In the news - Kodak's digital disaster
When was the last time you bought a roll of film? Unless you're a traditionalist, it's probably not been for a long time. Digital cameras are so ubiquitous now that most of us simply expect to see our snaps on a screen as soon as they're taken.
So, when former photography giant Eastman Kodak announced they had filed for bankruptcy protection in the US, few business and technology analysts were surprised. Despite being behind one of the first digital camera prototypes back in 1975, by the end of the 1990s they were still reticent to release consumer digital cameras. Apparently bent on hard copies of photos, they turned much of their attention to digital image printing, still not quite taking into account the huge cultural shift that was in the air thanks to online photo albums and social media.
The firm is currently restructuring thanks to the breathing space afforded by bankruptcy protection and will have to make big changes if it’s to earn back its place as a market leader.
Loved by many a skinny jeans and big glasses wearing hipster, popular instant camera company Polaroid is also subject to much speculation, batting off rumours of a similar ‘Kodak moment’ by recently announcing its latest creation, an Android-powered HD smart camera. But even they are facing competition in the face of Instagram, a smartphone app that mimics Polaroid's signature style on a digital screen.
Keeping up with technology is one thing, but finding new ways to be back at the forefront and stay afloat in a highly competitive market is the real challenge. It’s a hard lesson to learn but whether you head a global corporation or just want to see photos of relatives on the other side of the world, you can’t afford to slip behind in the modern age.
Hajar is a regular contributor to the WebWise blog and has also made award-winning programmes for BBC Radio. In her spare time she loves reading, writing and singing.