To survive in the rapidly expanding and competitive markets, innovation is a must for companies. While the fundamentals of growing a successful company are the same, the intangibles are vastly different compared to half a century ago. One company that is at the forefront is Uber.

Uber is largely known as disrupting the taxi industry and bringing to new light how to get from one destination to the next. From athletics to companies, no matter the current level of success, it's imperative to always have an eye out for the future. And through a recent report, I saw on Bloomberg, Uber is keeping an eye on its future by quietly growing another empire.

Uber Eats is a popular delivery app that many of us are familiar with. The online food industry is continuing its pace of 20 percent year-over-year growth with some forecasting food delivery to account for $75.9 billion in gross merchandise volume by 2022.

With these numbers in mind, Uber is capitalizing on this by creating "secret restaurants" that only exists on their app. Picture ordering a salmon burger or a specialty crafted salad that is only accessible virtually.

How is this possible?

This starts by the Uber Eats data team identifying area's where there's a demand for a particular dish, but a lack of outlets to serve that demand. Next, they approach chefs and restaurants about the possibility of expanding their selections of food choices but making those select few items solely available by the app.

Now you have a business that is getting a constant stream of customers since they're filling a need while making a great profit without a single person ever showing up to physically eat at the location.

Uber Eats isn't the number one player in this segment yet, but they are expanding the fastest due to initiatives like the virtual restaurant program. As an entrepreneur, you may not be operating at the size of an Uber, but nevertheless, there are valuable lessons to be taken out of this situation.

In fact, Uber quietly and meticulously building this food empire is reminding us of a critical trait to thinking and performing better as an entrepreneur.

No One Is an Island

Whether it's a team pursuing a super bowl or someone striving for a seven-figure year, it takes a community to achieve goals. The lone wolf who does everything on his own is a fantasy. As we learned from this Uber situation, strategic relationships will exponentially accelerate the rate of your progress.

In this example, Uber notice gaps and brought that data to restaurateurs, who saw the situation as a chance to spread out their fixed costs over a higher volume of orders. Everyone wins. As you're looking to grow, identify potential key relationships that provide a win-win for both parties.

To thrive in the future landscape of work, being talented isn't going to be enough. To stand out and make your biggest impact, partnerships and collaborations will need to be a key component of your strategy.

Published on: Oct 29, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.