Who killed Kodak?

I came across an interesting interview with Eli Harari, the founder of Sandisk, via Mike Johnston’s blog: The Online Photographer.

It is 20 pages, but at the middle of page 19, begins this quote:

“(At a) 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, I was walking through the booth, and– with another guy, a SanDisk guy, so when we were going into the Kodak booth, he kind of whispers to me, kind of in jest, he says, “You know, you better not let them know who you are.” And I said, I was a little puzzled, I said, “Well, what do you mean?” He said, “Well, you are the man who killed Kodak.”

“And I thought about it, and actually, no, really Kodak killed Kodak. I didn’t kill Kodak, nobody killed Kodak, they killed themselves. We worked with Kodak Japan on this compact flash, parts of Kodak understood the value and the power of this technology, and were very strong partners of ours. But the hubris that you get, at some of these companies that have a monopoly, Kodak had 70 percent market share in film. They were 65 percent, or so, gross margin, so they were just milking it, and they just wanted this thing to go away. And they had the technology, Kodak had the CCD technology, they had the digital imaging, they had everything they needed to displace themselves, but they didn’t have the guts to do it, and it was done for them.

“I mean, we were part of that, we enabled digital photography, but it was not– we never dreamed that we would– what had happened. … because silver halide is such a good technology, …, you have 30 megapixel resolution, you know, perfect images, for $2.99, $3.99 for 24, so – but you kind of see the extent of the devastation to Kodak. Their market cap today is about one tenth of SanDisk market cap, and I think that we are undervalued. So this is a very unforgiving field.”

I know this doesn’t end the endless discussion about Kodak, but it’s an interesting view from one individual. I rather agree with him that “Kodak killed Kodak”.

The Online Photographer: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2015/04/eli-the-mysterious.html

The link to the full interview is at: http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/2012/03/102745933-05-01-acc.pdf


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