Without continuous innovation and a vision to be market driving, an entire industry can quickly become irrelevant.
Take for instance the plight of Kodak, which I write about in my book. Until a few years ago, Kodak was sitting on top of the world. Or so it seemed. Founded in 1892, Kodak was an iconic American company whose brand was recognized around the world and synonymous with the market segment it dominated: film photography. Things started quickly to unravel around 2003. Kodak was caught sleeping as the world transitioned from film to digital photography. The company severely misjudged the speed and impact of this transition and its lifestyle implications. Coupled with the rapid convergence around personal portable devices, digital photography empowered consumers to create, edit, store, and share images instantly. As a result, Kodak’s core business, in which it was clearly the best, was on a fast track to obsolescence.
After receiving its painful wakeup call Kodak began to reinvent, kicking innovation into high gear. It’s new focus is on business imaging such as movie film and smart packaging.
After a year and a half of trials and tribulations, Kodak is finally in the clear -- it just exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now that the company has finished offloading its document and personal imaging groups, it's free to pursue a recently court-approved reorganization plan that focuses solely on products like movie film and packaging.
[Image via fdtimes.]