Kodak Moment


I will never, for the life of me, understand why Kodak couldn’t have pivoted into becoming a digital imaging giant. I haven’t developed a roll of film in ten years, and Kodak owned tons of digital imaging patents. I’ll never understand why Canon, Nikon, Leica, Minolta, Pentax, and other foreign camera makers thrive on excellence and innovation, but Kodak couldn’t get it together to make a quality digital imaging product that people around the world would use. It was all unnecessary and myopic.

HT Marquil from EmpireWire.com.


    • I keep trying to support Kodak by purchasing their digital cameras, printers and other consumer goods. However, everything I buy breaks shortly thereafter or is simply not of equivalent quality to other products on the market. I want Kodak to succeed, but they’re failing and there isn’t a whole lot we can do about that.

  • I’ve been told by an ex engineer at Kodak that much time and effort was put in to designing in planned obsolescence into their digital products. It was supposedly part of his job (in his case going into inkjet printer design) to make sure the product didn’t last much longer than the warranty period. Where most printer manufacturers lured customers with cheap or even subsidized printers to profit on ink sales, Kodak positioned themselves with cheap ink prices, though the printers themselves were much more expensive… probably hoping nobody would work out the “cost per page” and realize they never did recoup the difference spent over the lifetime because their printer died prematurely.

    So who knows, maybe they thought they could pull a “Fuji” themselves to get market share in the digital space. I think this was always part of the game back in the film days, film is one price, processing is another – you need both to get pictures, you can make one side look like a deal and make it back on the other side, how much you get away with depends on how much of a market share you’ve got… it kind of parallels with printers and ink, but doesn’t work so well when faced with a lot of competitors and in these days when word about shoddy, limited, and incompatible products gets around quick.

    Just imagine if their engineers were turned loose to design features customers actually wanted, instead of designing ways to squeeze customers…

    So anyway, your stuff not particularly having a long life may well have been by design! It’s not always a coincidence when your gadget or gizmo breaks down shortly after the warranty expires.

  • Geek — thanks for trying!

    I’ve come down with a serious case of Kodak nostalgia. My mom worked there after her & pa moved to Ra Cha Cha. When I was a kid, my dear sainted grandma once hauled out an old Brownie camera (yes, the kind with the viewfinder you looked into from above) to take the Big Photo of the annual family reunion. I’ve visited various Kodak facilities on family open house days w/various friends and family members who worked there.

    So Kodak invented digital photography — a technology most folks in the world now have in their pockets — yet is going bankrupt. Xerox brought the photocopier to the world — a technology found in most offices and many homes in the world — yet is nothing like it used to be. And not even HQ’d in Ra Cha Cha anymore. Xerox PARC invented the Graphical User Interface, and incubated many of the technologies now used in the Internets worldwide. Yet who uses a Xerox computer, operating system, or internet–?

    What happened to my hometown?! It’s full of smart people!! And smart people will be earning PhD’s for decades answering that question. But it won’t bring back the amazing city I was born into 🙁

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