Kodak had for
new cameras in
order to generate
more sales of
To some extent it
seems that the
company tried to
technology a new
way of generating
higher film revenues.
This way of thinking
may help us to
understand why the
CEO Dan Carp made
the following over-
"Kodak is convinced
that there has never
been a better time to
be in the picture
can change the way
people take and use
there are no
boundaries to how
often you can take
pictures because cost
and availability are no
Let’s take a look
at the various
in the 1990s…
Kodak made huge efforts developing the APS
(Advanced Photography System) which they
branded as Advantix and launched in 1996.
The system was essentially a hybrid which
could transfer film into digital image files.
The Picture CD was launched in 1998 and
enabled transfer of images captured with film
to digital image files.
’You’ve got pictures’ was co-developed
with AOL and launched in 1998. This
system gave consumers the opportunity
to drop film rolls off and have them
delivered to their AOL email address.
PhotoNet was another initiative that can
be considered similar to
’You’ve got pictures’.
These products and services had in common
that they sought to increase the value of
using Kodak’s film.
Most of these hybrids faced a sharp decline
once digital imaging started to grow rapidly in
the early 2000s and they were launched in the
It is of course
hard to tell
R&D money that
was poured in
during the 1990s.
And it’s hard
to say whether
money on pure
been a wiser
However, it is striking how rapidly the digital
imaging market moved away from hybrid products
and removed film consumption. Hasselblad
launched a hybrid camera in 2003, soon after that it
became clear that no one wanted a hybrid, but rather
a fully digital system and the company got into a lot
of trouble (read more here).
Bearing this in mind, along with all R&D that
was spent on hybrid cameras, this might have
been a strategic mistake by Kodak.
If that is the case, it would be a very
Christian Sandström is a
PhD student at Chalmers
University of Technology in
Gothenburg, Sweden. He
writes and speaks about
disruptive innovation and
christian.sandstrom at chalmers.se