CARL MUELLER: In 1977, Steve Sasson,
CARL MUELLER: an employee for Kodak,
CARL MUELLER: was granted a patent for
CARL MUELLER: the world's first digital camera
CARL MUELLER: 20 years before they became common among consumers.
CARL MUELLER: But according to Sasson in
CARL MUELLER: an interview with The New York Times,
CARL MUELLER: management said, that's cute,
CARL MUELLER: but don't tell anyone about it.
CARL MUELLER: This is the story about how Kodak went from
CARL MUELLER: top of the world to bankruptcy.
CARL MUELLER: [MUSIC] A Kodak moment used to mean something.
CARL MUELLER: The moment that was so
CARL MUELLER: special that you wish you
CARL MUELLER: had a camera to capture it forever.
CARL MUELLER: But it wasn't a camera moment,
CARL MUELLER: it was a Kodak moment.
CARL MUELLER: That's how big Kodak was.
Speaker 2: Oh, boy. We missed you.
Speaker 3: It's a Kodak moment.
CARL MUELLER: [MUSIC] It's size and growth over its existence can
CARL MUELLER: largely be attributed to
CARL MUELLER: the company's willingness to innovate.
CARL MUELLER: In 1888, 34 year old George Eastman of Rochester,
CARL MUELLER: New York, released his Kodak black camera.
CARL MUELLER: The first camera designed to use roll film.
CARL MUELLER: By 1896, Kodak was
CARL MUELLER: the leading supplier of film stock worldwide,
CARL MUELLER: but Eastman and Kodak kept creating.
CARL MUELLER: 1897, the first folding pocket camera
CARL MUELLER: allowed for easy transport.
CARL MUELLER: 1900, the Brownie camera,
CARL MUELLER: one of the earliest cameras designed for mass market.
CARL MUELLER: 1902, the developing machine
CARL MUELLER: let amateurs develop at home without a darkroom.
CARL MUELLER: 1920, the autograph feature.
CARL MUELLER: Tragically, in 1932 at age 77,
CARL MUELLER: Eastman took his own life.
CARL MUELLER: His suicide note read,
CARL MUELLER: my work is done. Why wait?
CARL MUELLER: For the next 45 years,
CARL MUELLER: Kodak continued to invent Kodachrome 1935,
CARL MUELLER: Starmatic 1959, Instamatic 1963,
CARL MUELLER: the carousel projector, 1965.
CARL MUELLER: Innovations is what got Kodak to
CARL MUELLER: the top of the photography world,
CARL MUELLER: but there was one change,
CARL MUELLER: one invention that Kodak couldn't embrace.
CARL MUELLER: Steve Sasson's digital camera.
CARL MUELLER: In 1975, Steve Sasson,
CARL MUELLER: a recent graduate of RPI,
CARL MUELLER: was working at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York.
CARL MUELLER: His supervisor, Gareth A. Lloyd,
CARL MUELLER: gave him his first assignment.
CARL MUELLER: Build an electronic camera using a charge-coupled device.
CARL MUELLER: A charge-coupled device captures
CARL MUELLER: light and converts it to digital data.
CARL MUELLER: He did it, but you probably wouldn't recognize it.
CARL MUELLER: It weighed eight pounds,
CARL MUELLER: ran on 16 NiCad batteries and held 30 images.
CARL MUELLER: Nonetheless, it was the world's first digital camera,
CARL MUELLER: and the invention was so impressive,
CARL MUELLER: so game changing, that Kodak wanted it gone.
CARL MUELLER: As late as 1976,
CARL MUELLER: Kodak commanded 90 percent of film sales in the US.
CARL MUELLER: [MUSIC] If this camera hit the market,
CARL MUELLER: executives felt it would cannibalize its film business.
CARL MUELLER: [MUSIC] Kodak which had always embraced holistic,
CARL MUELLER: diverse innovation, chose film over photography.
CARL MUELLER: The near-sighted view allowed
CARL MUELLER: competitors to fill the void.
Speaker 4: Sony has done it again.
Speaker 4: This is the latest in camera technology.
Speaker 4: It is called a Mavica,
Speaker 4: that stands for magnetic video camera.
Speaker 4: It records images on a magnetic disk,
Speaker 4: and then those are transmitted on television.
CARL MUELLER: It stored pictures on two inch floppy disks,
CARL MUELLER: called Mavipacks, that could hold up to 50 color photos.
CARL MUELLER: Other companies followed with their versions.
CARL MUELLER: [NOISE]
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] The digital camera most like
Speaker 1: the ones we have today hit the shelves in 1990.
Speaker 1: The die cam model one. [MUSIC]
Speaker 2: In the future however,
Speaker 2: you may use the camera like this one.
Speaker 2: There is no film and when you want to see your pictures,
Speaker 2: [MUSIC] you simply take them to your computer.
Speaker 1: Finally in 1991, 14 years after
Speaker 1: Kodak was granted the patent for
Speaker 1: the world's first digital camera,
Speaker 1: it released the Kodak digital camera system.
Speaker 1: By that time
Speaker 1: the digital camera market was getting crowded.
Speaker 1: Instead of establishing themselves
Speaker 1: early with the world's first digital camera,
Speaker 1: Kodak was in the middle of the pack and
Speaker 1: still hanging onto a dying industry.
Speaker 1: Ironically, Kodak reached the top of
Speaker 1: the market right before its historic collapse.
Speaker 1: In 1996, Kodak's revenue reached
Speaker 1: nearly 16 billion and
Speaker 1: the company was worth over 31 billion.
Speaker 1: Kodak was the fifth most valuable brand in the world.
Speaker 1: But the repercussions of its inaction over
Speaker 1: the last 20 years were on the horizon.
Speaker 1: Kodak was still a giant.
Speaker 1: So, it began efforts to
Speaker 1: maintain its hold on the industry.
Speaker 1: This is where Kodak made their second big blunder,
Speaker 1: from 1996 to 2012,
Speaker 1: Kodak's business strategy relied on
Speaker 1: a false pretense that people
Speaker 1: wanted hard copies of their photos.
Speaker 1: In 2001, Kodak attribute
Speaker 1: its easy share line of point and shoot cameras.
Speaker 3: Transfer at the touch of a button and
Speaker 3: your pictures are ready to email or print.
Speaker 3: It's digital photography made simple.
Speaker 1: While consumers loved them,
Speaker 1: the easy sure cameras soon became
Speaker 1: commoditized and Kodak struggled to make a profit.
Speaker 1: Next Kodak bought the photo galleries site
Speaker 1: of photo and renamed it Kodak Gallery.
Speaker 1: To complete the final step of the process,
Speaker 1: Kodak set off on its new endeavor, printers.
Speaker 4: Just press a button to get
Speaker 4: real Kodak photos at home without a PC.
Speaker 1: Yet these two failed to reach profitability.
Speaker 1: Kodak found out the hard way that
Speaker 1: people didn't need print photos anymore.
Speaker 1: They now shared them online.
Speaker 1: Photo albums were replaced with
Speaker 1: MySpace, Facebook, and Instagram.
Speaker 5: You don't just go to a party anymore,
Speaker 5: you go to a party with a digital camera and then
Speaker 5: your friends relive the party online.
Speaker 1: While the failure to market the digital camera was
Speaker 1: the mistake that sent Kodak
Speaker 1: on the path toward bankruptcy,
Speaker 1: the mistake that kept them on course was
Speaker 1: the belief that people wanted
Speaker 1: hard copies of their photos.
Speaker 1: In 2008 Kodak got desperate.
Speaker 1: The company began mining its patent portfolio.
Speaker 1: This generated nearly two billion dollars
Speaker 1: in fees over three years.
Speaker 1: By 2010, Kodak dropped to seventh place in
Speaker 1: camera sales behind Canon, Sony, and Nikon.
Speaker 6: Generations of American families captured
Speaker 6: the great milestones of their lives using Kodak cameras.
Speaker 6: But today, you can buy a share of
Speaker 6: Eastman Kodak stock for less than we
Speaker 6: once paid for a roll of Kodachrome film.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] In 2012, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Speaker 1: One of the great companies of the last century collapsed.
Speaker 1: Kodak is still alive
Speaker 1: today but most of the work is for other companies.
Speaker 1: They provide packaging, functional printing,
Speaker 1: and graphic work for businesses around the world.
Speaker 7: [NOISE] Lots of companies are
Speaker 7: jumping in on the crypto craze trend.
Speaker 7: The most recent is camera company Kodak.
Speaker 1: In a strange turn Kodak announced
Speaker 1: their entry into Bitcoin in January 2018.
Speaker 1: A photographer oriented block chain crypto currency
Speaker 1: used for payments for license and photographs.
Speaker 1: In July 2018, it canceled code coin.
Speaker 1: Kodak's failure to embrace
Speaker 1: the digital camera is
Speaker 1: a lesson on the power of the market.
Speaker 1: No industry or business can resist change and
Speaker 1: you have to adapt even if
Speaker 1: that means competing with yourself. [MUSIC]
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