In the 1930s, Philips was the world’s biggest supplier of radios. The Dutch company invented the audio cassette in 1963, made the first videocassette recorder in 1972, and launched the compact disc in 1983. But Philips struggled to make the most of its inventions, most notoriously by losing a battle for the dominant videotape standard to Japan’s VHS in the 1970s and 1980s before failing to anticipate today’s disc-free, digital-entertainment era dominated by downloaded and streamed entertainment via the Internet.
Ironically, their first device (the radio) wasn’t dependent on physical media. The company that grew up with the airwaves wasn’t able to “get” the new reality of streaming and downloading.