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Bollocks, your post reminded me of:
From Jim Collin's ("Good to Great") recently published book "How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In":
The 5 Key Phases of Failure:
<li>Hubris Born of Success - Success breeds arrogance and loss of touch with causes for success</li>
<li>Undisciplined Pursuit of More - Companies stray from disciplined creativity that led them to success</li>
<li>Denial of Risk and Peril - Ignoring internal warning signs (bad data gets squashed, good data gets exaggerated, indeterminate data gets a positive spin)</li>
<li>Grasping for Salvation - The use of big bold quick fixes (e.g. bold but untested strategies, hiring a celebrity CEO, attempt for major change in culture...)</li>
<li>Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death</li>
This (great) book asserts that after analysing MANY failed companies with considerable scientific rigour, most companies that fail exhibit at least 4 of the above if not all 5.
They also noted it was much harder to characterize failed companies that it was to find common themes with successful companies. They summed it up with Tolstoy's quote:
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Oh, and to JEPOVIC's comment below on Motorola never being great, this book actually spends a good chunk of its text using Motorola as the example case for the 5 points above. They point to the fact that they owned the analog handset market, and in the 'undisciplined pursuit of more' they continue to promote the Irridium satellite handset launch against fairly obvious indications that it was going to be a niche market and not have a positive business case.