Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Brilliant companies can define an era and capture the spirit of a generation. GM, Apple, AOL, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Facebook--all of these brands elicit a response that is emotional and generational.
Case in point: I remember Blockbuster. Not the sad, dusty, blighted Blockbuster of recent years (quite oddly purchased by Dish Network in April). No, definitely not that one. I remember the hustling, bustling, sparkling Blockbuster where everyone rushed on Friday nights to rent the most recent Jason Bourne video (and later DVD). People came in herds to peruse aisle after aisle of movies.
Yes, it's true: Just a few years ago, you had to walk through a retail store to rent a DVD. And get this--if you didn't return said DVD by 5 p.m. the next day, a hefty penalty was levied. Enter Netflix. Buh-bye, late fee. Exit Blockbuster.