For many, many years, this company name was widely known. The name was synonymous with picture taking. They revolutionized an industry. Then things began to change and film cameras were no longer in the hands of every person on the planet. (insert violins playing sadly here…) We’d gone – gasp – digital! And Kodak was facing a precipice from which there might be no survival…
There were plans to move to digital consumer cameras, but the cash Kodak made on traditional photography made it complacent. There always seemed to be time. By 2001, even before smartphone cameras, film sales started to fall by 20 to 30 percent every year.
Then came bankruptcy filing. Most people don’t even realize Kodak is still in business. But, quietly, they’ve been working to resuscitate their corpus from its labored breathing and they are looking at tech they shelved in their past to move them forward.
In a warren of basement labs, some of the 300 scientists and engineers who work for Mr. Taber [a veteran of 34 years with Kodak] are studying nanoparticle wonder inks, cheap sensors that can be embedded in packaging to indicate whether meats or medicines have spoiled, and touch screens that could make smartphones cheaper.
What happens after a tech company is left for dead but the people left behind refuse to give up the fight? At Kodak the answer is to dig deep into a legacy of innovation in the photography business and see if its remaining talent in optics and chemistry can be turned into new money in other industries.
Although the article I’ve linked here is lengthy, this is really worth reading – take the time to do more than a quick scan. Consider what lessons you can learn from this article. And can you apply those lessons to help yourself and others achieve a Smarter Planet?
So…although their logo may have evolved over time, the company itself didn’t keep up. The surviving employees are hoping that they can change all that now and re-emerge as a well-known and respected brand once more.
NEW Students for a Smarter Planet Award
One more option to get funds for your school: use IBM’s new cloud platform, IBM Bluemix™, to write an application to improve the world in some way that you make freely available. The app needs to be related to any smarter planet theme, and should be connected to your school work – helping to build your skills. Write it, make it available, and apply for $1,000 award for your school to use to celebrate your achievement.