Digital Camera

In 1975, Kodak employee Steven Sasson invented and patented the digital camera in 1975.

Sasson’s camera used a CCD to capture 100×100 pixels and stored those on a cassette tape. He chose to store 30 photos per cassette due not to technical limitations but because Kodak sold film in 24 and 36 exposure rolls. Kodak executives repeated asked Sasson how long until the technology matured, a sign of their nervousness about the technology.

Kodak spent little time developing the immature technology and decided to focus instead on their as-is film and chemical business. No sooner did his camera function than Kodak shoved it in a box, likely hoping to never see it again.

Subsequently, in 1997, Kodak reached its peak valuation of about $30 billion ($45 billion adjusted to 2016).

Fifteen years later, in February 2012, the Rochester firm filed for bankruptcy.

Eventually, in January 2013, the bankruptcy court approved a plan allowing Kodak to emerge from bankruptcy. The court sold its most valuable asset, the core digital photo patents, for $525 million.

Undoubtedly, Kodak could have pioneered the smartphone business. Facebook could and probably should have been Kodakbook. However, managers were unwilling to look beyond their core as-is traditional photography customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *