I know this is not a similar comparison at all, but when I read that I also thought of Apple in the 90's. In debt, in the red for seemingly every year and getting worse and worse... and then...
The only remote comparison with SRAM and Apple would be that they're both very secretive about their product releases. That's about all I can see. Apple has a better consistency in product release patterns. And besides, tech ≠ bikes.
I'd say Campag is more like Apple. They both have a cult like following with devotees some of whom will buy on cache as a top priority. And when Campag says in the article that they plan on saving Campag by protecting the knowledge, I take that to mean focusing on the image and cache they have developed over the decades.
roca rule wrote:well at least for the road
shimano has been around i believe the late seventies 30+ years old
sram bought itself into stardom since 2000?
even campy has a larger road selection, than sram. some sram stuff is hanging from some of those walmart bikes, but acera is much more frecuent. now shimano has more products under its name like pedals, hubs, etc. that sram does not have. sram somehow has made a dent on shimano's market share in the 105 and up level components. shimano is just to large and old to be taken down in so little time.
Shimano is actually over 80 years old, their first bike parts (freewheels) were made in the 1921. They began derailleurs in the 1950's. So contrary to popular belief Shimano as a Company is actually 12 years older than Campagnolo who formed his company in 1933.
Sram will celebrate their 25th anniversary next year. Though in a way they are older than both of the others. Sram started with just grip shifters in the mid 80's. (Started by Stan Day who is still the current president.) But in the mid 90's Sram purchased the Sachs company which was started in the 1890's. So Srams/Sachs heritage could be said to be the longest of all of them.
Shimano and Sram have very different approaches to the game. Shimano has tons of R&D and chooses the slower method to develop most of their own products from start to finish. Sram prefers to buy companies with existing products and improve or fine tune these products in house. I don't know which if either is the better method but it will be interesting to see how it plays out over the next decade or two. It does mean more rapid growth for Sram than Shimano experienced at that age, but rapid growth can sometimes be a failing point. Example Srams growth in sales was 31% from 2009 to 2010.