In technology, you can always trace the fall of once great companies to a point in time when they seemed unassailable and/or were at a clear inflection point but missed the opportunity.
The problem for companies is the market has changed at a pace most are struggling to match.
Kodak, which has just filed for bankruptcy protection missed the shift to digital photography, despite inventing key technology that we take for granted today.
RIM (Black Berry)
RIM, once the absolute master of enterprise smartphones is looking increasingly precarious having failed to make developer life easy and refusing to bend to hardware/software trends in mobile.
Oracle insistence on gouging customers – or at least giving that strong impression – will drive customers away at precisely the moment when it believes it is invincible. Oracle database supremacy is going to start coming under real threat as business intelligence solutions built in the cloud eschew Oracle for open source alternatives.
SAP moves towards cloud with the SuccessFactors acquisition leave far too many imponderables for me to be sure they can transition. They’ve tried before and failed.
Microsoft shift to ‘post-PC’ is dangerous for Microsoft. It’s dangerous because it’s a big transition. Windows is very much a PC product, and much of what makes Windows what it is simply won’t carry forward to ‘post-PC’ devices.
The world moves towards mobile devices where Qualcomm/ARM play best.
Intel’s smartphone and tablet chips need to show they can push out ARM-based devices. The only sure bet for Intel is that it’ll continue to dominate the data center.
The problem for both Microsoft and Intel is the market has changed at a pace both are struggling to match.