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Kodak Bankruptcy? Very sad...
Old 01-05-2012, 10:33 AM   #1
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Kodak Bankruptcy? Very sad...

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Was it a failure of imagination? Was it entrenched convictions and provincial thinking? Was it one restructuring too far?

For Kodak—perhaps the iconic American brand of the 20th century—it was all those things.

In an age when global competition has radically altered business overnight, when companies have had to be fleet of foot, Eastman Kodak was the unblinking deer in the headlights. Wednesday, the extent of the roadkill became fully apparent, with the news that Kodak is readying its papers for Chapter 11.

This company failed long ago. Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., claims to have invented digital photography but ceded that market to competitors such as Nikon, Sony and Canon. It hung onto its identity, film, and watched it fade before its eyes.
Kodak's Long, Slow Slide - Yahoo! Finance
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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It seems every year they could be found on a list of companies most likely to fail. Sounds like it was a long-time coming. Given that, it's a wonder that while everyone else (authors of afore-mentioned lists) could see it happening, Kodak themselves couldn't find a way to turn things around.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #3
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My first digital camera, bought in 2002, was a Kodak. It was junk. I never gave them another try.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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During my working years I visited the Kodak campus a few times. The fixed assets, i.e. buildings and equipment, were mind blowing. The company, as originally established by Mr. Kodak, took very good care of the employee. They had great facilities (even a movie theater) on the grounds, excellent pensions, and were professional. One day I remember having pictures printed from my first 5MP digital camera, an HP, and thinking how revolutionary it was. No film! And then I thought about all those huge buildings in Eastman, NY filled with huge machines making film that, from that moment on for me, would not be needed anymore. It was symbolic of the transformation about to take place in a new digital age. I have a closet full of excellent camera's...that take film. I know they'll never be used again. Sad in a way. And certainly sad for those fine people I knew at Kodak. I wonder if their pensions are protected?
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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"You invented a digital camera? Do you know what that'll do to our film sales? Stop that digital nonsense right away!"
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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Simply put, Kodak was much too late to the party and much too big to quickly adapt to the increasing reality that their flagship products were becoming a niche item for hobbyists and professionals.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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Weird really, because Kodak were the first to produce a digital SLR. Back in the 1990's the models were monochrome only, very expensive, and just a few MP resolution, but photo journalists used them.

How on earth did they lose that lead?
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Weird really, because Kodak were the first to produce a digital SLR. Back in the 1990's the models were monochrome only, very expensive, and just a few MP resolution, but photo journalists used them.

How on earth did they lose that lead?
I suspect they may have been among the first buggy whip makers to start manufacturing automobiles, but never really retooled their business model to assume that buggy whips would largely become obsolete and didn't go "all in" (or almost all-in) to the digital revolution the way other manufacturers did.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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Good tune, thanks!
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #12
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It's a bankruptcy, folks....they're not dead yet. Probably on thier last chance, though. I believe they have the technology and there are non-consumer markets to be sold into. It will take a complete transformation for them to succeed.

Think of IBM that invented the PC but has gotten out of that business and now they make money mostly with services.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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(Reuters) - George Eastman is best known as the inventor of photographic film and founder of Eastman Kodak Co, but his century-old legacy of entrepreneurship now rides on the lesser-known Eastman Chemical Co.

That was hardly the case in 1994, when Eastman Kodak spun off its chemicals business to help pay down debt. At that time, Kodak was still a colossus in photography whereas Eastman Chemical was a small player very much in its parent's shadow.

But because of a sea change in digital technology and different approaches to business, Eastman Chemical's stock market value has since increased 71 percent to $5.5 billion today, while Kodak's has plummeted 99 percent to about $185 million.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #14
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I like the free Kodak EasyShare software. I have several thousand digital pictures on my PC organized by Kodak Easyshare.

I use Kodak EasyShare as a supplement to my written daily journal. I can organize the pictures by the day the picture was taken as well as by album name. This may be as feature of many photo software programs, but I'm used to Kodak EasyShare. Also, I can back up to and/or order stuff from Kodak Gallery, Kodak's online website.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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When I was in business school in 1999, one of the business cases we studied was about the disruptive technology of digital photography. Based on what various companies were doing, we concluded back then that Kodak was toast. It was in denial and was not doing the R & D to find a niche in the new digital world. I am surprised that it has taken this long to reach Chapter 11.
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Old 01-13-2012, 04:05 PM   #16
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Tunnel vision , failure to embrace change, everybody I knew in Rochester NY saw it coming for years. It's kind of unbelievable.
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Old 01-14-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
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It is always sad to see companies completely miss a core technology revolution in their sector. I recall typewriters, minicomputers, telex machines, 8-track, copying machines, cassette tapes, Fax machines, diskettes, mainframes, tube TVs, Beta/VHS, pagers, wired landline phones...all in 30 years!
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Does anyone know if Kodak would be the kind of company the Bain Capital (currently in the news) would have been involved with? I have no experience or knowledge in how Bain and other simular companies make their $. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #19
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At this point, a private equity firm would only buy them if the breakup value exceeded the price by a significant factor. I think Kodak is beyond that stage now. They have ridden down the curve far too long on hope.

It is ironic that huge successful companies have the resources to outlast major workouts. The key thing is to be able to identify the next few and sell them short. Sony? Ericsson? Nokia? Vonage? Netflix? Lexmark?

There is a long list of the potential suspects. Some get bought up and absorbed. Like Motorola...
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #20
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Kodak refused to innovate, and clung to the film business. The next firm on the chopping block is RIMM.............
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