Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kodak Moment A Time To Remember

Eastman Kodak Company used to be the king of all things related to photographic equipment and photo imaging. When I was growing up in the 70s, the company controlled 90% of the photographic film sales, a shining example of America's role as the world's leader in manufacturing and cutting edge technology. Its catch phrases like "Kodak moment" and the company jingle, "Times of Your Life," later recorded as a popular hit song by Paul Anka, became part of the American lexicon. Today, the more than 120-year-old company founded in Rochester, New York by George Eastman filed for bankruptcy, sinking under the burden of billions of dollars in debt. It's ability to emerge from bankruptcy as a viable business is very much in doubt according to Forbes. Does any one else share the view that the only good memories of this country left are those we left behind long ago? My favorite president, Ronald Reagan, was fond of saying that "America's best days are ahead of us." I used to belive it without hesitation. No more.


Downtown Indy said...

Kodak made a major flub in the early days of digital photography. They thought it was a novelty or something and while dabbling in digital, remained primarily entrenched in the film worled until they were too far behind to catch up.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Ditto Xerox.

Vox Populi said...

The ironic thing about Kodak and its relationship to digital photography is that they created the first digital camera.

Indy Rob said...

Blaming Kodak's failure on a single, mythical early decision to avoid digital cameras oversimplifies the problems. Kodak failed to do any sort of planning if the market for conventional chemical and film processing disappeared.
This is not a single decision but rather an unwillingness over a number of years to avoid making changes.
The same thing is happening with manufacturers of incandescent light bulbs, they failed to recognize that the market is for light (not in particular how the light is produced) , that the incandescent bulb is in-efficient and that they should be developing other products. I am not saying that the U.S is not being heavy handed by the energy regulations, but more that manufacturers of light bulbs should have been developing better products rather than finding themselves selling buggy whips when cars replaced horses.