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Semiconductor technology was well outside of Kodak’s core know-how and organizational capabilities.Even though the company invested lots of money in the basic research and manufacturing of solid-state semiconductor image sensors and developed some notable inventions (including the color filter array that is used on virtually every color image sensor), it had little hope of being a competitive volume supplier of image sensor components, and it was difficult for Kodak to offer something distinctive.
To begin with, senior leaders at Kodak were acutely aware of the approaching storm.
I know because I arrived at Kodak from Silicon Valley in mid-1997, just as digital photography was taking off.
Color film was an extremely complex product to manufacture.
The 60-inch “wide rolls” of plastic base material had to be coated with as many as 24 layers of sophisticated chemicals: photosensitizers, dyes, couplers, and other materials deposited at precise thicknesses while traveling at 300 feet per minute.
Management was constantly tracking the rate at which digital media was replacing film.
Term Papers On Kodak Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity Planning
But several factors made it exceedingly difficult for Kodak to shift gears and emerge with a consumer franchise that would be sustainable over the long term.Eastman Kodak is often mischaracterized as a company whose managers didn’t recognize soon enough that digital technology would decimate its traditional business.However, what really happened at Kodak is much more complicated — and instructive. is often cited as an iconic example of a company that failed to grasp the significance of a technological transition that threatened its business.Not only was a major technological change upending our competitive landscape; challenges were also affecting the ecosystem we operated in and our organizational model.Ultimately, refocusing the business with so many forces in motion proved to be impossible. Over the course of more than a century, Kodak and a small number of its competitors had developed and refined manufacturing processes that enabled consumers to capture and preserve images for a lifetime.After decades of being an undisputed world leader in film photography, Kodak built the first digital camera back in 1975.But then, the story goes, the company couldn’t see the fundamental shift (in its particular case, from analog to digital technology) that was happening right under its nose.Contrast this with Sony Corp., which entered the sensor business to support its electronic video recording business.As an electronics company, its organizational capabilities were far more aligned with what was needed to succeed. But Sony and other Japanese consumer electronic companies also had to adjust to the changes brought on by digital technology.Suppliers selling components offered the technology to anyone who would pay, and there were few entry barriers. A good engineer could buy all the building blocks and put together a camera.These building blocks abstracted almost all the technology required, so you no longer needed a lot of experience and specialized skills.