One of the commenters of my post on Apple’s Churning of the Gut said this:
We all agree that success is partly down to luck. Call it X percent. What you think of Apple’s future depends on what you think is the value of X. If you are young and inexperienced, you probably think it’s low, so Apple must have mainly succeeded on merit, which means it will continue doing well. As you get older and experience the world, your estimate of the role of luck rises, so Apple is riding a lucky streak which will inevitably end.
I’m convinced that luck is a huge component of success for a young company. Getting all the pieces right to get a company off the ground and to any high altitude is a combination of timing, the right relationships, the right marketing and the right customers. So much of that is luck.
But for mature companies, the Apple’s, IBM’s, Samsung’s of the world, I’m not convinced that luck is a significant factor. It seems that most mature companies die by their own mistakes, whether literally screwing up or not reacting to market changes.
Besides, if we want to talk cliches, any pro athlete will tell you that you make your own luck.