Remember Kodak, the little yellow box factory out in Rochester, New York? They seemed like they had been part of our lives since…forever. But everything changes, and some organizations manage those changes better than others. When was the last time you bought a box of Kodak film, or any film for that matter?
Kodak, the photography giant, failed to navigate the shift from being a chemical company selling film and processing to the era of social media. Kodak thought it was competing with digital photography. Wrong. It clearly didn't understand its customers. Its customers were not buying digital photos. They were buying memories and creating and recreating their identities. As soon as a better alternative emerged, Kodak was toast; simply not agile enough to recognize and make the change.
So, what was that better alternative for creating identities? Facebook started it all, followed by other social media giants like Instagram and Twitter. And you can count on the memory-making business changing again. Maybe it will come in the form of the Apple watch or another type of wearable, or maybe in the form of something altogether different.
But just imagine if Kodak had built a bridge from film to digital photography to digital identity and then conceived social networking. It might be singing a completely different song today, a much happier one.
Growing up, I remember watching sweet, sappy Kodak TV ads around the holidays. They were filled with creating ...