Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A Filmless Kodak
It's hard to imagine a time when film and paper icon Kodak will stop making photographic film and paper altogether. While I think many of us assumed it would slow to a trickle years before the official "end" of such production (well, at least I assumed that), it turns out it's going to be a lot more like the flipping of a switch that stops the flow of film and paper out of Rochester. Last week Kodak announced plans to sell off its film and photo paper businesses, which would mean the company will focus primarily on its industrial businesses (i.e. government contracts) and consumer inkjet technologies. A bigger question, perhaps, is who on earth might buy this type of business? Sure there's still demand, but it's clearly a shrinking proposition. How could a competitor purchase a business for what it's valued at today if it's clearly understood that it will be worth significantly less with every passing day? It will be interesting to see if Kodak can find a buyer, and who that buyer might be. A former competitor in the film and paper markets, perhaps? Or maybe a digital imaging company looking for an entree into this particular (shrinking) photographic niche? Either way, as long as some one picks up the torch to carry on, I'll be happy. Though it's still tough to see Kodak transformed into a shell of its once dominant self.