Disappeared from the map: 7 big techs that ceased to exist

In the world of large technology companies, fierce competition and constant evolution are the order of the day. The sector's giants, known as “big techs”, shape the modern world with their innovations, conquering markets and influencing society in profound ways.

However, not all of them stand the test of time., and some that rise to the top sometimes disappear completely years later. Below, you will learn about the fate of seven big techs which, at one time, were leaders in their segments, but which, for various reasons, ceased to exist.

1. AOL

(Source: GettyImages)AOL – Dial-up Internet Service (Source: GettyImages)Source: GettyImages

In the early days of the commercial internet, AOL (America Online) was the gateway online for many. Founded in 1985, the company was a pioneer in offering an interesting dial-up internet service.

Without the need for technical knowledge, users could buy a CD to install the provider and then pay a monthly fee – to have access to exclusive content on the internet. During the 1990s, AOL would be at the center of the technology world, purchasing the Netscape browser and joining the Time Warner conglomerate.

However, with the advancement of broadband, AOL services started to not make much sense. In 2006, the company discontinued its dial-up internet services, marking the end of an era in the way we connected to the internet.

2. Netscape

Speaking of the origins of the internet, it is impossible not to mention Netscape, which was one of the first synonyms for online browsing. Founded in 1994, Netscape Communications Corporation took the lead at the dawn of the digital era and led the browser revolution.

However, it was not prepared to face fierce competition from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Later, with the transition to open source, Netscape fell behind in the competition with other big techs and today it is barely remembered. In 2008, the company officially ended support for the browser.


(Source: GettyImages)Blackberry was the evolution of pagers. (Source: GettyImages)Source: GettyImages

Today, it's very strange to look at a cell phone with a physical keyboard and imagine that this was a symbol of modernity. But for a long time, Blackberry phones were just that.

They were a evolution of pagers, a segment that the company dominated, mainly for the corporate market. Its physical keyboard and robust security attracted professionals around the world.

However, in 2007 Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone to the world, ushering in a new era of telecommunications. Thus, Blackberry's lack of innovation and inability to compete with touchscreen trends led to its decline.

In 2016, Blackberry ended smartphone production and in 2022 it became another one of the companies that closed for neglecting the competition.

4. Polaroid

Polaroid revolutionized instant photography, allowing its users to see a photo developed in just a few minutes. Founded in 1937, the company was a cultural icon, set trends and even inspired the original look of Instagram.

However, The rise of digital cameras has left Polaroid instant cameras obsolete. When the company tried to enter this market it was already too late and in 2001 it filed for bankruptcy.

After ups and downs and being purchased several times, it currently has a very specific audience, largely focused on nostalgia and little remembered by the professional market.

5. Atari

(Source: GettyImages)Atari is synonymous with childhood for countless gamers. (Source: GettyImages)Source: GettyImages

Atari, Inc. was one of the main responsible for popularizing video games in the 1970s. In 1977, it set industry standards with the launch of the Atari 2600 and its iconic games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.

However, by encouraging the games industry, it ended up becoming a victim of its own success. During the 1980s, the popularization of home computers, Bad business decisions and market saturation led Atari into a crisis – from which she never managed to recover. Today it is remembered only for the nostalgia left behind and for its historical importance.

6. MySpace

In the early days of social media, MySpace was the pioneer, serving both to connect users and functioning as a platform for independent artists and musicians. Founded in 2003, the platform attracted millions of users, but the rise of Facebook and mismanagement led to MySpace's decline.

In 2011, the social network was sold for a fraction of the price News Corporation paid for it, marking the end of its relevance. Today, the site is still online, but without relevance among the giants that dominate the current market.

7. Kodak

(Source: GettyImages)Kodak was a pioneer in the photography industry. (Source: GettyImages)Source: GettyImages

The Eastman Kodak Company was not just a pioneer in the photography industry. It dominated the market and dictated some of the main trends for decades. Founded in 1888, the company stood out with its innovative cameras and films.

But, like the other companies on this list, Kodak paid a high price for neglecting technological advancement. With the transition to digital photography, Kodak failed to adapt, losing space to other big techs.

In 2012, after a long patent legal battle, the company filed for bankruptcy, marking the end of an analog era. Currently, Kodak has a greater focus on the business world, being a supplier of films to the film industry.

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