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Sad thing is that Kodak invented the digital camera. At the time the sales of the film for their Kodak camera's were doing so well they decided to shelve the project instead of jeopardize those sales. (That is how I understand it anyway)

20 years or so later everyone has a digital camera and all Kodak has are some patents.




Another major issue is that they were late to the party with their digital cameras. Once all smartphones had decent cameras, the niche they carved in easy to use snapshooter cameras became displaced while those companies that focused on digital SLRs boomed.

A smaller SLR segment boomed as the costs of distribution fell due to the internet, rewarding content creators while phone cameras becoming just as good and a lot easier to use for the typical snapshooter.

It almost reads like a case study in "Innovator's Dilemma."


I live in Rochester, and have had the chance to speak with several people who worked for Kodak (and some still do) about this issue. The company has obscene profit margins from film, I've heard quotes of around 20% and higher, and there was a belief that film would always be around. However, many people within the company knew film had a limited lifespan and that with the advent of personal computers, it was only a matter of time before digital took over. They also knew there was no way Kodak was going to be able to make the same profit margins on digital as it did on film. With that in mind, it made it a hard sell to get leadership to really focus on the long term..


"The company has obscene profit margins from film, I've heard quotes of around 20%"

If you are talking gross margin that sounds closer to a marginally profitable product than "obscene."


Then maybe it was the right decision(for the company at least).




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