What’s a good predictor of a business’ success?

My 2¢: The amount of enthusiasm people feel about it.

If people are enthusiastic about a business, it usually has a lot of potential to be successful. Why? How much time do I have? Not much? Okay. It’s simple: because enthusiasm is smart—it generally knows where it’s going.

And where does enthusiasm generally go? It usually flows towards businesses which are offering new ways to make people’s lives substantially better. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a little taste of what Marc Andreessen (an American entrepreneur best known as the co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and co-founder of Netscape) said to Chris Anderson of Wired magazine in April 2012:

…Think about Borders, the bookstore chain. Amazon drove Borders out of business, and the vast majority of Borders employees are not qualified to work at Amazon. That’s an actual, full-on problem. But should Amazon have been prevented from doing that? In my view, no. Because it’s so much better to live in a world where that happened, it’s so much better to live in a world where Amazon is ascendant. I told you that my childhood bookstore was something you had to drive an hour to get to.

But it was a Waldenbooks, and it was, like, 800 square feet, and it sold almost nothing that you would actually want to read. It’s such a better world where we have Amazon, where everything is universally available. They’re a force for human progress and culture and economics in a way that Borders never was.