It begins with a political leader or a businessman who hits on a powerful new idea, one that puts him miles ahead of everyone else. It could be a new innovation, like the financial derivative, or a new way of doing business, like Microsoft selling software. It could be something destructive, like Hitler's blitzkrieg, which ran over France in two months. No matter the specifics, it leaves everyone else flat-footed and looking foolish.
Our man (it's usually a man) is now indestructible and untouchable. With nothing in his way, he is, for a while, an irresistible force.