We all know there are a lot of factors that go into the success of a startup. There are seed factors, like whether the founder has the drive and relevant experience to push the company to succeed. There are external factors, like whether the economy makes it hard to get the funding you may need to expand at a critical juncture. But there are also organic factors, like how productive the company atmosphere is, how good your hiring process is, and a zillion other things.
This last category feels a little fuzzy to me as a person coming from a technical background. It's hard to get an idea of what a "good" internal culture is, much less how to cultivate it. I've found it interesting food for thought to read about the internals of companies like Fog Creek Software, 37signals and others that have good reputations within the software industry, but I've stumbled across most of this information by accident.
Does anyone have recommendations for companies I should learn more about to further my understanding of the organic factors in corporate success?