Thursday, August 18, 2011
This news is a reminder that no organization, no matter how powerful, is safe. The idea that Eastman Kodak is only worth the value of its patents is mind-boggling. Kodak, of course, invented popular photography, supplied the film for the first movies, introduced color into pictures and led the way in consumer marketing for over a hundred years. Then, in a short span of 20 years a technology Kodak created, digital imaging, destroyed the company. Kodak has not been able to find an economic model that is as profitable as film. It is sad to watch the company writhe in death-throes. One almost hopes that another firm would buy it and put the company out of its misery, but who would want it except for its patents? As Kodak goes, so goes Rochester, the city that Kodak dominated for so long. Until Kodak disappears, there is hope, but it is less by the year. Meanwhile, other CEOs can look at the hulk and remind themselves that they too are only a few steps from where Kodak has fallen.