"Investors have heard many decry the decade of the 2000s as the 'lost decade.' A dollar invested in the S&P 500 on the first trading day of 1999 saw it worth just 65 cents a decade later (3/31/09 is our cutoff point). This "underperformance" is seen by many as a failure of the U.S. economic engine. If we look at the Top 20 performers of the S&P 500 during that same time period, we see a vastly different story. Instead of a 35% loss during that time, the Top 20 earned an average 426% return in stock price, excluding dividends. What accounted for this differential performance during this "lost decade"? This manifesto offers some insights based on an analysis of the Top 20's business environment and strategies deployed during the 2000s. Then, we recount some lessons that any firm can use to build a solid economic future."