Nothing lasts forever. Not even cash cows.
In the fast moving technology world, standing still with old technology is a sure recipe for failure. Or as an old boss used to say, you can put lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig.
Unfortunately, there are way too many examples of companies that once were on top but failed to realize, until it was too late, that technology had marched on and their once groundbreaking, industry leading technology had become obsolete. The tech industry is littered with examples of computing giants that bit the dust by resting on their laurels.
One that impacted me was Digital Equipment Corp. While the movement toward open operating systems and PCs was in full swing, DEC chairman Ken Olsen called Unix “snake oil” and derided PCs as little more than toys. That was until PC maker Compaq swallowed him up and shut down the DEC brand. (more…)