10 Companies That Completely Reinvented Themselves

A Western Union office in Lisbon, Portugal. Once best-known for telegrams, Western Union has reinvented itself as a money transfer business. Brent Winebrenner/Lonely Planet Images/Gett Images

A successful company is like a great white shark. In its prime, it chews up the competition, but if it dares to sit still for too long, it dies. Some of the world's most profitable and enduring companies have achieved their long track record of success by constantly reinventing themselves.

Cell phone maker Nokia started off selling rubber boots. The oil giant Shell used to import and sell actual shells. But these companies and the eight others on our list adapted with the times, evolving their product lines and business strategies to stay one step ahead of their customers' needs. In business, it's better to be a chameleon than a great white.

Let's launch our list of the 10 companies that completely reinvented themselves with a lumbering tech giant that learned how to think like a startup.