There are slumps. Voluntary and involuntary sabbaticals. Strategic laying-lows. Regroupings. But most careers, trajectories of a product or service, or shelf life of a brandname don't get done, become finished, or just are over. The inner dynamics and outside support which made them what they were tend to keep them going and often bouncing back big.
The classic example is Winston Churchill. Before World War II, there was a time in England when those in the know would hear his name, shrug and mouth Finished. Boy, were they so discreetly wrong.
Fans of the Polaroid Instant Photography are keeping that technology going. That whole enchilada could become, like antique cars, a big lucrative business.
Attorney Lloyd Constantine who authored the tell-all about Eliot Spitzer JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR could mutate into a contrarian Greek Chorus about power. Not always right on the money but always provocative and entertaining.
Bob Dilenschneider's book AMA HANDBOOK ON PUBLIC RELATIONS, now at number 550,782 on Amazon.com could transform how Everyman and Everywoman understands and uses the tools of impression management. Dilenschneider, from his very good years in the communications business in Manhattan, has a deep enough pocket to donate the book to institutions in troubled areas, be that poverty, crime, or plain-vanilla despair. A type of Teacher Corps or Nader's Raiders could be formed to explain the principles of getting the edge in influence. There are lots of unemployed restless under-28s out there. An analogue of Head Start, this could be called [Advanced] StreetSmart and be the most effective progressive outreach since the Polio vaccine. [Full disclosure: I receive 50% of royalties from the book.]
There's more for AMA HANDBOOK ON PUBLIC RELATIONS. Dilenschneider can turn into a cult favorite. He can go out, a la Lou Dobbs, and declare a left-wing conspiracy about the tome. His tag line can be: So, why don't "they" like my book. This could make him more influential a public relations guru than Howard Rubenstein who is supporting the Spitzer comeback.
Both organizational expert Jim Collins [HOW THE MIGHTY FALL] and Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter [CONFIDENCE] had declared there comes a point of no return in a downward trajectory. I disagree. Anyone or anything at any time or in any condition can be turned around. There's more. That story, since we Americans love comebacks, will in itself be highly marketable. Screwing-up, declared WIRED Magazine, is the 21st-century rite of passage and who doesn't want a front-row seat on someone else's fall from grace and ingenious way back.