company be? Obviously I don’t have a definitive answer (and if I did I would probably be too busy mortgaging the house to have time to share). There is one thing I can say about the next big company: it is run by a passionate leader who is a visionary who demands excellence from his employees and above all from himself. That leader and his company are out there somewhere, we just have to find him (or her).

Full disclosure: Long AAPL, CVX, MSFT, XOM.

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