The rise of digital photography was partly to blame for Kodak’s demise; now, the camera pioneer will be damned if they miss the innovation boat again.
After launching their own cryptocurrency, KODAKCoin (part of a larger blockchain-powered “image rights management platform), they were rewarded with a 92% stock boost, up to $5.95 a share.
Yes, that Kodak — the company that went bankrupt in 2013, and has been clawing its way back ever since.
To understand why they just jumped on the crypto bandwagon, we need only look at their history…
Founded in 1888, the company who gave us “the Kodak moment” is synonymous with photography. Their business model was simple: sell cameras on the cheap, then rake it in on 70% margin film sales.
In 1996, Kodak was the 5th most valuable brand in the world. They controlled nearly 70% of the US film market, with close to 145k global employees, and $16B in revenue.
Then, in 1975, an engineer at Kodak, Steve Sasson, invented the world’s first digital camera.
See, this new-fangled tech was still expensive to produce, and Kodak wasn’t ready to chase a low-margin competitor to its core product.
By the time they made the pivot, Kodak was playing catch up — and by 2012, they had sold many of their core patents and filed for chapter 11.
This time around, we figure they don’t want to idly stand by, watching technology pass them by.