By ASIM QURESHI
October 18, 2017
“Kodak only became serious about digital cameras in the early 2000’s. By then it was way too little, way too late.”
Kodak was founded in 1880. By the mid 1970s it accounted for 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in the US. In the 1980s it was one of the ten most valuable brands in the world. In 1996 it hit nearly US$16bn in revenues.
In 2012 it declared bankruptcy.
At the advent of the digital camera, in 1990-ish, the chances were that Kodak were going to be in trouble because existing incumbents have a terrible track record of adopting new technologies.
Kodak even invented the digital camera in 1975. They kept quiet about it!
In 1981 their head of market intelligence put out a report saying that while digital cameras had the potential to replace film, Kodak had 10 years before it’d take off and so to prepare for it.
In fact, it was the mid 1990s when digital cameras took off. By then Kodak had done next to nothing – even though they knew this was coming.
Kodak only became serious about digital cameras in the early 2000’s. By then it was way too little, way too late.
And perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve found their digital cameras so distinctly ugly, as if they’ve screaming to the world that they’ve gone into digital cameras begrudgingly (which they have!).
Meanwhile, their nemesis, Fujifilm, got their act together by embracing digital cameras earlier and diversifying into other businesses.
So it certainly didn’t need to end this way…