image via Flickr Creative Commons
According to the LA Times today, Kodak—once the kingpin of all things photography: Instamatic cameras! The first digital cameras! Film! Do you remember film?—is losing money at a rate of “more than $70 million a month” and that “Chapter 11 must lurk just around the corner.”
So how does a company that once dominated the field make such a plunging fall from grace? Well, it isn’t all that perplexing: they didn’t adapt in time or in the right ways to the onset of digital. As Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times points out, “Kodak…markets a process technology; and as the chemistry of film has yielded to digital electronics, consumer demand for Kodak’s traditional products has evaporated.”
That isn’t to say that we should completely write off any kind of future for Kodak, but that they confront a different type of obstacle than other declined companies with historical American and global significance. Unlike American car-maker GM, who despite its inefficiency “still manufactures a product with a huge market demand,” Kodak’s former market-dominating expertise has been deemed all but obsolete by digital processing, and yes of course, by the camera phone (which ironically now plagues the digital camera market ).
(via LA Times)