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January 4th, 2004

Steeling ourselves for innovation

In 1989, Bethlehem Steel was voted one of the best-managed companies in the United States. Twelve years later it went bankrupt, and in 2002, in an event as ironic as it was symbolic, the Smithsonian Institution bought the Bethlehem steel plant to convert it into the National Museum of Industrial History. The story serves as a poignant reminder that the relentless forces of technology and competition threaten even the most formidable of businesses. The story also holds particular relevance for Minnesota because companies as diverse as Lawson, Medtronic, St. Jude's, Seagate Technologies, Imation and Xcel Energy might be rendered obsolete by exponential technological advances.

Star Tribune

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