As predicted, Kodak has just applied for bankruptcy protection.
A sad almost-ending for a company that made the photography field into what it is. But a predictable one. Kodak failed to keep up with the digital world. Just like Polaroid (but unlike Fuji): when Film ended – Kodak ended.
Kodak, you see, was afraid of cannibalizing its film sales. Digital will do that – and did do that. But here’s the problem: if you do not cannibalize your own sales, someone else will. You need to be market-trend centric, not “me-centric”.
The same is true in my field. I teach as well as shoot. Some colleagues criticize me for “training the competition”. Yes – but at least I train them well, and most importantly, if I do not train them, somebody else will. If there is a demand, there will be a supply.
Which is why I train at Sheridan College, at the School of Imaging, at CameraTraining.ca, at The Granite Club, at this daily blog, and at various other venues. These are great times to learn photography, and I will do my utmost to train as many people as possible.
Tip or photographers: embrace the concept of trends. Trends are unstoppable. So in terms of trends (not individual products – look at Apple), you should look where the market is going and go there. For us that means supplying images on a DVD, for instance. Using the cloud and the web to share work. Providing cheaper, or fewer, prints. All these are unstoppable trends, so embrace them.
I am not saying “all change is good”, but I am saying “once a change is unstoppable, recognize it and embrace it – see how you can make it into a benefit”. Fuji dealt with the Tsunami of Digital – while Kodak singularly failed to.