Wired magazine recently ran an interesting article on how Apple was derided as a terrible and failing company in 1997:
Some of the quotes from that time period about Apple were absolutely damning. How wrong they were. So what, you say, it's too late to capitalize on that information? Yes, but the point of the article is that there are a number of one-time 800 pound gorillas in the tech space that again look like terrible and failing companies: HP, Nokia, RIMM (Blackberry), and Yahoo. Why not create a portfolio of them? Not all of them will likely rise from the ashes but only one has to experience an Apple-like turnaround to carry the day. If I had to pick the most likely to do it, I'd go HP, Nokia, RIMM and Yahoo in that order. Why? Because HP still has a lot of patents and a lot of engineers. Same for Nokia and Blackberry to some extent but in a more confined space: mobile (although a good space to be in if you must be confined). Yahoo lacks truly valuable technology but has brand and users.