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  1. #11
    zsas's Avatar
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    Barry great point. They didnt move fast enough. Big companies can move fast if they have a Visionary. Look at Samsung, making hand over fist in chips, handsets, tablets, etc. They saw what they needed to do and did it (i.e Android handsets vs say Blackberry and Nokia using an OS that isnt going anywhere). Kodak? Humm, they do have their digital but didnt get a good enough strategy. Thats it. Look, they have one of the best sensors on the street, currently used by Lecia in the M9, but that is too thin of a cash stream when Sony is making a major % of digi sensors. They got hit too fast and hard w digi revolution and didnt diversify deep enough like say Samsung, Apple, and others that did a transformation in the right areas (good point Thomas, printing was prob the wrong path - prob cus it was too close to analog to be diverse enough).
    Last edited by zsas; 10-06-2011 at 05:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #12
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    For Kodak to have based its future on film--it would have had to accept that the company would contract as fast as the market. The Board and shareholders would have immediately gotten rid of the management--it couldn't have happened.


    This cannot be repeated enough.

    Big companies like Kodak are literally unable to cope with contraction. It is an impossibility. Actually that's the case with our whole economy...it is predicated on growth. There is no mechanism for coping with a contraction or even a steady-state.

    The same is true of government. It only grows, it never contracts, and there is no mechanism in place allowing any contraction of government. It can only grow. Just as a big company can only fail if its market contracts, a government will fail before it will contract.
    f/22 and be there.

  3. #13
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Interesting to think what would have happened with the company if it had been steadfast and resolute in its support for analog and largely rejected digital. I am the furthest from a geek but I never felt that Kodak was really ready (or even acclimated) towards digital. If, instead, Kodak had continued improving analog and re-invigorated darkroom (through extensive advertising), I wonder if they would not be in quite the dire straits they are in now. They ARE, as I speak, still improving color film and Hollywood is far from digital projection worldwide, let alone within the USA.

    Pehaps I am being overly naive here but wouldn't we be heralding the company now if they actually surpassed Freestyle Photo in sales by selling DIRECTLY to the public? That would have allowed greater flexibility with product introduction and an ability to react more quickly to changes in public demand. Witness the HOLGA and pinhole camera which CERTAINLY do NOTHING to improve technical quality. They became a genre, a sexy genre, that actually caught on. There really ARE a lot of analog users worldwide. And I have witnessed many very young folks who express a fascination for the whole concept of silver imaging. A 'new' genre, built upon the old, just might have caught on.

    Sometimes old technologies, with all the bugs ironed out, can not only supplement the new ones but also provide an extra dimension for expression. Make that expression uninhibited, available, legitimate, and competitive. - David Lyga
    This is just magical thinking. Please look at the trend line for film sales since 2000. Kodak did suffer from the collapse of analog but less so because of its other irons in the fire. It's not what it was and won't recover to pre-digital sales/production levels.

  4. #14
    zsas's Avatar
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    Bettersense, in a sense you are correct, but look at Apple, they contracted huge in the late 80's, it was a visionary that grew them back to today's massive company. I wonder if they laid off staff and then transformed? I bet so? I could be wrong.

  5. #15
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    I think Kodak just screwed up with too little too late.

    AFAIK Kodak invented the whole digital imaging field, much like the Swiss invented the quartz watch.

    Then both let someone else run away with the prize.

    As pointed out, no visionary.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  6. #16
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    Hasselblad, Pentax, and others source CCDs made by Kodak for their digital gear.

    It's not "digital" as a big umbrella term that's some harbinger of disaster.

  7. #17
    zsas's Avatar
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    Athiril - I believe they 'got digital', just marketed to the wrong camera makers to make their sensors. They support, as you say, Hasselbad, Pentax and I beleive Leica, all very niche makers, when they should have tried for the 80% or so, i.e., Nikon/Canon who use (I think) Sony or someone else...

  8. #18
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    I think Canon makes their own.

    I wonder how much film they supply to the Indian movie industry.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    Interesting to think what would have happened with the company if it had been steadfast and resolute in its support for analog and largely rejected digital.
    Kodak would have been bankrupt 10 years ago. 99.9% of the consumer market has gone digital for the very sound economic reasons of cost, convenience, and consistency. The film market was obliterated by the instant gratification of digital, and more recently, the near-instantaneous sharing of the media.

    No company with so many shareholders, stakeholders, and creditors can survive such a catastrophic revenue drop. Capital financial systems cannot allow invested capital to perish out of steadfastness. The market had spoken with the votes of millions of consumers. A digital camera adds value with each additional photo taken; a film camera adds cost. Economically film cannot compete.

    Film survives in cinema because there is less need for instant gratification, and an aversion to sharing (preserve capital investment in IP).

    This is not to say that film has no value as analog processes have their own aesthetic. However the marginal cost to achieve that aesthetic is now substantially greater for film making the medium non-competitive for casual snapshots or high volume shooting.

    Kodak knew this, predicted this, planned for a switch to digital but botched the execution. If they had been better at the digital end (like Canon or Nikon or Olympus) then the film end could have been preserved with less financial baggage from the mothership. This is the crux of the problem.

  10. #20
    zsas's Avatar
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    tomalophicon - Back in the 80's or 90's maybe Kodak needed to sell Canon and Nikon their ability to make a better sensor? I believe they invented the amazing sensor tech (plus tons of patents that Apple, et al are all looking to buy), Kodak just couldnt sell it and thus the IBM syndrome (i.e. IBM and the PC of the 80's lost to Dell, etc)

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