Who's Eating Your Lunch?

Article excerpt

Byline: Lauren Streib

AOL has been forced to become a content company and team up with Huffington Post now that we all get our Internet from the cable guy. Meanwhile, MySpace is sporting a FOR SALE sign and Borders is facing Chapter 11, while their competitors--Facebook and Amazon--brag of record growth and profits. Now as ever, success in business belongs to those ready to eat the lunch of a complacent rival--and the cycle of life completes itself as potential competitors of the future hit the scene. Here's a guide to some of the business world's biggest recent reversals of fortune.

Conqueror: Facebook

In Retreat: MySpace

Vanquished: Friendster

Future Threat: Quora

What Happened: Rupert's $580 million prize is now the most painfully unhip neighborhood in cyberspace. Facebook was better designed--and has people you wouldn't be embarrassed to call friends.

Conqueror: iPhone

In Retreat: BlackBerry

Vanquished: Nokia

Future Threat: Android

What Happened: What did we use before the iPhone? Apparently a boxy device with actual buttons called a BlackBerry. Now two thirds of Verizon BlackBerry owners say they want to switch to the JesusPhone.

Conqueror: Embraer

In Retreat: Bombardier

Vanquished: Fairchild Dornier

Future Threat: Sukhoi; Honda

What Happened: That annoying four-to-a-row jet you just flew on? Embraer's crushing the competition with them. Last year it won orders for 55 jets to Bombardier's nine at the Farnborough air show. …