Germans invented the car. Americans created the automotive lifestyle. The Japanese perfected the production process of cars. Yet their reputations were of no use when it came to saving them; as an example, a sterling reputation didn’t help the great coach builder Carl Marius in 1920. Kodak could no longer benefit from making the best film in the world when it went bankrupt in 2012. Nokia and RIM/Blackberry no longer drew any profit from producing the best cell phones with hardware keyboards. Ampex had the best audio and video recorders, and filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Eumig made the best super-8 film cameras and projectors and held 100 percent market shares—in a market that shrank to zero.

The signs of a turning point are obvious: ...

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