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Of all the forms of innovation out there, surely business model innovation is the most difficult and Kodak’s travails show why. The old fllm maker has been trying to make a transition to the future for the past decade, yet every time it gets close, that future changes.
The first shift was to digital cameras from film. The truth is that Kodak makes some of the best digital cameras in the world just won product design awards from the IDSA for them. Kodak innovated in the digital camera space by making it super easy for average consumers to download their digital images.
But the future changed on Kodak. The commoditization of digital cameras went so fast, it couldn’t make much money on its cameras. The money was in the service side of imaging and the holy grail now is to create for photos what Apple created for music. A new ecosystem for taking, storing, sharing and managing images. That’s the game and Kodak realized that this morning and got out of the product business by outsourcing its great cameras to Flextronics in Singapore.
Kodak isn’t alone in striving to build an image ecosystem. HP is moving fast in that direction. So is Apple. Sometimes the future happens slow. Sometimes the future happens fast. Kodak is finding out how fast is fast. You need a corporate culture of innovation to prosper these days. Building one out of an old manufacturing/product culture is really hard.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.