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A ‘Kodak Moment’ (upon the eve of its bankruptcy filing)

Moral: Saying you understand the digital revolution (even in a clever way) isn’t the same as actually understanding it.

Kodak was once a great company that ruled the photographic industry’s roost. Today it’s in bankruptcy, while its main competitor in film sales, Fuji, is thriving. Fuji, adapted more quickly to the digital world, and today makes some very popular (and expensive) digital cameras.

In 2006 Kodak’s CEO Antonio Perez was invited to the All Things Digital Conference in California — hosted by tech guru Walt Mossberg. This clever video created by Kodak’s ad team kicked off Mr. Perez’s interview. Then it went viral on YouTube and was shared on over 3,000 technology blogs. The video was also played at internal employee meetings and shareholders and investor events. Like I said, it’s a great video.

Perhaps when the bankruptcy is final (after Kodak’s desperate flurry of “save the company patent suits” have been put to rest), they’ll play the video one more time before they flick off the lights. Too bad they didn’t use the imagination it took to create this video to run the company. Using imagination to create a cool video is hard, but it’s almost impossible to use it to guide a big company into a new frontier; big companies, like all large groups of humans, always regress towards the mean.


P.S. If you appreciate my observations, you might want to join my inner circle.
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