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Kodak Going Chapter 11

 9:24 am on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I used to shoot both prints and slides. Even developed my own slides. Tried other films but always came back to Kodachrome and Ektachrome. Kodak's name was synonymous with a product everyone took for granted. Sad if for no reason other than it touched so many lives for so long. Technology marches on leaving those of a certain age with only memories of a golden time. [usatoday.com...]



 9:33 am on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's just temporary. They're coming back. Walking away from debt is a big money corporate privilege. The banks paid good money a few years back to assure bankruptcy laws were tightened so it's not as easy for regular folks to do the same. Double standard and all that.

From a recent New Yorker article [newyorker.com] by James Surowiecki :

...American Airlines filed for bankruptcy, it did so deliberately. The airline had four billion dollars in the bank and could have kept paying its bills. But it has been losing money for a while, and its board decided that it was foolish to keep throwing good money after bad. Declaring bankruptcy will trim American’s debt load... so that it can slim down and cut costs.

American wasn’t stigmatized for the move. Instead, analysts hailed it as “very smart.”

Paying your debts is, as a rule, a good thing. But the double standard here is obvious and offensive. Homeowners are getting lambasted for doing what companies do on a regular basis. Walking away from real-estate obligations in particular is common in the corporate world, and real-estate developers are notorious for abandoning properties that no longer make economic sense. Sometimes the hypocrisy is staggering: last winter, the Mortgage Bankers Association—the very body whose president attacked defaulters for betraying their families and their communities—got its creditors to let it do a short sale of its headquarters, dumping it for thirty-four million dollars less than the value of the building’s mortgage.


 10:15 am on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I went through all of this with Polaroid in a very similar situation. (They never came back by the way and I lost all of my stock!)


 10:56 am on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

"It's the same the whole world over,
It's the poor wot gets the blame,
It's the rich wot gets the pleasure,
Ain't it all a bleedin shame.

(Traditional - English Music Hall)

Billy Bennett - 1930


 11:32 am on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Holy cow. It usually takes longer than the second post before someone with an agenda shows up.


 5:26 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

A shame. It's lesson on fast changing technologies and the necessity of being able to respond quickly.


 5:46 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Polaroid had plenty of warning but they were badly managed by a team at the top who did not have the presence of mind to see what was happening. Twenty years ago Polaroid was the company that won $925 million in damages from Kodak for patent infringement yet they went down the tubes first.


 6:46 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

This commentary is a bit more on target for Kodak's Chapter 11 filing:

Kodak has a huge pension pot, as well as other obligations to its retired and current workforce, and yet doesn't make enough cash to turn a profit. The beleaguered camera biz preferred to pay dividends until May 2009. Kodak has been run for years by bureaucrats unaware of the digital barbarians overrunning their market until it was too late and the company's executives reacted in a misdirected panic.

The people running Kodak have got to accept that they are responsible for its demise and can't save it. Kodak needs new leadership, vision, energy and decisiveness to cut out the vast acreage of dead wood products and services, identify and support the growth businesses - and we don't mean ink-jet printers - and shrink Kodak back to a viable core while these businesses grow and save the company.



 7:15 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not an agenda. The article I linked to [newyorker.com] is directly relevant to the underlying issue. The talk of being slow to react to technology changes is a cause of the failure and central to the Kodak story but the proposed solution is also central. It's absolutely relevant for this discussion. Big business can walk away from it's myriad financial obligations so that it can, "shrink ...back to a viable core while these businesses grow and save the company."


 9:36 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Apparently the tone I tried to set didn't take. Should have taken more time with the title. Not your fault. Have fun.


 9:59 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do we have two mods in dispute here or what? You need to make yourself clearer Lawman for those of us who are cryptically challenged. ;)


 11:54 pm on Jan 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

<singing> "Momma don't take my Kodachrome away..."</singing>

Oh look at the cool 20mp EOS-1Ds Mark III!
<tosses Kodacrap over shoulder and it lands in trashcan>

Personally, I was always a Fujifilm shooter. Loved the Sensia, Astia and Velvia (also known as Velveeta) for those rich saturated tones in landscapes. Shot a little Kodak film, really didn't like the exposure characteristics or the warmer color palette for my taste, so adios Kodacrap!


 7:46 am on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Once Kodak emerges from bankruptcy, what exactly is their business model going to be?


 8:19 am on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

If nothing else, their film technology. Ain't dead yet. :)


 5:02 am on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The obvious model for failed large companies is to shut down the actual operations and, freed from the threat defensive of counter-suits, become a patent troll.


 5:36 pm on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

The talk of being slow to react to technology changes is a cause of the failure and central to the Kodak story

Ironic, considering it pioneered digital photography.


 11:43 pm on Jan 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ironic, considering it pioneered digital photography.

Being first doesn't mean best nor does it give you any clear advantage as opening a new market often paves the way for someone else to see your mistakes, do it better, and dominate that market. No more ironic, for example, than watching Micro$lop give away the tablet and smart phone market to others when they clearly had a huge head start IMO, were leaders in the pack, and blew the opportunity simply because of their arrogant corporate culture.

Ever hear anyone ooh and ahh over a new Kodak camera in the last 30 years?

Nope, maybe over a Nikon or a Canon, but not a Kodak.

Kodak is just too 'old school', it's not new, it's not cool, it's your grandpa's camera and those "Kodak Moments" sound like some crap marketing you would peddle to people that watched Barnaby Jones and Matlock over 30 years ago.

Seriously, other than their film products, Kodak lost at every turn because their cameras aren't popular with either pros, amateurs or the mass market, nor are their printers.

Canon, Epson, Nikon and Fuji have literally drawn and quartered Kodak.



 9:12 am on Jan 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

This is similar to what happened to Polaroid. They saw digital cameras coming in. You can see digital photos instantly (spot the connection) but they failed to see what damage this could do to them. They just buried their heads in the sand and went on developing cameras that people no longer wanted.


 6:00 pm on Jan 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

and went on developing cameras that people no longer wanted

I still miss the Polaroid. It was so easy to take a picture of a new employee or club member (church) and just pin it to the bulletin board. I know, I know... we have Facebook for that now...

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