SOME YEARS AGO, IN JAPAN, the then–general manager of new product development with the Polaroid Corporation noticed the popularity of small photo booths, packed with teenagers seeking the small photographs the booths produced. He proposed that Tomey, a Japanese toy manufacturer and Polaroid customer, produce a small pocket camera aimed at the teenage market.

Many Polaroid engineers had strong objections to the project. It was a struggle, developing and introducing the Pocket Camera. Many engineers thought it was beneath them and their exalted image for technical excellence. These engineers doubted that such a low-end product—a low-priced, low-tech camera, with marginal picture quality, and aimed at a new market ...

Get Business of Innovation now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.