In thinking about starting a new business, a big part of the question is what type of business to aim for. I see a few basic types: build yourself a job, build yourself a cushy job, build something bigger than yourself.
When building Google, did they foresee a company that will touch the life of every Internet user? Were the dreams that bold? Or, did they just see a company that could be big? Is the creation of a multi-billion dollar benometh intentional and planned?
I suspect not.
What these founders see, I suspect, is a new simple model. They see potential. They see a new way of doing business that they feel a large number of people will like. Whether that builds into $10M’s, $100M’s or $1B’s can only be discovered with time and is usually irrelevant to the model they’ve adopted (profits are sound at any of those levels).
Great businesses aren’t complex, they’re usually incredibly simple. That’s why they make sense to customers and can grow so fast. The problem with simple is that it appears easy, but making something simple is the hardest thing to do.