The iconic cookie is special in every way: its name, the way you eat it, the way it's sandwiched...... you can't go anywhere that doesn't have Oreos or at least some generic version of the creme-filled, chocolate biscuit sandwiches. They've been stunning people with their simple cookie innovation for generations. Oreos are the biscuit legend, and with all the different versions they've made now, you won't find one person who doesn't enjoy Oreos.
The "Oreo Biscuit" debuted in in 1912 (that's 106 years old!) by the National Biscuit Company, better known as Nabisco. They were the monsters of baked goods, and developed the Oreo at the Chelsea Market Factory in New York, because that's where all the action always is. The Oreo seemed to be the first of it's kind, an original masterpiece, and it's still regarded in the same light today. This is probably why you've never heard of the Hydrox cookie, manufactured by Sunshine Biscuits for the first time in 1908, 4 whole years before the Oreo ever existed. But, because of the Oreo's surge in popularity, the Hydrox was deemed an impostor even though the real fraud is our cherished, wonder-filled Oreos.
Nabisco, being the baked goods monster that they were, beat out Hydrox with no problems. Maybe "Hydrox" was too harsh and chemical-y a name to really catch on. Maybe it was the name, Oreo, which seemed to have a certain bouncy flow to it, that really allowed the super-cookie to flourish. Nobody really knows where that label originated. One theory suggests it comes from the Greek word Ωραίο, meaning tasty and beautiful. Some say it's an imitation of the physical form of the treat: an O-shaped wafer, cREme, and another O wafer. Others believe it comes from a plant of the laurel family, called an Oreodaphne, and apparently the early designs of the Oreo featured a laurel wreath in place of the more geometric embossing they have now.
In my opinion, Oreos thrived because of their personalization aspect. Each person eats an Oreo in their own, creative manner. Twist the top off, eat the creme first, eat the wafer first, or just bite into it like the cookie sandwich that it is. As great as a nice chocolate chip cookie is, there is no fun, creative way to eat it. Oreos are a challenge- can you pluck off the top and leave the frosting in one clean, perfect slab? If you fail, just eat that cookie and pick up a new one to try again. After all, there's no way you can really be unhappy with an Oreo!
This is what Oreo did well- it stole somebody else's idea and maybe made it a teensy bit better, you know? All thriving companies have probably done this. McDonald's for example. Ray Kroc, the founder, stole the idea from the original McDonald's brothers. Perhaps you remember how Mark Zuckerberg stole the entire idea of Facebook from the Winklevoss twins (there are a lot of brothers whose ideas seem to get stolen....)? So, the entire idea of being majorly successful isn't that you have to have millions of smart ideas in your head all the time, but you have o be a little selfish. Take something, make it bigger and better.