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 to have seen its market position devastated

 by technological change, the shifting tastes

 of their consumers and economic turmoil.


  As DAN ATKINSON  reported on the  -


"It may have failed to foresee the explosion of digital photography

– ironic, given that it has been credited with inventing the digital

camera in the 1970s. It may have sought refuge from the decline

in film photography in businesses where its understanding was

not perfect, including medical diagnostics.

And its recent strategy of trying to sell digital imaging patents, 

while  pursuing intellectual property lawsuits to raise cash to expand in consumer and 

commercial printers, has yet to deliver the goods.


But Kodak is not alone in its woes and there are lessons to be drawn from how others

responded to the march of history. Britain’s Rank Group, for example, has for more than

70 years been in and out of film-making, photocopiers, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs,

holiday camps – it owned Butlins – cinema ownership and radio and television making.

Today it is a gaming company involved in bingo, casinos and phone and internet

bookmaker Blue Square

During more than a century of existence, Finland’s Nokia progressed from rubber

products to electricity supply, conventional  telephone services and a powerful position

in mobile communication devices. Today it is fighting to retain its position after

smartphones supplanted mobile phones in popularity.

Chris Roebuck, visiting professor of transformational leadership at Cass Business School

in London, said:

The problem with sitting on a dominant market position is that you may continue

to deliver what the market has ceased  to demand and you end up behind the curve'

Elsewhere in high technology, Hewlett-Packard has stayed on top of the computer game

by constantly refining its products and activities, while Apple became a global giant 

by transforming itself from a computer firm into a supplier of must-have electronics.


A neat trick involves a business remaining best known for its original activity while

mining more profitable areas. At Reuters, now Thomson Reuters, the news agency

revenues are overshadowed by those from its financial information and market services


Not every tale ends happily. Bookshop Borders was pummelled by online book sales and

e-books and went bust. Most of furniture chain Habitat went into administration last

year. Other victims include Focus DIY, Oddbins and Woolworths.

Polaroid, once also a big name in photography, saw its instant-picture business brought

to its knees by the digital age. Its last plant closed in 2008 as it filed for bankruptcy.

Former employees have brought Polaroid back to life. It is a niche product, but that

has to be better than having no product at all."

How the story would end for Kodak was not clear then but the Eastman

Kodak Company has finally gained permission from a US judge to emerge

from the purgatory of the last 18 months in bankruptcy.


Views: 71

Comment by Michael Grove on March 19, 2016 at 10:36

The fact that here we are, barely 3 years later, considering the application of an IDEA of SURVIVAL,

on behalf of an organisation as established and famous as Facebook - when that very self-same

IDEA of SURVIVAL was presented to KODAK and discarded by them because of their lack of

Corporate Vision; and many moons before that rejected by Encyclopaedia Britannica, following

a visit from the whole Executive Board to my business in the Old Barn in Tackley - IS testament

enough to the concept that GOOD DESIGN IDEAS never date if they are rooted in NATURE.

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