I thought it would be interesting to have a blog on this site, to allow discussion about Kodak in general, and the Pictures, Pop Bottles and Pills book in particular, with the basic idea of improving our mutual learning about what happened over time.
I would like to start with my first two conclusions in Chapter 8, “So Why Didn’t It Work?” They were:
- Kodak did not sufficiently clarify what business it was in. Chemicals? Coated Consumables? Film? Pictures?
- Kodak did not exhibit constancy of purpose in the picture business (nor in any of the other possible choices you may prefer).
These two conclusions came to me after analyzing all the data collected in the previous seven chapters, and they now seem to me to be obviously true. Does it seem that way to you?
A question that has popped up that I found interesting is: “Have these two points been made by anyone else previously in regard to the Kodak bankruptcy?” Granted, Peter Drucker used to ask the question “What business are you in?” and W. Edwards Deming made the first of his famous “14 Points” about constancy of purpose. I referenced this work by both of these heroes of mine in the book, but has anyone else before me put these two points together specifically regarding Kodak? I have recently skimmed through several gigabytes of Kodak articles I amassed while doing research, and have asked a few close business colleagues their opinion, but so far nothing has arisen.
One the one hand, this question seems somewhat academic, but on the other hand, if it’s really obvious, why hasn’t it come up before now? Perhaps the Drucker and Deming points seem obvious but tend to get overlooked because maybe they are not? Now, that would be interesting, and perhaps, non-obvious.