...it was all foretold. (Apart from the bits he got wrong)
Eastman Kodak has said that it's hoping to get out of bankruptcy as early as July this year, as it turns itself into a commercial imaging firm under the control of its creditors. The one-time camera company told the US bankruptcy court in Manhattan that it expects to issue new stock, with most of it going to folks it owes …
Article about it in yesterday's financial press, aimlessly reading it while waiting - selling something (photo booth/print thingy business? for £650m in kind + £350m in cash, might be $, all from memory) to its UK pension fund already in deficit - pensioners taking 10% (? again from memory) haircut. I wonder how they feel about it?
But luckily a US corporation is coming out of bankruptcy in the USA - so that's all right then
pensioners taking 10% (? again from memory) haircut. I wonder how they feel about it?
Are they getting that now or is that a 10% haircut when the fund still in deficit decides to throw in the towel and pass everyone onto the UK's pension rescue service and get the bill shared by every other pension fund in the UK?
Kodak failed because they spun off or sold off all of their profitable or innovative ideas or divisions. Fujifilm transitioned well because their management kept the company diversified and making money across a wide spectrum of products. The divisions that Kodak spun off are doing very well, independent of Kodak stupidity.
The UK pension fund took the bait, er, deal, because they intend to use the profits to pay out the pensioners. The division includes color paper production, which is still going just fine.
Kodak's commercial printing isn't guaranteed to be successful. While the printer technology, PDF file to bound book, is great, they don't have inks as good as their competition. Perez came aboard with the agenda of making Kodak a digital printing company, even if that kills Kodak. No problem, Perez still gets his paycheck and bonuses.
they had developed the first digital camera and light sensor. they had the world by the tail, except for that pesky portable ENG camera stuff. they thought they could keep a toehold with the E6
the older color reversal stuff, E4/ME4, you could mix the chemicals in dog pee instead of water, run the stuff pretty much anywhere from freezing to boiling, except for the color development stage with its 1 degree window, and the film came out great.
E6 was seriously tempremental, almost as bad as Kodachrome, which required masters-grade chemists diddling the mixtures. the best film we got out of our processors at our TV stations was a murky blue-green mess. I got good slides in a laundry tub of hand tanks, but nobody in the TV business could get the process system working without a pH meter and fiddling the mix twice a day.
it was obvious at that point to anybody who wanted to look over the fence that Kodak was drunk on its own history, and they didn't bother checking with anybody else any more whether they were relevant.
how it took until 2011 to catch on, is not surprising.
Kodak had a good long run, but maybe they got stuck as the last buggy whip maker in the new world of automobiles. A professional photographer friend of mine bought a Kodak DCS520 professional digital camera when they first came out. It was based on a Canon frame and took excellent pictures. If Kodak would have continued to extend and develop their lead in digital imaging technology, they would be a profitable company today (or maybe not, CEO's vary).
There can be so much inertia and fear of change in large corporations that it usually takes a massive government bailout to keep them going the last decade of their lives. Electric companies may start having the same problem as their business plan has been exactly the same for 100 years and with people putting solar panels on their roofs, that tiny bit of market shit may spell the end of "business-as-usual".
It's sad to see a former great wither and die, but sometimes that is the most humane thing that can happen. In their ashes, new companies will have a chance to grow.
Hah! Domestic solar PV is completely irrelevant to the generating companies, the output from those isn't even a rounding error and that's unlikely to change in the next fifty years.
It does however mess with the supply/billing companies, because they have to pay out to the rich landlords who have them installed. Of course, they do it by cranking up everybody else's bills (yes, FITs are a near-pure 'steal from the poor' scheme).
At least in the UK, the larger-scale wind and PV installs cause massive headaches and expense for the distribution infrastructure as they both must buy all its output whenever available even though it's more expensive, rather than requesting it when needed at varying spot price (possibly negative) like everything else, and have to build out transmission to "the middle of nowhere" in order to do so.
National Grid are really pissed off at the Government, it comes through quite clearly in their publications.
I did wonder how kodak failed after inventing the first digital camera. But this article spells it out - too slow to improve it, and once behind not rich enough to catch up. Sad to see, but you cant undo poor choices by management.
As for solar, it is making quite a difference where I live. Details here:
Have a look with google maps around the suburbs near the citys in australia (eg: adelaide south australia ) to see just how much there is here. You wont have to look far to see it. My house has generated 3.5megawatt hours off a little 1.5kw system in the last 3 years. About half my energy needs. I just forget about it and it keeps ticking over. The tech keeps improving and becoming cheaper too.
It is sad to see Kodak in such a shape as compared to the company it was in its glory days. Kodak digital cameras were always easy for "novice' users and sold well in the early to mid 00s. Plus Kodak's long history with film cameras. Hopefully the new Kodak can survive and doesn't just become a shell of a name like Polaroid or Westinghouse that is just licensed to be used on products sold by other companies.
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