Leading article: Kodak's lesson in the dangers of complacency

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The Independent Online

There's no better illustration of the business maxim "change or die" than Kodak. The company whose name was, for almost a century, synonymous with film has filed for bankruptcy.

Kodak marketed the world's first flexible roll film in 1888; it turned photography into a mass hobby with its $1 Brownie camera; its easy-load Instamatic became the most popular camera ever in the 1960s; and, in 1975, it even created the first digital camera. But it could not keep up. The company cut staff numbers from 145,000 to just 19,000, dynamited aged factories, and constantly reworked its business strategy. For all that, it never overcame its reliance on film.

Big mistake. Constant innovation, as Apple has shown, is the way to stay ahead, even more so in the face of the seismic changes of the digital age. Once the world trusted Kodak with its memories. Now it looks like they are all it will have left.