I also think we need to remember that Kodak didn't think digital would take off till 2020 or so, and probably thought they had a lot more time to make changes. Recent article on Facebook said that if a billion can join in 24 months, a billion can leave in 24 months; the speed of which a product is discarded or rendered obsolete can be amazing.
There really is a lot of other threads and posts on this topic; generally when researching, you gather data then conclusions. Your search seems to be looking for conclusions (coming from a life-long student, you won't learn as much without doing the actual research since secondary sources are never as useful as primary sources).
I'm not sure where the 2020 date comes from; it certainly isn't something we talked about in the '90s.
Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler
I think the one bit of disruptive technology that really changed things was the rapid development and acceptance of smart phones that replaced consumer still and video cameras.
Fred, a Kodak Technological Forecasting group (capital letters internally :D ) decided in the late 80s that digital would not become an important imaging method until about 2020. I disagreed with that and went to CPD management with my opinion only to be rebuffed. Message me for details.
Thanks PE - I had that date in my head fairly firmly but could not recall the source of my information. I also recall one of your "Inside Analogue Photography" podcasts where you discuss how asking analogue film technicians what digital is going to do is like asking engineers what film technicians are going to do - it's not their area of expertise and as such, their opinions are not valid in the long term.
Those of us in PPD (late '80s/early '90s) who were working on digital projects weren't looking for it to take that long to happen.
Everything considered, it took about 20 years to have a really major effect on the Company (1990- 2010)
Fred, the company policy was made based on that Technological Forecasting group even though most everyone disagreed, as you say. They believed that it would take over 40 years! (1988 - 2020 or thereabouts). The problem was that top management agreed with the forecast and "sat" on any dissenting opinion.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
That is certainly true. My PPD boss understood; things MIGHT have been different if they didn't get rid of him.
Kodak should have legally defended the concept of "photography" against "digital picture-making".
By winning a court case against "digital" claimants asserting their product is "photography" Kodak would create two separate markets and be able to sell in both. And the case would only have to be run (and won) once in the United States to establish an enduring and persuasive precedent.
There is a stunning present day example of the power of such litigation. For more than a hundred years any wine producer in the world turning out dry white bubbly wine could label it Champagne. And the grand Champagne houses in Europe were hurting all the way. Now with the power of the EU behind them these original Champagne producers will relentlessly sue any misappropriation of the name Champagne. The result of litigation or threatened litigation is that nobody anywhere labels non-authentic bubbly as Champage. Ok, there may be a few Californian hold-outs still bottling "champagne" but they run the risk of being thought of as being of lesser repute.
Imagine a world in which re-labelling "digital" as "photography" would be considered dodgy and deceitful. For a few million bucks Kodak might have secured such a world. It may still be possible.
kodak got to where they are for alot of different reasons.
one that i am kind of peeved about is they didn't sell master rolls
to other people so they could cut them and package+resell them
for people who shoot sheet film and who don't want to wait around
for a "special order" to get a box of 7x11 or 2.5x3.5" sheet film,
or something crazy big for a pinhole /camera obscura.
there are lots of reasons why they are in the place they are in today ..
and hindsight is always 20/20 ...
vive la difference !
Originally Posted by Maris
LOL. Electronic imaging was around long before Kodak - just think of the space program images and video cameras. Digital was a logical extension.
Kodak could no more have stopped the "digital picture-making' tide than King Canute could stop the tide.
(Canute (or Cnut or Knut), a Dane who ruled England from 1015 to 1035, as well as Denmark, Norway, Parts of sweden, Pomerania and Schleswig, was a down-to-earth man anoyed by flattering courtiers who tried to tell him that he was all-powerful. To demonstrate that he was not, he had a throne placed on the seashore, sat in it, ordered the tide to go back, and duly got his feet wet.)
When technology develops to a certain point, there is no putting it back in the bottle.