A product or company’s success is dependent on the waves it’s riding. These waves can be broad market trends, shifts in behaviour or the success of other products.

For example, mobile app companies rode the wave of broad global smartphone adoption. Similarly, instability in the public markets increases adoption of Bitcoin.

While it’s nice to think success is always fully earned, the truth is in understanding the broader system. It’s often the larger waves that influence a company’s success more than anything else.