How the mighty fall…?

Kodak Prosper S10 inkjet print heads

286 x served & 69 x viewed

It’s remark­able that reports in the gen­er­al media — includ­ing the numer­ous stor­ies put­ting a gra­tu­it­ous, how-the-mighty-have-fallen spin on the trav­ails of Kodak — have had almost noth­ing to say about the con­di­tion or even the exist­ence of its graph­ic com­mu­nic­a­tions product lines.
Patrick Henry, What­They­Think, Janu­ary 20, 2012.

Oh yes, Kodak missed the oppor­tun­ity to prosper from their innov­a­tions in digit­al ima­ging and the digit­al cam­era. So how come they didn’t see what was com­ing? I guess they were just too stuck in their old busi­ness mod­el of mak­ing film that had made them for­tunes over dec­ades. When you’re feel­ing com­fort­able with the old and the old still brings in some money, it seems impossible to look up and get a grasp of the long view. At least not without tak­ing help from a out­sider that isn’t trapped in the present.

Anoth­er sim­il­ar example is Nokia, who were so cer­tain on their own tech­no­logy and design that they ignored the iPhone as just a geeky gad­get with no com­mer­cial poten­tial. Frank Zappa and the Moth­ers of Inven­tion met a sim­il­ar reac­tion from a record com­pany dir­ect­or – no com­mer­cial poten­tial. The favor­ite act of that record com­pany later ended up doing back­ground singing for the Moth­ers!

In their time, Kodak used some of their money to become the main sup­port­er of the Col­lege of Ima­ging Arts and Sci­ences at the Rochester Insti­tute of Tech­no­logy, and the RIT School of Print Media. This might have been a unplanned foresight of their more recent focus on digit­al pro­duc­tion print­ing sys­tems. Rumors say that Kodak will launch a news­pa­per ver­sion of the Prosper inkjet press that will run at 300 meters/min and will be able to print the impress­ive equi­val­ent of 3,098 64-page tabloid newspaper/hour. Iron­ic­ally, this may be anoth­er mis­take, put­ting their hope to anoth­er industry that is reluct­ant to under­stand­ing the need for change. Most news­pa­per com­pan­ies just don’t get it! It seems how­ever like Kodak is mak­ing moves towards oth­er busi­ness areas with­in print­ing and pub­lish­ing, like magazines.

You can read more about Kodak’s reor­gan­iz­a­tion on the web. Under the head­ing Lead­er­ship Insights you can find two inform­at­ive videos.

  • Chair­man & CEO Ant­o­nio Perez dis­cusses Kodak’s restruc­tur­ing
  • Pres­id­ent & COO Philip Faraci answers top ques­tions on cus­tom­ers’ minds

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