Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Paradigm Overexposes Kodak

In the early 1990's who could have imagined that Canon Sure Shots, Blackberries, iPhones and iPads would be looming on the horizon?

Market leaders manage their dynamic product portfolios to keep pace with trends so that new paradigms aren't killers.

Kodak took its eye off the mark.  Now, it will file for Chapter 11 because there remains only small well-defined niches for its best-in-class traditional products.  In fact, in order to raise cash, there's talk about Kodak selling digital imaging patent rights.

Who is being held accountable for all those grandmothers whose shares of Kodak have dropped from $6 to $.75 per share ?  Who was in charge when the paradigm shift began?

Kodak was unwilling to respond to the paradigm shift that wrecked its dynasty.  The same fate sounded the death knell for many product-centric leaders. Polaroid is mostly in the past.  Digital Equipment didn't want to cannibalize its minicomputer business. Tektronix thought its proprietary hi-res graphics technology could never be topped.  Buggy whip manufacturers didn't recognize that they were in the transportation business.

What a great case study for innovators.

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