"What is the most important factor behind a company's ability to produce amazing products? Or are there multiple factors that are equally important?"
I read the above question on Quora yesterday and I think it is a great topic to ponder. The thread had some great answers and I happened to agree with most of the factors for building amazing products. The comparisons however were pretty typical, looking at tech companies (Apple vs Microsoft) that have already been covered from every conceivable angle. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of great tech companies that design and build awesome products. I personally love Weebly (disclosure - I am an employee), Dropbox, and Square, but what about offline companies in other industries?
Which companies build products that are clearly amazing and do these companies exhibit the same "factors" associated with building great products that tech companies have.
To summarize the thread, the following were considered "factors" associated with creating amazing products:
Let me start by picking a company that builds what is considered to be the best products in their industry. Not a huge surprise that I am going to focus on cars. Pagani, the small supercar maker in Italy is the obvious choice in my mind. You would be surpised to know that people looking to spend a cool $1 million + on a car actually have a quite a few options: Koenigsegg, Spyker, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and probably some more I am missing, but in this rarified field there is only one company that motoring journalists, rich car buyers and drooling teenagers agree makes the most spectacular cars and that is Pagani.
I have talked about their cars before in my favorite sports cars section on this site, but check out some of their cars below to get a sense. The level of detail is out of this world, you should check out the examples I cite in my piece about the Pagani Zonda.
If you are not entirely convinced that they make amazing products, check out the clip below where one of the top automotive journalists in the world is basically drooling during his trip to the Pagani factory. He is given the chance to drive one of their latest creations and is about as excited as any Apple-obsessed consumer I have ever seen. When a journalist, who for a living drives cars like this and pokes holes in them is this smitten and excited you know the product is special.
So we all agree that they make awesome cars. Now let us see if they exhibit some of the same factors that tech companies do who make great products:
It looks to me like a car manufacturer that exhibits all the same factors that tech companies who build amazing products do. That's a good thing and I think it is something companies in other industries should pay attention to. When you see people talking about Apple and their products being amazing, don't just assume you can't take those lessons or factors and apply them to your business, no matter the industry.
Are there other companies out there who fit the mold that aren't tech/internet companies?
Now, this is what I call entertainment. It never ceases to amaze me how Ken Block and team create such awesome, action packed footage. It keeps me glued to the screen the entire time. It is a lesson to others creating content out there. Keep up the great work.