What makes a business good?
To me, there are multiple inputs: profitability, efficiency, building value for customers, ethical behavior, innovative-ness, leadership, brand.
Companies like Swoopo / C4G are really profitable, but they score very low on everything else (except perhaps brand). They prey on people’s stupidity, which can be really good for a smash and grab type operation (high profitability over a short time), but I don’t see them being sustainable in the long run (could be wrong on this — anyone know how long C4G has been around?)
Companies like Apple are 2nd tier to me — their strength is in leadership and branding (they aren’t bad in the other areas, but they aren’t really that innovative except for form factor).
My all star list has companies like Amazon on it. Started as a bookstore, now is one of the leading providers of cloud services (in addition to everything being sold there). They put a huge investment early on in infrastructure, which was a really interesting tactic that looks to be paying off.