The vast majority of businesses in the United States kick the bucket before they reach middle age. Less than 0.1 percent of firms founded in the US make it to the age of 40. And among firms founded in 1976, only 10 percent were still going strong a decade later. Large, long-successful companies are clearly not immune to perishing, either. Polaroid, founded in 1937, dominated the market for instant photographs and was also one of the first companies to invest in digital imaging, yet the business closed in 2008. In 1955, RCA was almost twice as big as IBM and was viewed as having better technology, yet by 1986, it was pronounced dead. And the list of bankrupt or deceased giants goes on: RadioShack, General Foods, Blockbuster, Borders, Circuit City.