my take on Kodak downfall

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Dale, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Dale

    Dale Guest

    having worked there

    consumer film was where the big money was

    too often consumer systems were developed and then a professional system
    was hacked out of it

    as opposed to developing professional systems and watering them down for
    consumer applications

    would have taken some quick work too keep up with the consumer demand,
    but Kodak was big enough to keep up with that I think

    then there is the general USA/UN/WTO issue of fair trade versus free
    trade allowing cheap imports from places with less consideration of
    workers and environmentalism, etc.

    but Kodak had plants in Mexico after NAFTA, so they should have been
    able to invest that consumer film money better I think
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
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  2. Dale

    Guest Guest

    the key is the word *was*.

    although kodak pioneered digital photography, they completely failed to
    manage the transition to digital and went bankrupt.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
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  3. Dale

    Dale Guest

    it isn't too late for Kodak, it might make the investments in digital
    across the imaging board, staarting with their focus on commercial and
    prepress labs and going to other focuses

    might be some hybrid stuff out their too, they could use/license
    intellectual property

    maybe even some analog stuff that they could use/license intellectual
    property too

    they might not be a propreitary closed system dealer in all areas, but
    starting with open standards they might be an open systems player, and
    eventually perhaps develop themselves into intellectual property for ne
    propreitary systems

    I think they should start with capture though, professional
    cameras/lenses lighting, etc.
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
  4. Dale

    Bowser Guest

    There was a story going around about the Kodak CEO making a statement
    about the digital threat: "how can we stop this digital thing?"

    Or something like that. If true, well...

    Kodak's management screwed the pooch. Some of the earliest digital
    SLRs were Kodak conversions. Kodak sold the first full frame DSLR!
    Granted, it wasn't great, but they had the tech and just let it die.
    No excuses, this is a business school case study now.
    Bowser, Feb 10, 2014
  5. Dale

    Paul Ciszek Guest

    The second mouse gets the cheese.
    Paul Ciszek, Feb 10, 2014
  6. Reminds me of working for Bell Labs. They invented the transistor, for
    goodness sake. Yet they could not manufacture them very well. I got the
    ones I needed when working there, from Philco, RCA, and Texas
    Instruments. Raytheon made them too. Once I absolutely had to get a
    Western Electric point contact transistor. A guy I knew at a nearby
    military research and development site stole a bunch for me. Inside the
    company, none were available.

    Xerox PARC pretty much invented the first Apple computer but management
    was afraid it would bring on the paperless society (remember that) and
    they were in the paper-copying business, so they refused to go on with it.

    Corporations have a lot to answer for.
    Jean-David Beyer, Feb 10, 2014
  7. Dale

    Martin Brown Guest

    Which was surprising as anyone who tried Fuji film never went back!

    Kodak astronomical emulsions and plates were specialist products but
    largely out evolved by digital imaging and ever more sensitive CCDs.
    They had too many MBAs.
    The core patent for consumer single shot colour was by Kodak employee
    Bryce Bayer and still bears his name. Obituary shows how far advanced
    Kodak was along the digital imaging line. My first very early digital
    camera was a Kodak DC-120 which was useful for scientific work as you
    could access the raw Bayer array. Note the date of the patent 1976!!!
    (They had a phenomenal technical lead at one point)

    Even then they demonstrated a tremendous facility for shooting their
    foot by releasing a similarly named DC-210 shortly afterwards.

    My dealer was convinced he'd be stuck with the earlier and in some ways
    better DC-120 so I got it at a knock down price. It was quite a cool
    looking thing rather like a StarTrek tricorder and hammered its
    batteries drawing nearly 2A out of a set of 4x AAs worst case.

    But it was a damn good camera and served me well as backup and to do
    various web photos even with its ~1Mpixel limitations.

    A bit like the later Kodak launch confusing professional grade PhotoCD
    scanning .PCD with the newer poxy consumer grade PictureCD with the same
    acronym. You only got caught out once and went and bought your own
    scanner. Shame as PhotoCD was a very good service until they ruined it,
    but you could not afford to take the chance of getting a disk with toy
    low quality consumer grade scans half the time.
    Martin Brown, Feb 10, 2014
  8. Dale

    Guest Guest

    it's too late for kodak.
    that's about all they have now. they should sell their patents to
    someone and call it a day.
    what could they possibly do in that space that existing players haven't
    done? nothing.

    kodak never made cameras that were any good, although some were quite
    popular such as the instamatic.

    the kodak dslr hybrids were retrofitted canon/nikon cameras.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  9. Dale

    Guest Guest

    yep. kodak pioneered digital photography and knew it one day would
    replace film, but management didn't want to do anything to impact the
    revenue from film. very stupid.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  10. Dale

    Guest Guest

    photocd was doomed from the start. it was proprietary and kodak was
    restrictive on licensing it. few companies supported it and never
    gained traction. plus, nobody wanted to buy a special player to watch
    photos on a tv.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  11. Sometimes the third or fourth.

    But that's a good analogy, the computer mouse didn't take off till the
    Macintosh in 1984, when it had been demonstrated in 1968 (so it had to
    exist before that) and work done on it at PARC.

    Michael Black, Feb 10, 2014
  12. Dale

    Dale Guest

    should never be used, an XYZ related array should be used
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
  13. Dale

    Guest Guest

    what is an xyz related array??

    bayer is the best solution that exists today and will be for the
    foreseeable future.

    foveon's layered approach has been a disaster.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  14. Dale

    Martin Brown Guest

    The raw data is what you actually measured at each sensor site - there
    is *nothing* more fundamental than that. You are showing your ignorance.

    We can conclude that the reason Kodak failed was because they were daft
    enough to employ people like you and the other fuckwits in marketing
    that managed to launch products almost simultaneously with names that
    were anagrams, homophones or synonyms of each other.

    Kodak at one time had world leading digital technology but chose to
    squander their advantage to milk the analogue film cash cow until dry.
    They succeeded but the cash cow died as a direct result.
    Martin Brown, Feb 10, 2014
  15. Dale

    Martin Brown Guest

    At the time it was very good if you needed existing material digitised.
    I agree. That TV player part was dead in the water. The PCD file format
    and the archive quality of the media was for its time very innovative.

    I suspect that without the train wreck that was PictureCD the
    professional scanning service would have made it at least in the UK. The
    technical quality was excellent and painless until they started randomly
    returning crappy PictureCDs when you needed PhotoCDs.
    Martin Brown, Feb 10, 2014
  16. Dale

    Guest Guest

    photocd might have been innovative for the time but it was poorly
    designed and poorly marketed and quickly obsoleted.

    the clueless management had no idea what to do with it.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  17. Dale

    Alan Browne Guest

    IMO they should have broken up the company into oldco (Kodak) and newco
    (DigKo). Use oldco to milk the brand in film, paper, chemicals and
    related products and the newco, completely divorced from oldco, to
    invest cash (from oldco and IPO) into new digital oriented imaging.
    Eventually oldco would quietly wind down while newco developed new
    markets without brand confusion.

    That later bit could include new sensors, camera systems, printers,
    inks, paper, processing, etc.

    Instead they took an approach that underserved the milkable market
    (FujiFilm have soaked that up by diligently serving it) and failed to
    leverage their R&D in digital markets.
    Alan Browne, Feb 10, 2014
  18. Dale

    Dale Guest

    for the record I worked in R&D as a systems engineer

    it really wasn't the money, it was the people

    Rochester's nickname is "smug-town"

    existing connection circles prevailed over performance and even
    organizational responsibility

    there were all kinds of groups vying too do the new stuff

    film had the money, film people got the careers

    remember this is entertainment technology careers for the most part and
    entertaining work as opposed to necessity work, fun prevailed too

    the last job I had was hybrid systems integration on the film side

    we couldn't have the word integration in the name of our group, since
    there was an equipment group was responsible for integration,, but we
    got the budgets and careers, while the equipment people had "jobs" doing
    not much

    if it weren't an entertainment business that didn't really matter too
    much, in much cases, the money and performance would have prevailed

    there is your business case study

    this was a publicly held company, public means socialism whether you
    think so or not, and the public suffered, there needs to be better law
    for socialized business

    private companies can set pecking orders however you want

    socialized companies have a trust, and pecking orders other than by
    performance should be called anti-trust, in fact I can't think of any
    other anti-trust that is worse
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
  19. Dale

    Guest Guest

    which is why they went bankrupt.

    they knew digital was going to replace film, but they refused to let go
    of the film business.

    had they invested in digital, like their competitors did, they'd still
    be a player.
    Guest, Feb 10, 2014
  20. Dale

    Dale Guest

    want some verification?

    they tried George Fisher from Motorola as CEO with a BIG pay to shake
    things up, he left

    they tried Dan Carp from equipment side to shake up film probably, I
    don't know where he went

    might want to hear what these two have to say about their experience
    Dale, Feb 10, 2014
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