Do you still remember Kodak? The industrial pioneer who has changed the history of humanity like few other companies?

Kodak invented the photo film and the quickly exchangeable 35mm cartridge. And with the one-dollar camera “Brownie”, they made photography accessible to the masses.

Company founder George Eastman took a brilliant business model: offering people cheap cameras and then making the money with films and related services. Kodak dominated the “analogue” photo market for a long time with a share of up to 80%.

And yes, Kodak was digital too. Since 1975, long before all competitors. At that time, Steven Sasson had pioneered the “portable all electronic still camera“. But the management put them back on the shelf – not to endanger the photo film business.

With regard to current profits, Kodak missed a unique opportunity to take the lead in innovation. Nevertheless, they caught up with the competition again to be in the 90s at the top of the leading digital camera manufacturers. But the previous business model – to sell cheap cameras, and to bring back the loss with the films – did not work anymore.

The awareness that something has to change was there. But the company’s top was too slow and the ideas for digital products were initially rejected. Kodak sold its photo film production in 2013, abandoning its former core business.

Where markets are saturated, new competitors emerge, new value chains and distribution channels emerge, and margins dwindle, you need a systematic approach to reviewing your business models, anticipating disruptive changes in your core business, and perhaps redesigning them.

Focus your offer consistently on the customer and find the right business model for every market segment. This will give you a decisive competitive advantage and prevail over the competition with confidence. will help you: No innovation without transformation.

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