The analogy...Just as railroads failed to understand that they were in the 'transportation industry', they failed to progress in a way to accomodate new means of transportation that were faster (airplanes) or more flexible in where they could go (trucks).
Kodak failed to adequately recognize that they were in the 'imaging industry' and that electronic cameras could get news photos diseminated faster, that digital media could provide a suitable alternative to film cameras, and that cell phones would have cameras in them and eliminate the need for more conventional cameras (even digital ones). Where they saw the handwriting on the wall in medical imaging, with a presence in that area for over a decade, they missed that movie producers and studios would abandon film distribution for the economies of digital distribution. They concentrated on the wrong aspects of digital medical/dental, and spent money on integrated medical image archiving, but did so too late, where established vendors had established stronger footholds. They failed to innovate digital Xray systems for dental applications and body xray, where they could sell devices to dentists and doctors and hospitals...they left the money on the table to traditional medical imaging equipment companies who had CT scanners and MRI scanners, and left money on the table to the new dental xray startups.
They made tons of money via supplying film for movie shooting and movie prints, but they absolutely failed to see the money that could have been made in designing digital projection systems for movie theaters.
Last edited by wiltw; 08-23-2012 at 01:00 AM. Click to view previous post history.
It looks like it has been difficult for Fujifilm too:
Under the chart click on max, it gives the share price 1992-2012.
Originally Posted by wblynch
I still don't understand this, never will.
In most MBA programs, they teach a course with a title something like "Destroy Your Own Business". The point of this course is to teach the bright young business leaders about the need to be sensitive to trends that jeopardize their core businesses. The basic idea is that business leaders should be constantly looking for new business opportunities that represent significant threats, and should invest in those businesses.
I think the problem is that the geniuses at Kodak slept late on the day that their professor gave the lecture about making sure that the new business includes a role for your company.
Yes, Kodak invented digital photography, but they naively assumed that because they were the industry leader in conventional photography, that role would automatically fall to them when the market shifted to digital. That was a monumentally bad assumption.
Todays spooky fact.......
Everyone at ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited knows well the story of Knut... and we have a very nice mosaic in our local town of Knutsford to celebrate the fact...as our town is named after Knut.
Simon ILFORD photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
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Originally Posted by Prof_Pixel
A very good insiders view point, add to that Matt King's comments about distribution and that's about right.
As an example of how little the sales and marketing departments at Kodak understand their product Kodak in the UK were sill trying to sell K64 to dealers after Dwayne's had ceased processing Kodachrome.
A major issue with Kodak films is that in many countries distribution of consumer colour films and minilab consumables has been quite good but with the loss of B&W papers distribution of B&W papers and chemistry became poor.
The advantage Ilford has is they sell their own products, film, paper & chemistry, and distribute for Paterson so a slaes team has more to sell a retail outlet.
Kodak's major disadvantage now is they sell to Office equipment suppliers/computer stores for their Digital consumer printers, minilabs etc, but if a minilab's using Fuji/Agaf etc materials then there's nothing they can sell them. They have very little to sell to an average camera store any longer.
Kodak still have good people in the coating division but the coporate structure lets them down badly.
I wonder how much business Kodak has lost to people blabbering on the Internet instead of taking pictures......I bet it is a ton.
"I'm the freak that shoots film. God bless the freaks!" ~ Mainecoonmaniac ~
For a lot of people, these threads are like therapy sessions.
Kodak's situation has been beyond its film customers control at any level for a long time now. It's fate is out of our hands. No matter how much or how little film we purchase, it won't matter. The forces buffeting Kodak are huge and far beyond us at this point. It's like seeing a massive storm throw a cargo ship up onto the rocks and beat it to pieces. All you can do is cringe, cover your face, and watch between your fingers. But you can't stop the storm. Or save the ship.
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Some of us have been extrememely frustrated trying to get Kodak films, in my case Tmax 100. For the past 6 years I've had to fly with all the films I thought I'd use before my next UK visit home when I run out I have to replace locally, postage from abroad has proved unreliable (50% of packages not arriving) or just not possible when your visiting countries for the first time.
Originally Posted by PKM-25
So I speak from first hand experience of finding it near impossible to buy the Tmax 100 & 400 films I required in Turkey, Chile, Peru etc. I've shot Tmax since it was released and after APX100 was discontinued in sheet film it became my only B&W film. I've found Ilford films everywhere and more surprisingly Foma so I had no real option other than switch.
It's no secret that when Kodak subcontracted distribution around the world they lost a lot of business. In the UK Sangers took over distribution and ended up going bankrupt, the new distributors are the ex-employees from the Kodak distribution department and they know what they are doing and are efficient.
The bottom line is if I walk into my nearest UK photo-store there's no Kodak products (analog or digital), but there are Ilford & Fuji.
Hey Dude, I said at the beginning it was my opinion.
Originally Posted by pbromaghin
It's not thinking that got us here. It's an orchestrated destruction, based on lies and manipulation that's been occurring since 1981.
I should add that personally my career and finances have been great. I have survived the turmoil based on skill, talent and awareness of my field and the ability to adapt.
I find myself in the top 4% of earners in America.
That does not mean I can't understand or care about the struggles of others.
Last edited by wblynch; 08-23-2012 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
- Bill Lynch