business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. announced yesterday that as a cost-cutting move, it will stop making digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames, a move that it said will save it more than $100 million.

The irony, of course, is that Kodak actually invented the first digital camera ... but never pursued the technology because it was seen as a threat to its core film business.

Now, the company says it has to narrow its product portfolio. Reuters reports that Kodak plans to “focus on seeking licensees to expand its brand licensing program. It said it will continue to offer online and retail photo printing, and desktop printers,” as well as providing products and services to the film and television industries.

It is an Eye-Opening business lesson. Kodak comes up with revolutionary technology that, as well all know, had a revolutionary impact on the world of photography. But instead of owning it and riding the revolution to fortune and glory, it decided to cover its rear end ... a move that let far more exposed.

And now, it seems, Kodak will make money at least in part by licensing out its name and brand equity.

A name that in some circles may have value. But one that, for any business person, should symbolize corporate myopia and entrepreneurial malpractice.
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