As technology continues to develop, a lot of major businesses are beginning to fall to their knees. From outdated businesses to mismanaged companies, business failures are a frequent news story, especially in times of economic ill-health such as these. What’s less common are stories of business successes, or more specifically, business comebacks.
These four business comebacks should serve as inspiration for young entrepreneurs, and some solid proof that the economy will rebound. From video games to motorcycles, take a look at the top 4 business comebacks of the last two decades.
1. Nintendo and the Wii
In the early 1990s, Nintendo were the king of the hill when it came to video games. Their Super Nintendo Entertainment System outsold all the competition, and it seemed that no one could throw Nintendo’s trademark characters off the video game podium.
Enter the Sony Playstation, and the game changed forever. Nintendo’s next two video game systems lost market share, until the company was left in 2005 as a shadow of what it had once been. Rather than doing what their competitors did, Nintendo created the Wii, a video game system that appealed to a wider audience, and ended up almost outselling all of its competitors combined.
2. Steve Jobs and Apple Inc.
In 1985, Steve Jobs was fired from Apple Computer, the company he founded as a college dropout. After some less successful forays into computing at NeXT, and some highly successful trips into animation at Pixar, Steve was hired back as the CEO of Apple Computer, now a struggling PC company with a bloated model line.
The next decade saw Steve Jobs completely redesign Apple, shredding away the uninspiring 90s image and bringing in a new focus on clean design and slick usability. From successes in computing with the iMac in the late 1990s to even bigger successes in music with the iPod in the early 2000s, Apple Inc. has gone from strength to strength since Steve’s return.
3. Mark Cuban and Broadcast.com
The 80s and 90s saw a string of successful businesses for Dallas-based entrepreneur Mark Cuban. After founding everything from a college bar to a software company, Mark’s biggest business success came with the founding of Audionet in 1995. Audionet, an online radio streaming company, quickly grew to include TV and sports broadcasts, and was later rebranded as Broadcast.com.
In 1999, Broadcast.com had grown to include over 300 employees, and was on track to clear $50 million in revenue for the year. Mark quickly got in touch with Yahoo, then a giant of the internet, and a buyout was arranged – Broadcast.net was acquired for almost $6 billion worth of Yahoo stock.
4. Ducati’s 90s Recovery
The late 1980s were marked by a series of semi-successful motorcycle launches for Ducati. Their trademark supersport bikes were still popular amongst enthusiasts and racing teams, but as an all-purpose entity their business was losing its appeal.
In the early 1990s, Ducati’s chief industrial designer, Miguel Angel Galluzzi, designed the Ducati Monster – a more rider-friendly bike designed to increase Ducati’s appeal amongst everyday riders and commuters. Launched in 1993, the Monster was a huge success, and still accounts for over 50% of Ducati’s sales to this day.