RIT Experts Discuss Kodak’s Bankruptcy Filing
John Ward, former Kodak employee and lecturer in RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business:
• Kodak has many strong assets to carry forward post bankruptcy. While the brand value has dropped over the years, it is still very strong on a global basis. They have an excellent portfolio of intellectual property in the imaging space that can be the core of new solutions. They have excellent employees around the world. They have strong product lines in the commercial printing areas. These assets are significant and will likely provide the basis for successful go-forward model post bankruptcy.
• “You push the button we do the rest” was the tagline for one of the most unique business models in history. The model provided people with a highly valued way to capture and preserve their cherished memories for over 100 years. There is still an opportunity for some company or companies to provide a similar, simple solution for the entire system—from capture to storage and access in the digital space. The opportunity is large.
• The photography market that Kodak dominated was a uniquely profitable model. Every picture taken used a piece of high profit margin film, and one or sometimes two, pieces of high profit margin paper. Add to this profit on the sale of film, frames and processing, there was tremendous value created. With digital there is profit made on the sale of the camera but after that there is little else. The pie shrank rapidly, and as Kodak had the biggest portion of the pie they felt the most pain.
• One of the things that probably hurt Kodak’s transition plans the most is the lack of consumer printing. Kodak was well positioned to grab a share of this printing market with their photographic, thermal and ink jet solutions.