Blockbuster is the poster child for a company that failed to adapt to a changing times. Regardless, the positive associations that come with the company are enormous. Family nights all started there. As kids, we all rented our video games from the place. I remember as a kid signing up for the “all you can rent” pass during the summer to binge on video games.
This Grantland piece did a great retrospective of how the company came to be – bringing back all those good feelings growing up.
The irony of Blockbuster’s saga is that in the mid-2000s, they actually had a product that was better than Netflix: the ability to get DVDs in the mail, exchange them in store, and immediately have new discs mailed to you. My (now) wife and I used that program extensively in college.
In the end though, times move on, and the fun of browsing the video store to find something good to rent with your friends is gone, now replaced by the instant gratification of Netflix and iTunes.