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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Kodak Restructuring Statement
Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 11:55 AM on 02.09.12
->> http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_Focuses_Consumer_Business_On_More_Profi...

Interesting that they are keeping the traditional film/paper division. There is clearly still a market there with profits to be made.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 12:06 PM on 02.09.12
->> Maybe I'm just a forward thinking, evolving person but why doesn't Kodak get into the memory card making business. They have been known for a hundred years as one of the leaders in film production but once the world switched to digital, they seem like they have dropped the ball and now we capture our images on SanDisk cards along with other brands.

It would have only seemed logical for them to evolve with the industry like Canon and Nikon did along with a bunch of other companies when the world went digital. It's almost like somebody down there didn't realize the big change in the industry and embrace digital capture, and the company is now suffering for it.

I'm not sure how big the market is for film for a company the size as Kodak. It just seems to me that they should further streamline their company to the current industry trends if they want to be successful.

.... Just my two cents.


Jeff
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 12:26 PM on 02.09.12
->> I agree. When you think about it it's a natural extension of film.

There have already been a few articles on the intransigence of the company to evolve with the times. Really hurt them. Hopefully the restructuring works but more importantly is a philosophy of recognizing a vision of where technology is heading and ways to fit in to it.

I can't remember where I read it but Apple apparently has a company program to teach executives about having a vision of future technology so as not to be totally dependent on one mans genius (Steve Jobs).
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 12:31 PM on 02.09.12
->> All of my family has worked at Kodak. At the base of it all, Kodak was a chemical company (paper coating, film coating, developing chemistry). Not a technology company.

Because they are a chemical company, in the '70's when they invented digital, they had no idea how to capitalize on it, and subsequently buried their head in the sand and rode the film cash cow until the sunset.

Also, there were many CEO leadership failures.
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Michael Deep, Photographer
Odessa | FL | United States | Posted: 1:03 PM on 02.09.12
->> "Maybe I'm just a forward thinking, evolving person but why doesn't Kodak get into the memory card making business. They have been known for a hundred years as one of the leaders in film production but once the world switched to digital, they seem like they have dropped the ball and now we capture our images on SanDisk cards along with other brands."

One problem with this is the fact that Kodak already sells rebranded memory cards under its name, and they're not exactly setting the world on fire. If they were to invest in the fabrication process, the change would probably be indistinguishable at the retail level.

They would also face stiff competition from long-established brands like SanDisk and Lexar on the high end, or Transcend and A-Data on the low end.

If they had gone this route 10 years ago, it might have worked.
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 1:05 PM on 02.09.12
->> "If they had gone this route 10 years ago, it might have worked."

That would be the Kodak PhotoCD in the '90's ;-)
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 5:18 PM on 02.09.12
->> I remember my co-worker spending a huge amount of money on PhotoCD's after a 3 week trip to Arizona only to find that his Dad's camera put a big red digital time stamp on every one. Oh I felt so bad for him.

Not Kodak's fault but the process to CD was so very expensive at the time.
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 5:54 PM on 02.09.12
->> Kodak Photo CD Master Disc - Interesting that came up on the very same day I discovered the CS5 will not open up those Kodak PCD files.

With a little digging I found out that with a plugin to CS3 I can read the files and convert them to JPGs or TIFFs.

I just happen to have an older computer with CS3 on it, so I will be able to convert the files.

Why doesn't Adobe Photoshop support PCD files anymore you ask? Because Kodak doesn't support PCD files anymore.

Today was certainly a Kodak moment I won't soon forget.
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Frank Niemeir, Photographer
Woodstock | GA | usa | Posted: 6:30 PM on 02.09.12
->> Some non-U.S. based photo viewers, like http://www.irfanview.com will view those files and then you can save them out into a more friendly format.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 10:59 PM on 02.09.12
->> @ Michael, I was thinking that when I wrote about them getting into the memory are business. They basically missed the boat 10-15 years ago but in the corporate restructuring, why not expand on that.

I'm not exactly sure but I heard that most components for memory cards are made by the same people.

For Kodak, it might be a simple branding strategy. Just like Sony getting into the camera market that Canon and Nikon dominate. As stated before, they already sell a few cards made by other companies, why not freshen up the logo, print some ads and go for it. What do they have to lose?

Jeff
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:40 AM on 02.10.12
->> Lordy, lordy...

Memory cards are a very different technology than film, even if we use them for the same thing. So Kodak can't expect to make them profitably from a standing start compared to companies that have been in this industry for years.

It's also easy to forget, but when Kodak sold film, they weren't just selling film. They were selling paper, chemicals, darkroom and processing equipment. There was a whole chain of products. There's no equivalent profitability in memory cards. Card readers and cases? Fuhgettaboutit.

Rebranding someone else's product and trading off the Kodak name? Yes, that worked really well for Chevy and the "Geo" line. They have to split the profit with the manufacturer, who is of course going to withhold the best product in any event. So Kodak is forced to compete with a less-profitable, less competitive product. Yeah, that will work.

Sony got into the camera market by buying Minolta, and applied their considerable resources to Minolta's already good technology. The difference was Sony was a highly diversified electronics market leader that expanded into a new niche through acquisition. Kodak is a dying, one-trick-pony trying to reinvent itself. Nowhere near the same thing. And despite Sony's relative successes, has it really challenged Nikon and Canon yet?
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 8:47 AM on 02.10.12
->> Thanks Frank. While you can view and convert the PCD files in irfanview, it only converts the lower resolution PCD file,

not the full resolution file that I paid more than a buck a pop to have professionally scanned.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 11:02 AM on 02.10.12
->> Kodak, when they had cash 15 years ago, should have bought the technology. Memory cards being very different is no excuse. Companies do that all the time and when they had millions and millions, it might have been easy to buy Lexar and their technologies and patents for a much lower price than what they are worth today.

As stated, Sony bought Minolta to get into the camera business but they did it at the right time.

Basically, Kodak dropped the ball 10 -15 years ago and proof of that is that they are in bankruptcy right now. They have been declining since that point and as of now, are irrelevant, even with the current and future lineup of products.

Jeff
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 11:32 AM on 02.10.12
->> It was Kodak's game to lose. They had some of the best people in the business when it came to paper and dye science. They never took it seriously and never really went after the pro/prosumer markets. I spent close to 2 hours as part of a focus group interview some 10 years ago with a company hired to tell Kodak what the pros in the field were looking for.

They SHOULD have been focused on papers that would have worked with the printers of the day. Back then their line of printer papers were crap. Probably still is today when compared to quality papers. There SHOULDN'T be a reason in the world that the back of prints coming off Epson, Canon, HP printers don't have a "Kodak Professional Endura" watermark. Kodak so owned that market and could have continued to own it had they marketed to the studios and pros (and serious amateurs) the ability to bring Kodak lab quality prints in house.

I had to laugh when Kodak went on The Apprentice to getting marketing for their printers and turned their back on Gene Simmons' pitch to capitalize and pound away on the known Kodak name, quality, and intangibles and instead decided to market on how CHEAP their ink was. And they are still pushing THAT. Buy a Kodak printer because we have cheap ink... Sad.

They'll stick to the film lines a while longer because disposable film cameras are still BIG sellers. Just look at any amusement park or the kiosks at big events and you'll see single use cameras being sold. Single use digital flopped but single use film is still a viable line both here and abroad.
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 02.10.12
->> Wow it's amazing that disposable film camera's are still that popular. I would have thought that cell phone cameras and the ability to immediately upload the photo to social media sites would have killed it completely off.
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Manuello Paganelli, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 3:52 PM on 02.13.12
->> All of this is terribly sad. Kodak had the edge. I remember when I got into the biz in the 80s and Fuji came around with those warm colorful slides while Kodak never went beyond the same old sad colors. I kept telling them to spice up those colors. THey kept telling me that FUji wasnt going to be around LOL

Same with the digital tech when Kodak had it before anyone else.

I wondered for a long time why a company so powerful stayed blindsided and behind the curve for such a long time.

Any of you wondered also why Kodak didnt make a solid camera? I remember when at the start of my career in the 80s I was the only photographer shooting with a Canon at my newspaper in Chattanooga. Then at sports or political events the other shooters would make fun of the white lenses.

One of the main problems with kodak is that, ironically, while serving the creative and open minded community the folks running the heard where stuck in their slow thinking mode of generations before. They could had gone into other things besides films, paper and chems.

Same problem with hybrid and electric cars. WE had that before anybody else. Way back in the 70s they prototypes in California by independent forward thinking minds. Some went to investors or even the top car makers with those ideas and they were either shut down or bought while the idea went to a file cabinet 10 fl underground. Think the XFile.

I traveled to Japan for the very first time last year and was fascinated by how advanced, kind, respectful and organized their society is. Didn't even see a homeless person there. And when they put a solid idea together they move ahead with it and they do it well. FOlks if you ever travel there you would be amazed as well

I REALLY hope Kodak stay around. Heck I love shooting my Tmax and getting wet in my darkroom.

GO KODAK!!

www.ManuelloPaganelli.com
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Manuello Paganelli, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 3:58 PM on 02.13.12
->> Michael Deep you are so right. But I feel that their name alone can carry them if they go into making top memory cards and other items. They need to start with a smaller company. Kodak has tons of loyal fans that would give them a shot at it.

YOu dont want an institution like that to vanish. If they come up with a great flash cards I would buy it and I am sure lots of other folks. Great marketing would play a great role in that.

Again GO KODAK!
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 7:47 PM on 02.13.12
->> Chuck,
While Sony has had success making Minolta cameras under the Sony brand, we don't know if it's actually profitable. You would think so, since Sony makes the sensors. Keep in mind, Sony has lost billions - the loses primarily attributed to the television division - where their DNA started. (Sound familar, Kodak?)


Michael Deep, you're right - the brand extension was into digital memory cards, but as we've discussed on this forum many times, it's a weakness of corporate thinking to break it if it's making a lot of money. Apple is one of the few corporations that doesn't have a fear of reinventing itself. It's why it's so profitable.

Can Kodak survive? Chapter 11 is a expensive exercise and often it's unsuccessful in the long haul. If the leadership can focus on core strengths, cut the losers (which ditching cameras was about) and regain the fire to lead with leading edge products, they have a chance.

But it's a slippery slope that many don't make.

Prediction: Sears is done in 18 months - Microsoft in 5-10 years.
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 8:33 PM on 02.13.12
->> "Apple is one of the few corporations that doesn't have a fear of reinventing itself. It's why it's so profitable."

Interesting article on why Apple is so profitable.

"Can Apple continue to roll through industry after industry, soak up all the profits, and leave everything it touches as a smoking wreckage?"

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/10/business/la-fi-iphone-blues-2012021...
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 9:22 PM on 02.13.12
->> "Verizon said its net sales rose 8% to $28.4 billion during the fourth quarter, in line with analysts' forecasts. Verizon lost $2 billion in the quarter, primarily due to charges related to its pension plans."

http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/24/technology/verizon_earnings/index.htm

"The New York-based communications company posted net income of $3.26 billion, or 51 cents a share, compared with $2.3 billion, or 16 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, narrowly beating the Street’s view of 50 cents." (quote regarding Q1 2011)

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/04/21/iphone-helps-lift-verizon-qua.../
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:07 PM on 02.13.12
->> Before the iPhone, it was the iPod and iTunes. Before that, it was Macintosh. Apple makes products that the public wants (remember what cellphones were like before the iPhone?) and then sells them for the highest margins in the industry.

It all comes down to innovation. Build something that the public wants and needs. They do it without focus groups.

Apple was smart enough to realize they weren't just a computer company - they were a solution company that uses a consumer friendly interface to make technology easy to use for the average person. By making that leap, they did what Kodak and my former employer, Polaroid did not do - they kept reinventing themselves by solving market problems for the average person.

It would make little sense for Kodak to be in the compact flash card business as a manufacturer at this point. Instead, they have to BE FIRST with the next step - that would be XQD. First with a higher writing rate or something other than a lower price. A low price is a bad strategy because someone else can and will always find a way to beat you. By being first with something that the buyer finds important - that's how you gain a foothold. You build a base and then, you can play the price game - and/or you innovate again. You lower the price of the old technology and charge more for the newest, latest, and greatest.

That's how it's done, folks. Everything from compact flash cards, to TVs , cars - virtually anything technology based.

By ditching the stuff they lose money on and innovating - that's how you get back in the game.
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Keith Simonian, Photographer
Martinez | CA | USA | Posted: 12:31 PM on 02.17.12
->> Just to follow up on my Kodak Photo CD adventure. For some reason even with the correct plugin my version of CS3 wouldn't
recognize the PCD files and gave me an error sign that wasn't in English. Giving up on Photoshop, I found that
Coral Draw X5 would open the full sized files and convert them to JPGs. I downloaded the 30 day free trial and was able to convert
the files one at a time to JPGs. Luckily there were only 30 or so to convert.

While researching the problem I found the Wikipedia history of the Kodak Photo CD. One of the claims that Kodak made was that
if the Photo CD was stored under dark conditions it would last 200 years. Turns out it didn't matter if the CD lasted
TWO MILLION years because just 10 years after introducing the Photo CD, Kodak stopped making the product and supporting
the PCD file format. Since Kodak was no longer supporting the PCD format it would have been nice for them to release the technical
specifications of the Photo CD. They didn't, and it had to be reverse engineered by other companies to covert the images to a more modern usable format.

It's just the impression I got from searching out the PCD problem, if you want to read your photo files in 50 years,
CONVERT THEM TO JPG NOW. While maybe not the best format, I think JPGs will be around for a long time to come,
while Kodak, the PCD file, and Advantix will become distant memories.
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Thread Title: Kodak Restructuring Statement
Thread Started By: Gregory Greene
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