Facinating Read on Fujifilm
Incredible reading this interview with Fujifilm's CEO. Just look at the contrast to how successful Fujifilm is compared to the bankrupt Kodak. I would LOOVE to hear Kodak's CEO respond to how well Fujifilm is doing compared to their failures.
One can only read this and wonder, what might have been had Kodak had good people leading the team.
Certainly a very different approach to business....I think most of the success comes from an entreprenurial outlook, looking ahead, identifying changing needs and products, seeing opportunities, not falling into hubris or the "we're the best, no one can touch us" attitude, not the "us too" approach to existing product, and so on. Maybe a basic mind set, not perhaps always learnable at business school or otherwise, and certainly a long way from "let's tick the right little boxes, then we don't have to think too much!"
I've seen both types of business during my years in my own small actitivities.
Very interesting interview. I believe that one mistake that too often is made in regards to the photographic industry is that Kodak management was (and still is) incompetent. The problem is that it is very hard to survive disruptive forces, as Kodak suffered when photography when from silver to digital. Many great companies have died in the wake of all sorts of technology shifts.
I believe that Kodak did its best, but when the odds are against you, failure is not just an option, its the most likely scenario which takes skill, agility and luck to avoid. Big corporations are usually not very agile, not only due to its size, but also due to its internal competences. Kodak was good at making chemicals and film, distributing it to almost every street corner around the world and then getting the film developed and printed. When digital happened, suddenly that hard earned world-class competence of the company and a vast majority of its employees got sidetracked from the future.
Fujifilm seems to be an exception in the film making business having survived the disruptive shock of digital photography, but even Fuji had a bumpy ride to its state today. While the company still thrives, many people lost their jobs in the process and its share price is 70% down (link) from the beginning of the 2000:s.
Three great reads:
The Economist, How Fujifilm survived http://www.economist.com/blogs/schum...ifilm-survived
The Economist, The last Kodak moment?, http://www.economist.com/node/21542796
Sandström, Disruptive Innovation, Kodak and digital imaging http://www.slideshare.net/Christians...ak-destruction
And yet Fujifilm seem intent on dumping LF film whereas Kodak are doing there best to keep things going...
Originally Posted by RattyMouse
Very, very interesting indeed.
Kodak are still very much in the red. I wouldn't be throwing my hat in the air that a lot of film will be coming out of there in the future.
“The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see." ~Edward Weston, 1922.
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Tim, LF is experiencing pressure from all over, not just Fujifilm. Kodak doesn't cut normal runs of 8x10 any longer, and that's because of the market. So although Fujifilm has dropped Velvia 50 in LF, at least Provia and Velvia 100 are still available, and in 8x10. So I wouldn't say that they're just throwing LF to the wolves, let alone the chihuahuas.
Yeah, it was a good article, I just wish that their president was holding one of their excellent film cameras. Ah, well.
An interesting article, but I didn't see it as a solid commitment to film. In the past, companies in Japan have relied on a solid base of domestic customers to keep them going; I'm not sure how solid the film market is in Japan right now.
He said "today we have six business areas in which we can grow strongly: Medical Systems, Graphic Systems, Optical Devices, Office Communications, Digital Imaging and Functional Materials. All these areas are in one way or the other connected with film technology"
I guess I could say Kodak has been saying more or less he same stuff over the last 20 years.
This is typical Japanese business sense. Honda uses their expertise to make everything from cars to outboard motors, motorcycles, generators and lawn mowers. Last year, GM even made TV commercials poking fun at the fact that Honda made lawn mowers. You didn't see Honda producing commercials making fun of the fact that GM went to the American and Canadian governments, hat in hand, begging to be saved.
Kodak, GM, Bell and Howell, I think I see a pattern.
I use and support Ilford, because they are probably our future.
Yes but there are strong rumours that Fuji want out of E6 in the next few years. At least Kodak are trying to keep their film production alive by making custom runs. I'd rather be able to order it occasionally than not order it at all. It did seem that in the interview Mr President was quite dismissive of film, purposely downplaying it. It would be good if they said "This is where we came from, this is our brand, this is a world heritage product* - we'll do our damndest to keep it alive where possible" as for world heritage product, it's the only directly viewable colour film produced that is likely never to be made again should Fuji stop. The small effort to make a knowledge/equipment transfer to China/Ilford/Whoever would be peanuts in comparison with their turnover.
Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller