In early November, as part of the promotion of my book about how businesses need to evolve to survive in the digital age, I asked, “Is Kodak the next company to get sunk by the Internet?” Turns out, the answer is a resounding yes—and I don’t even think a Chapter 11 reorganization and the $950 million in financing from Citigroup will keep it breathing.
It’s easy to say that Eastman Kodak’s problem is twofold: smartphones encroaching on the camera business and the decimation of the analog film market. But its problem is bigger than that. To adjust to the changes wrought on its marketplace by digital technologies, it’s been trying to compete in the printer business. Wait, printers? That’s what The Onion joked that new Apple CEO, Tim Cook, would focus on. With computer storage getting cheaper, an influx of inexpensive cloud storage options, and consumers increasingly sharing photos and documents via digital channels, printers aren’t likely to be this 131-year-old goliath’s saving grace. Now, who’s next in line? My guess: Sears. But, of course, only time will tell.
Question? Ask Aaron on Twitter.