Hostess Twinkie Demise Mirrors Fate of 15 High-Tech Has-Beens

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-11-20 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hostess Brands, one of the most well-known snack companies in the United States, has announced it will shut down and liquidate its business under the bankruptcy laws. This means that at least for a time there will be no more Twinkies, Ding Dongs or Ho Hos on store shelves. The news has been met with distress by many fans who fear that no bakery on the planet will ever make another Twinkie. The fate of Hostess is an object lesson on how companies that were once so popular and so dominant in their markets can disappear overnight when market forces make it impossible to keep the doors open. It takes a special company to hang tough in an increasingly competitive business world. That's true for the IT industry as much as any other. Over the years, numerous IT companies have risen to prominence to become successful, wealthy and widely admired. But before long, many of those companies have lost their way, leading to their eventual failure and extinction. Others survived for decades until they were forced to leave the markets that had made them rich and famous and try their luck as a second- or third-tier operator in other markets. It's a sad thing to see, but that's how capitalism and free enterprise work. So with Hostess going under, we thought it might be a good time to look at how once-market-leading companies with household names in the IT industry have either disappeared forever, or survive as lesser divisions in massive parent companies. Remembering some of the companies in this eWEEK slide show might make you a bit nostalgic, but in most cases, it's no surprise that that they no longer exist as vibrant, independent enterprises.

 
 
 

Palm

Remember when Palm was the talk of the mobile town? The company's PDAs were hugely popular, and it was believed that they would carry Palm for the foreseeable future. But once the first smartphones hit the market, Palm quickly faded away, unable to survive as a maker of wireless phones or PDAs. Palm was bought out by HP in 2010, but within a year, HP decided to ditch the Palm brand and get out of the mobile space entirely.

Palm
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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