The idea of change can be a frightening thought. Many of us would like to avoid changes, no matter how big or minor they are.
Change, on the other hand, is an inevitable element of anyone’s development and, for the most part, should be welcomed.
It affects all elements of life, but embracing it in one’s profession can make a huge difference in one’s personal development!
As the world keeps moving forward, staying with the past technologies or ideas can only lead to failures in life and careers.
The bankruptcy of Eastman Kodak company explains as much.
Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak)
The Eastman Kodak Company is an American public company that manufactures a variety of goods based on its historical roots in analogue photography.
The corporation is based in Rochester, New York, and is registered in the state of New Jersey.
Kodak serves businesses all over the world with packaging, functional printing, graphic communications, and professional services.
Print Systems, Enterprise Inkjet Systems, Micro 3D Printing and Packaging, Software and Solutions, and Consumer and Film are the company’s primary business segments. It is best known for producing film photography.
Kodak dominated the photographic film industry for most of the twentieth century.
The company’s popularity was such that the phrase “Kodak moment” was coined to represent a personal occasion that deserved to be preserved for posterity.
How Ignorance Leads To Failures!
It’s unusual for a firm to design a product that has the potential to disrupt an industry and then abandon it. Kodak, on the other hand, did just that.
One of the first digital cameras was patented by Kodak in 1977.
However, because film brought them so much money, they decided to concentrate only on film and film cameras. Despite the market’s shift toward digital, Kodak remained committed to film.
The rest of the story is simple, Kodak’s refusal to change with the changing industry led to its downfall.
Even after they knew what the rest of the world had known for years, that digital photography is the future of photography!
They continued to focus on the incorrect product!
Kodak spent $500 million developing and marketing the Advantix film and camera system in 1996.
Have you ever heard of it before?
No? There’s a reason for this.
It was a digital camera, so users could preview their photos, but they still had to buy film and have prints developed.
Kodak couldn’t let go of its desire to be the industry’s best. The entire premise of digital cameras was demolished as a result of this.
Kodak ultimately never recovered and filed for bankruptcy in 2012!
Kodak began focusing on digital photography and digital printing as part of a turnaround strategy and aimed to earn money through aggressive patent litigation.
Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in January 2012.
Kodak said shortly after that it will quit making digital cameras, pocket video cameras, and digital picture frames and instead concentrate on the corporate digital imaging business.
Under an arrangement with Kodak, JK Imaging Ltd continues to sell digital cameras under the Kodak name.
As part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy, Kodak said in August 2012 that it will sell its photography film, commercial scanners, and kiosk operations, but not its motion picture film assets.
The Court approved funds for Kodak to exit from bankruptcy by mid-2013 in January 2013.
Under the names Intellectual Ventures and RPX Corporation, Kodak sold many of its patents for $525 million to a consortium of companies that included Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe Systems, and HTC.
The corporation emerged from bankruptcy on September 3, 2013, after shedding its huge legacy liabilities and exiting key companies.
Kodak Alaris, a separate firm owned by the UK-based Kodak Pension Plan, presently includes Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging.
A Lesson To Be Learnt!
Had Kodak realized that times change and technology advances, so do people’s view of it.
Despite producing the first self-contained digital camera, Kodak began to struggle financially in the late 1990s as a result of a fall in photographic film sales and a delayed transition to digital photography.
Even though the company has been increasing its efforts to focus on the right products, returning to its former glory is next to impossible.
The lesson the case study teaches us is
“Adapting to market demands and looking ahead to long-term forecasts are critical. Prepare for the future now, rather than waiting until it’s too late!”