This represents the idea of some large business force that developed, which a company was able to ride to grow much bigger itself. The metaphor is explained in 'Poor Charlie's Almanack', by Charles Munger:

There's a tire store chain in the Northwest that has slowly succeeded over the last fifty years, the Les Schwab tire store chain. It started competing with the stores that were owned by the big tire companies that made all the tires, the Goodyears and so forth

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Steve Jobs', Fortune Magazine, Interview -

On catching tech's next wave:

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