Mixed feelings about Kodak's demise but reason prevails: so it's good riddance to bad rubbish.
I've a few mixed feelings about Kodak's demise but reason must prevail: so it's good riddance to bad rubbish, the company deserves to die.
For decades I used Kodak products and mostly there was not much better available. Then in the 1980s, when Fuji became effective competition, Kodak did stuff-all to compete, it acted as if it was invincible and that no competition could ever touch it.
Here's one example, I've dozens more: essentially, Kodak did nothing to keep its flagship colour slide product, Kodachrome, in the vanguard in the 1970s and '80s, thus Kodachrome lost its market dominance. (Kodachrome--with its 75-year product life--was, for many reasons, probably the best colour film ever made--not for its colorimetry but rather for stability and longevity (it has an estimate fade life of 200 years+ which still makes it second to none)). However, its emulsion speed and dynamic range/D-max were left to languish for over 20 years whilst Fuji creamed it with beautiful E6-type colour slide emulsions (albeit never with the same high stability of Kodachrome but the here-and-now user was never too worried about such long term stability).
The saga of watching Kodak slowly die over some 20+ years became a pastime for some Kodak fanboys but by the early 1990s it was all to clear to me that its failure to properly adopt digital technology was going to be its doom. US based and in the US, it should have made much better use of state-of-the-art silicon and other photo technology--the US then being the centre of integrated circuit technology, but Kodak seemed content to be only a bit player. Heavens knows why.
In recent years, I've found out just how woefully Kodak treated its Ektacolor negative customers through the 1970s and 1980s, it's actions and decisions were then a disgrace and in hindsight they still are. Knowingly, for about a generation, Kodak produced colour negative material that was extremely prone to fading and did nothing about it.
Today, most of the colour print photos taken back then are little more than faded blobs. So much for Kodak's duty of care over its customer's treasured photos--it could have warned customers and done somethings about the problem such as offer customers interim b&w tri-separations until more reliable neg stock had been produced--but Kodak never did! Ethically, the company sucks. Diehards can get the evidence here: http://www.wilhelm-research.com/pdf/HW_Book_08_of_20_HiRes_v1a.pdf.