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Is resurrection possible in technology?

How does a failing company succeed again?

TechCrunch's post mortem on Yahoo! is a bit overdone, but for me it begs an important question: Is it possible to resurrect a failing technology company?

Look at IBM, and you'd say "Yes." IBM had been on a serious decline, only to be revived by Lou Gerstner. Or how about Apple, which has gone from also-ran to industry leader in ten years.

But there are precious few IBM and Apple stories to tell. Digital? SGI? And so on. There are far more technology companies who rose, plateau'd, and then faded into obsolescence or bankruptcy.

It's hard to recover from a dying brand, even when the money continues to pour in through maintenance contracts.

I'm hopeful that Yahoo! will revive and thrive again. Ditto for Sun and Novell, both of which have reignited interest in their brands through open source.

Is there something these companies should be doing to "ensure" success? Apple's resurrection largely came because of one grand innovation: iMac. IBM's...? Skillful work with IBM's financials to boost the image of the company, among other things. Is there a lesson in this for companies like CA who want to burnish their brands to shine again?