October 4, 2011

HOW EASTMAN KODAK lost its focus. “More than cheap film, the emergence of digital photography is what really killed Kodak’s business. Ironically, Kodak invented digital photography back in 1975. Unfortunately, for them, they have not been able to leverage the technology in a profitable way. Memory cards simply don’t offer the same kind of margins as film. Today, when people snap away on their smart-phones and post the pics to the Internet, there’s no money to be made for Kodak. . . . Was there mismanagement and complacency at Kodak? Probably. Was the acquisition of Sterling Drug for $5.1 billion a poor use of capital? Yes. But in the end, the company was mainly a victim of what economists call ‘creative destruction’: technology simply changed too much for Kodak to handle.”

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