All posts by Ray Agostinelli

Working and writing in Boulder, CO


A long-standing Mohawk Valley food company forfeited any chance to upend rival Gerber’s at the top of the baby food market in a case of spectacularly wrong-headed and unethical management.

Howard K. Smith

A principled broadcast journalist who felt that newsmen should take sides on public issues constantly sparred with his network overseers and consistently lost the ratings battle to “the most trusted man in America”, Walter Cronkite.


Pre-Revolutionary Russia was the sort of place where more than one “holy man” had a legitimate claim the title The Mad Monk. Rasputin won.

George “Bugs” Moran

In Gangland Chicago, Al Capone emerged as Public Enemy Number 1. Despite being massively outgunned, particularly on one particular Valentine’s Day, his rival Adelard Cunin, known to history as Bugs Moran, gave him a hard run for his dirty money.

Minerva Vano

A now-obscure rival piqued Harry Houdini’s ire when she stole his signature trick. Did he retaliate by trying to blind her?

Lee Jeans

A perpetual also-ran in the blue jean market was probably destined to be there forever in an arena where loyalty and tradition count for more than style, comfort, or anything else.

Alfred Russel Wallace

The naturalist whose contemporaneous insights into “the transmutation of species” may have shared top billing with Darwin had he not been immersed in field work in Southeast Asia at the time of Darwin’s first coming out party.

Meineke Mufflers

A muffler company drafts in the slipstream of the market leader, seemingly happy just to be in the race.

Georges Braque

In the shadow cast by Picasso’s considerable legend, the artist whose work actually inspired the term “Cubism” is rarely seen as a coequal pioneer of that revolutionary form.


The determining factor in this classic standards war came down to, of all things, American’s love for movies and sports.