What I love about Venmo is that they took payment processing and aggressively went after a niche - 'spotting' or paying back a friend for cash - tailoring the app to that unique experience. Good job Venmo!
The markets are neither 100% efficient nor 100% noisy. There is a happy medium somewhere in between.
An indirectly related, but telling anecdote:
In their financial models, M&A bankers are often told to ignore stock prices 24 hours prior to a deal's announcement. Insider trades artificially raise the price during this time.
I agree wholeheartedly with your assertion. The Jobs approach is clearly sufficient, but by no means necessary, for a company to succeed.
Take a look at Apotheker's predecessor Mark Hurd. The man is revered in and out for literally saving HP after the Fiorina era and returning it to powerhouse form. He did this by focusing in on financial fundamentals and efficiency - business basics.
True, he's not by any stretch of the imagination considered a "visionary", at least in the same way Jobs is, but he helped build a potent rival a different way.
I am extremely interested in seeing how Apotheker's tenure will play itself out.
After reading this article, I reread the relevant portion of Jim Collins' "Good to Great". His point (proven by many, many examples) is that being first out of the gate is rarely a sustainable advantage. The key is being the best - learning from not only your mistakes, but the mistakes of those before you.
I found a summarized version of this chapter on his website...