Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
There are few corporate blunders as staggering as Kodak’s missed opportunities in digital photography, a technology that it invented. This strategic failure was the direct cause of Kodak’s decades-long decline as digital photography destroyed its film-based business model.
A new book by my Devil’s Advocate Group colleague, Vince Barabba, a former Kodak executive, offers insight on the choices that set Kodak on the path to bankruptcy. Barabba’s book, “The Decision Loom: A Design for Interactive Decision-Making in Organizations,” also offers sage advice for how other organizations grappling with disruptive technologies might avoid their own Kodak moments.
Posted on Saturday, April 16, 2011
Cisco’s $400 million Flip video camera is a market leading consumer product that was deemed to be an unwanted distraction by the $40 billion enterprise networking giant—so much so that Cisco is shutting it down. Read my take at Forbes.com on how Cisco misjudged the adjacency strategy that led to this predicament, and how others can avoid the same fate.
After you read it, I’d love to hear whether you think I got it right. Was Cisco’s consumer foray really a flop? Was Cisco wise to exit the Flip business?
Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010
We touched a nerve recently with an op-ed in the Washington Post, if the 131 online comments, a letter to the editor, and numerous direct responses are any indication. The piece argued that the U.S. Postal Service needs to change its strategy radically if it is to avoid the fates of other icons such as Kodak and General Motors. Some agreed wholeheartedly. Some called us clueless. While we won’t spend much time defending ourselves, there a few points that we’ll make, given the liberty of these additional column inches.
Posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
As early as 1990, Bill Gates saw Kodak’s eventual demise coming, because he knew that digital photography would wipe out the profits to be had from conventional photography. That insight demonstrates how smart he is (which we all knew) and also how much easier it is to see others’ shortcomings than to see your own.
Stories like this one in the New York Times by Dick Brass, a former Microsoft vice president, about Microsoft’s lack of innovation have many in the technology world saying openly that Microsoft, based in Redmond, WA, may be taking the long glide toward the ground that Kodak and its headquarters city of Rochester, NY, have been on for two decades now.