As Seen in The Wall Street Journal

6 Forces of Failure - Competition

Some of the key signs that competition is the cause of failure includes:  trying to disrupt competitors who are well-entrenched, entering a crowded market space with an undifferentiated product, and/or a new competitor offers a better or cheaper way to solve the same problem.

Alta Vista - Failure Museum


AltaVista launched in 1995, which was two years before Google.  Google focused solely on search, while AltaVista built a graphic-rich portal with live news & sports, shopping, and search. AltaVista’s search results pages were filled with irrelevant display ads as they were focused too

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American Basketball League - Failure Museum

American Basketball League

Lasting from 1996-1998, The American Basketball League (ABL) was a professional women’s basketballleague in the United States. At the same time the ABL was being formed, the NBA was creating the WNBA.  The ABL got off the ground before the WNBA, and at least early on

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Anchor Steam - Failure Museum

Anchor Brewing Company

In 2023, San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, who was the oldest craft brewery in the U.S., ceased operations after 127 years. Revenue declined by two-thirds since 2016 due to changing consumer habits and a rebrand that pivoted too far away from it’s classic look.

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AOL peaked at a $200B market cap; they didn’t want to cannibalize their dial-up business leading to their demise in 2009.

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Ask Jeeves

In 2005, IAC acquired the company for $1.85B; pivoted to be a real-person Q&A site just before Google crushed them

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AWS DeepLens - Failure Museum

AWS DeepLens

Launched in 2018, AWS discontinued DeepLens in 2024. It was the world’s first deep-learning enabled video camera for developers. It was designed to help users grow their machine learning skills through hands-on computer vision tutorials, example code, and pre-built models. TensorFlow, PyTorch, scikit-learn, Keras,

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Barbie Sports Illustrated - Failure Museum

Barbie Sports Illustrated

In 2014, Barbie was in Sports Illustrated to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Launched in 1954, Sports Illustrated was one of the few sources of real sports reporting. Its circulation peaked 30 years ago and has been declining ever since. In 2018 it went biweekly

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Beautycounter - Failure Museum


Founded in 2013, Beautycounter, a leader in the clean beauty business, raised over $100M and was sold to a private equity firm for $1B in 2021. As the pandemic receded, consumer spending went down and sales slowed across the entire beauty sector. While Beautycounter’s

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BetaMax - Failure Museum


Introduced in 1975, Sony hoped that the video cassette tape industry and all other manufacturers would adopt the Beta Tape as the standard industry format. Unfortunately JVC, a Japanese-owned rival brand, decided to create their own format, VHS, in 1977. Betamax had a marginally

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