O'Reilly logo

The Other "F" Word: How Smart Leaders, Teams, and Entrepreneurs Put Failure to Work by John Danner, Mark Coopersmith

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

img10Stage One: RespectAcknowledge the Gravity of Failure

Your Role: StraightTalker

Back to the Darkroom: Kodak Loses Focus

The Eastman Kodak Company, founded in 1888, was based on George Eastman's vision of “democratized photography.” The company became the global leader in consumer photography, creating a highly profitable business selling millions of inexpensive cameras such as the Brownie, introduced in 1900, and the Instamatic, which was brought to market in 1963. It also sold massive amounts of high-margin film, chemicals, and photo paper to support all those amateur photographers. Kodak commanded as much as 90 percent of U.S. film sales and 85 percent of camera sales as recently as the mid-1970s. In 1983, when Fortune magazine launched its list of most admired companies, Kodak was prominently featured.1

About then, however, the company started facing competition from Fuji in its film business, and later ran headlong into the growing popularity of digital photography, which undermined its fundamental business model. Kodak went into a long decline, eventually filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012. Although it emerged from bankruptcy in 2013, by then Kodak was but a hollow shell of its former self. It was clearly not “a Kodak moment.”2

What's fascinating is it could have ended so differently. Kodak actually possessed the key to the kingdom—actually two of them—complete ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required