Running a small computer company 10 years ago, says Daniel Borel, was "like flying at low altitude. You can hit a small mountain and die." The chairman and founder of Swiss-based Logitech avoided that crash, and today a sales chart for the company looks like a smooth 17-year rise, from a $7 million takeoff to the current billion-dollar height. But Logitech's near miss came in 1994. Having designed and brought to market some of the first affordable and user-friendly computer mice in the mid-1980s, Logitech had overtaken Microsoft as the leading mouse supplier, with one-third of the global market. "We were...

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