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Kodak on the skids

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #2545
    chupathingie
    Participant

    So I’ve been trading messages with a high school friend who works at Kodak (along with her husband) and they’re worried. Apparently the company’s been unable to compete effectively in the digital age, and now there are rumors of a bankruptcy filing. Seems a shame to see a brand that’s well over a century old disappear.

    #44027
    caradoc
    Participant
    #44028
    chupathingie
    Participant

    It’s been going on for a few years, actually, but it’s just been in the last year they’ve been scrambling to buy time with their IP portfolio. She’s got a master’s in IT, her husband’s been working on a doctorate in imaging/sensing, and another HS buddy of mine’s been a chemist with them since 85. Normally I’d say that with them being as educated and experienced as they are that they’d have little trouble relocating, but I think we all know what the employment opportunities look like these days.

    I still can’t believe that Kodak sold off their imaging sensor group to an equity firm. You’d think that would be the last thing they’d want to part with.

    #44029
    SilverStag
    Participant

    The thing that saddens me is that Kodak was, and is, a national treasure in terms of film technology. When I worked next door to the NRO, there was a plaque on the wall that listed the things Kodak had done, to include making special films for satellites and other reconaissance assets on short notice. Where do we get that capability in the future?

    #44030
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    Kodak’s one of the big 3 here (Kodak, Xerox, Bausch & Lomb). When I was a kid, freakin’ everybody worked at one of them, or in support of them.

    Kodak’s been in decline for a very very long time, and it’s been sad to watch.

    The “bankruptcy” is a re-organization not a going-out-of-business, but that doesn’t make it a whole lot easier to take. They were/are the film company, and their expertise was coatings. Cameras were secondary. Once film became unnecessary it was only a matter of time.

    They’ve been trying for a while to re-position themselves in the digital age (and the Easy-Share system should have done it), but they were in the wrong part of the photography business to make that easy. If they had kept up with camera bodies, instead of letting Canon, Nikon, Olympus and all those other companies take over and provide consumers they might have had a chance.

    I’m not saying they necessarily deserve it, but if you get a choice between Kodak and some other product, do try to give the big yellow box a chance.

    #44031
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I wrote a piece yesterday about the death of Kodak, and why it is a symptom of a greater disease in the country.

    http://freeversephotography.com/freeversephotoblog/?p=3239

    #44032
    Yoyo
    Participant

    I still remember years ago when Kodak unloaded all their silver holdings when the price of silver was up. That signaled the beginning of the end for Kodak. Of course, the price of silver is back up again.

    #44033
    Farktographer
    Participant

    Makes me want to hold onto my Portra rolls even longer, until I find something really worthy. That, or just buy up all the Kodak I can find and keep it in a freezer.

    #44034
    Kestrana
    Participant

    ^ if their film goes tits up I’m hoarding 120 and C-41 process b&w like there’s a zombie apocalypse coming.

    /where possession of said film will allow me to properly document it?
    //not that there’s not a zombie apocalypse coming

    #44035
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    ^ if their film goes tits up I’m hoarding 120 and C-41 process b&w like there’s a zombie apocalypse coming.

    /where possession of said film will allow me to properly document it?
    //not that there’s not a zombie apocalypse coming

    I’m quite fond of Ilford’s black and whites and Fuji makes some very nice color films…not as good a Porta, but close. (Fuji Provia and Velvia whips Ekta’s tuckus) so there are still options…not great options, but options.

    #44036
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    FWIW local news is reporting that Kodak’s opting for non-bankruptcy re-structuring to separate some of the better performing units from the underperforming (camera) ones.

    Still sad, but at least it’s not bankruptcy (so far). Stock’s up 50% as well (all the way up to $0.60)

    #44037
    chupathingie
    Participant
    #44038
    Farktographer
    Participant

    …and now it’s going to start getting ugly…
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223347/Kodak_sues_HTC_Apple_over_patent_infringement

    I was listening to the radio a week ago, and they suggested Kodak could come to doing this sort of thing. It’s on the ropes and looking for cash anywhere they can – they have a lot of patents, so it’s a logical step for them. It’s sort of sad to watch, though.

    #44039
    chupathingie
    Participant

    At least it’s going to be harder to paint them as a patent troll; it’s not as if they were merely a holding company for IP. They actually have an interest in producing goods with their IP.

    But yeah, sad to see it happening. They really need to come out swinging and gain some market share with their hardware, though, or this tactic is merely going to delay the inevitable. Ya just can’t survive long-term on IP alone.

    #44040
    Yugoboy
    Participant

    Patents are one area where Kodak has a significant reserve. They haven’t (AFAIK) done the patent-troll thing, (and they were on the losing end in relation to Polaroid over instant photo technology years ago).
    There was talk a year or two ago that they might try to raise cash by selling them. Until they do that, they’re still optimistic. When Kodak sells their supply of patents, dump the stock immediately, it’s end-game time.

    That they have defensible patents is a good thing, and they shouldn’t have been infringed upon.

    Given who they’re suing, maybe they should get into the camera-phone game? Over a century of lens technology might produce a camera phone worth the effort (and Bausch & Lomb’s less than 5 miles away, so they could even collaborate).

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