"Creative destruction" can bring down even the biggest and most well-established companies, but it's possible to avoid that fate. Experts say it's important to eliminate bureaucracy, play aggressively and, above all, have a healthy dose of luck. "We tend to overestimate how much we know," says Wal-Mart and Dell director James W. Breyer. "Luck plays an enormous role in every investment or corporate story of success."

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