Dearly Departed: Companies and Products That Didn't Deserve to Die

Some products just didn't deserve to die. But they did, because the companies made bad business decisions. We revisit several of our favorites--from minicomputers to software utilities--and mourn the best and brightest that died an untimely death.

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It wasn't better late ...

  • Image
  • Company: Lotus Development
  • Born: 1982
  • Died: 1995 (acquired by IBM)
  • Cause of Death: A late port to 32-bit architecture lost Lotus its market dominance
  • Founders: Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs
  • Most well-known product(s): Lotus 1-2-3, Notes
  • Why we miss them: 1-2-3 was the killer app that made PCs useful.
  • Lasting image/quote: "One of the most important things [for us to] do is to connect 1-2-3 users with sources of external data, whether it's data from databases on the personal computer, a network, a host or a minicomputer. We built an entire technology called DataLens to accomplish the task of getting data from databases into 1-2-3. We learned recently there is an equivalent need of getting 1-2-3 data out to somebody else. In a Lotus context, that's the single best definition of the integration of two worlds: 1-2-3 data needs to get somewhere else; data from somewhere else needs to get to 1-2-3." -Jim Manzi, 1991

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