It takes something different to succeed in business these days, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and (NASDAQ:AMZN) understand this. That's according to Gary Shapiro, author of Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses.

AMZN Chart

AMZN data by YCharts

Shapiro is president and chief executive officer of the Consumer Electronics Association, and has studied businesses for over 30 years. In that time, he's seen a dramatic shift in the speed and tactics companies need to act and react to a shifting marketplace. Ironically, these new-age tactics employed by Apple, Amazon, and others, date back hundreds of years to the ninjas of feudal Japan.

I spoke with Shapiro at the huge 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, where thousands of companies gather to show off their latest innovations. In this video, Shapiro explains how Apple and Amazon had leadership that was quick, team-oriented, and always willing to change plans.

As these and other successful businesses were rising in stature and gobbling up market share, they shunned the previous "me-too" copycat mentality. They blazed their own trails, and were able to test, get responses, and change quickly.

Looking for the next Apple and Amazon
Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner found Apple and Amazon early, and Motley Fool Stock Advisor members who followed his recommendations have seen extraordinary gains. You're invited to join him as he continues to seek out and buy innovative companies before Wall Street catches on. Right now you can try the service free for 30 days, giving you full access to every stock pick. Click here for more information.