Re: How did they miss the boat?
The problem is, ducks are very reluctant to board boats.
Seriously: they got there first - and never moved with the times. Where's DEC now? From the PDP/11 and Vax, they end up getting eaten by a PC cloner which got eaten by a printer ink vendor. IBM started the whole PC market - and ended up offloading that to a Chinese clone-builder.
Being first in a market certainly doesn't guarantee success, particularly in tech; I suspect in some cases it might even be better to come in a bit later. RIM and Apple both had a hard time getting carrier buy-in at first; I remember back when the original iPhone was new, I had a hard time getting data support on my Vodafone account at all! ("Data? On a phone? Why'd you want that? How about a nice PCMCIA datacard instead?"). Now they know there's money in it, the carriers are all falling over themselves to push fancy handsets.