Category: Business

Early promo image for Hydrox cookies


In a cautionary tale for all of today’s artisanal food-makers, a small bakery sees its innovative new cookie concept copied by a much larger rival. Losing market share is bad enough but being transformed in the public imagination from original to knockoff may sting even more.


An upstart gains initial traction by exploiting an underserved niche and, years later, nearly unseats the incumbent through a revolutionary ad campaign.


A reclusive genius who had pioneered the mass production of pens couldn’t topple his rivals at Gillette, the company closest to an American man’s heart (and face).

Tally-Ho Playing Cards

In the world of playing card design, there’s the classic Bicycle deck and then there’s everything else. Is it any wonder a fox-hunting dandy didn’t emerge as the nation’s most popular? Probably not.


Word processing – the world’s first “killer app” – enabled Wang Laboratories to threaten IBM’s decades of dominance in the computing world. The rise of the PC, and a troubled dynastic succession, led to the once high-flying company’s rapid demise.


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.

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.

Meineke Mufflers

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


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

RC Cola

A perpetual third-place finisher in the Cola Wars got its start over a century ago when a grocery store owner refused to pay the price for Coke’s patented syrup, which had been developed in the same small Georgia city.