Technology companies come and go. You’re hot one day, not so the other.
For some companies, they’ll have an average lifespan of eight years. They ether fold, or be bought by another company, and depending on their fate, they’ll hang around or be vaporized. Twenty years of this writing; Apple (then Apple Computer) was flirting with death, with some claims the company would be out of business within ninety days or “days”, depending on who you talk to.
Apple just celebrated it’s forty-first anniversary on April 1st (no joke.)
IBM also flirted with death in the early 1990s. When John Akers, the very out of touch, barely technical, hard right, family guy type had to be forced out, they hired the ex CEO of RJR/Nabisco to help propel the company back to profitability.
IBM is repeating the same story in a different time with a similar fate, changing technology and competition from the homebrew world for making their own mainframes. And just blame Linux because Linux does everything wrong.
In the networking space, Novell exploited Microsoft’s weakness. For most of the 1980s, Novell had dominance of PC networking, with centralized logins and file and print servers. While their NetWare system was looked down by the mainframe types, the thing was inherently more “secure” then when Microsoft introduced their own fully multitasking network operating system called Windows NT in 1993. Windows NT gained so much market share, that these blatantly insecure operating systems in the name of ease of use, and friendly for developers, enabled people who had no business writing code had an outbreak of malware, viruses, and anything to take these systems down so easily into the 2000s. Novell blew it in the design in Netware in the mid 1990s, and never recovered.
In 2017, the company that owns Novell (the company itself was bought out in the late 00s) has been a victim of private equity syndrome, where any costs (such as R&D) would essentially take out the company’s last breath. In the social networking sense, MySpace was popular for millenials coming to age, as well as younger teenagers and Generation Xers. When Facebook became an open platform (the ones who didn’t need a dot-edu to their email) in late 2006 to 2007, their closed platform, that prevented codes to take down people’s PCs, or cause their laptops to be fire hazards (because MySpace was an open platform), MySpace suddenly became a thing of the past within five years of it’s growth.