Schumpeter and the Creative Destruction of Photography

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Some Schumpeter quotes combined with images from the vandalized former Kodak site outside of Stockholm, Sweden.

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Schumpeter and the Creative Destruction of Photography

  1. 1. The Creative Destruction of Photography
  2. 2. The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term Creative Destruction.
  3. 3. The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term Creative Destruction. To Schumpeter, growth in a capitalist society  happened through the introduction of innovations,  which in turn create chaos and structural change in  society.
  4. 4. The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term Creative Destruction. To Schumpeter, growth in a capitalist society  happened through the introduction of innovations,  which in turn create chaos and structural change in  society. The shift from analogue to digital photography is a  schoolbook example of creative destruction.
  5. 5. The Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter coined the term Creative Destruction. To Schumpeter, growth in a capitalist society  happened through the introduction of innovations,  which in turn create chaos and structural change in  society. The shift from analogue to digital photography is a  schoolbook example of creative destruction. This presentation combines some quotes f h b from  Schumpeter with images of how the camera industry has been transformed. h b f d
  6. 6. The images come from the former Kodak site Th i f th f K d k it outside of Stockholm, Sweden.
  7. 7. “Economists are at long last emerging from the stage in  which price competition was all they saw.…In capitalist  which price competition was all they saw In capitalist reality…it is not that kind of competition which counts but  the competition from the new commodity, the new  p y, technology, the new source of supply, the new type of  organization
  8. 8. …competition which…strikes…existing firms…at their  foundations and their very lives. This kind of competition  is…much more effective than the other…and [is]…the  powerful lever that in the long run expands output.”
  9. 9. The shift to digital imaging enabled people to take an  The shift to digital imaging enabled people to take an infinite amount of photos at no cost, and made it much  easier to share them.
  10. 10. The shift to digital imaging enabled people to take an  The shift to digital imaging enabled people to take an infinite amount of photos at no cost, and made it much  easier to share them. But it did so by creating ugly, vandalized buildings like the  former Kodak site, where film used to be finished.
  11. 11. “The capitalist process, not by coincidence but by The capitalist process, not by coincidence but by  virtue of its mechanism, progressively raises the  standard of life of the masses. It does so through a  sequence of vicissitudes, the severity of which is  proportional to the speed of the advance. But it  does so effectively. One problem after another of  d ff ti l O bl ft th f the supply of commodities to the masses has been  successfully solved by being brought within the  successfully solved by being brought within the reach of the methods of capitalist production.”
  12. 12. “New combinations are, as a rule embodied, as it were, in  e co b at o s a e, as a u e e bod ed, as t e e, new firms which generally do not arise out of the old ones  but start producing beside them”
  13. 13. “It is by no means farfetched or paradoxical to say that  t s by o ea s a etc ed o pa ado ca to say t at "progress" unstabilizes the economic world, or that it is by  virtue of its mechanism a cyclical process “
  14. 14. “Economic progress, in capitalist society, means turmoil.”
  15. 15. “Individual innovations imply, by virtue of their nature, a  “I di id l i i i l b i f h i "big" step and a "big" change. A railroad through new  country, i.e., country not yet served by railroads, as soon as  country i e country not yet served by railroads as soon as it gets into working order upsets all conditions of location,  all cost calculations, all production functions within its  , p radius of influence; and hardly any "ways of doing things"  which have been optimal before remain so afterward.”
  16. 16. “Surely, nothing can be more plain or even more trite  common sense than the proposition that innovation…is at  p p the center of practically all the phenomena, difficulties, and  problems of economic life in capitalist society. “
  17. 17. “Those revolutions are not strictly incessant; they occur in  discrete rushes which are separated from each other by  discrete rushes which are separated from each other by spans of comparative quiet. The process as a whole works  incessantly however, in the sense that there always is either  revolution or absorption of the results of revolution, both  together forming what are known as business cycles.”
  18. 18. The former Kodak site serves as a pretty good illustration of  this quote from Schumpeter:
  19. 19. The former Kodak site serves as a pretty good illustration of  this quote from Schumpeter: “It is not the owner of stage‐ coaches who builds railways.”
  20. 20. Summing up, Schumpeter suggested that growth is  often associated with a rather ugly and unpleasant  process for many actors.
  21. 21. Put differently by a decoration inside the Kodak building:
  22. 22. Christian Sandström is a PhD  student at Chalmers  student at Chalmers University of Technology in  Gothenburg, Sweden. He  Gothenburg, Sweden. He writes and speaks about  disruptive innovation and  technological change. Find out more about Kodak and digital imaging: www.christiansandstrom.org

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