Because of the answers to Why has a rocket system like Starship never been proposed before? , now I need to ask something I'd always taken for granted.
If Falcon 9 wasn't revolutionary for technical reasons,surely it still has to be more than a matter of the money being there when needed. I mean, we were all shocked, weren't we? I cried the first time they stuck the landing of the first stage. No really, I did, kinda like a baby.
I know a lot of drama surrounds SpaceX and it's not that I'd like to add to that. I think the use of the term 'revolution' for the effect of the Falcon 9 on the industry is easily deserved, and I'd really like to know what causes something like that to happen when it wasn't because of a major technical achievement. There's a rather long list out there of companies that tried and failed to do what they did. The Space Shuttle fell far short of the dream of cheap quick space access it also chased.
There have already been a lot of insightful comments and a good answer here. I'm editing now to get this reopened (hopefully), and because it just would really be great to get more perspective on this. I already know there were a bunch of factors, money being an important one, but an achievement so disruptive has to come from a lot more than that. How did they succeed?