First loser advantage

I was musing over Skype with my old friend Jim Moffat last evening and we came to discussing new and emerging stuff – namely Google Wave.

Wave’s features show what can be done when you build your features out from a single object store (and they are pretty impressive) and that brought me back (of course) to cc:Mail and what that could have become if only the investment had continued

From here it was just a short step to recaling the first mover profucts that just lost the plot over the years. So I list a few here but I do invite others to contribute thier own suggestions to this list of ignomy.

Lets get starting with my favourite IBM:

cc:Mail – probably the most successful email system in the early 90’s (although it was screwed over by Lotus before IBM aquired them)

Lotus Notes – ’nuff said

IBM PC – I remember when IBM used to be on everybodies desktop

I know there is more from IBM – over to you

Now lets move on to Sony, here we come to the Walkman – it was *the* brand for portable music devices and although not dead it looks like a very sick parrot from where I stand.

Of course we can’t do the Walkman without mentioning Phillips (the younger audience might not remember them) they invented the audio cassette and owned the market before Sony came along (and ate their lunch).

Adobe – Acrobat has not gone away but with PDF creation appearing in so many products the ‘nice little earner’ that Adobe had is rapidly dissolving into a faint memory.

For old times sake lets mention US Robotics, Epson Printers and last (but by no means least) Compaq. Now I know this is a natural phenomom but as we traverse this rescession I can see many other household brands and products that were pillars of the establishement just fading away.

What do you remember with fondness? I would be interested in producing a top ten ‘From hero to zero’ products list

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While I will argue with you that Notes doesn't belong on this list (realizing that as a MS employee you have to say it), the brand that (IMO) really "lost the plot" over the years was Borland - Paradox, Delphi, Sidekick and Quattro were products that were ahead of their time and well received. But because of some bad, key decisions they rapidly faded into obscurity.
While you're mentioning Lotus Notes, how about VisiCalc? Palm's another company that once ruled its market -- and they looked to be dead and buried until the Pre came along. Also, search engines -- remember the days before Google? Yahoo! has survived, but lots of us used Excite or AltaVista or Inktomi or WebCrawler or Lycos. Byte magazine was an industry favourite for years, and managed to dwindle away to nothing. Last but by no means least: there are several analyses out there of the managerial disaster zone that was Atari. As losses of plots go, theirs was staggering.
Robert, very good - Atari is a brilliant example - I suppose I should have added Novell to my list! Kit - MS Employee or not IBM has lost the plot with Notes. Ian