The Kodak Moment – A management case study

The Kodak Moment was once the triumph of Kodak Eastman Color, one of the top successful corporations of the US and the world. It was successively used and identified with Kodak and every photographer knew what a Kodak Moment meant. Today the Kodak Moment is history. It is instead used as a case study in business schools to tell the story of how a very successful company failed to acknowledge all the signs of its impending fall, ignoring the challenges and kept marching arrogantly forward, alone, when the forces of the competition are going against to put an end to what it is doing.

Kodak Eastman Color had seen all the signs of its downfall but chose to ignore them, denied their existence, tried to sweep them under the carpet, and pretended that all was well. Well, all was not well. When things were wrong, they were wrong.

Are there Kodak Moment in our midst, when all the signs are bad, pointing in one direction, the end? And the people responsible, like the top management of Kodak, chose to ignore, to look the other way, to do more silly things thinking that the problem would go away? The problems did not go away, Kodak went away, together with its top management. Kodak Eastman Color is now history when it once controlled 90% of the photography film industry.

We have a glaring Kodak Moment in the stock market. Everything is going wrong. All the bad signs are there. All the wrong things being done to wreck the stock market like the CDOs in the subprime crisis. And those responsible are ignoring them like Kodak, not wanting to know, turning to look another way, and tried very hard to do more silly things, hoping everything would turn out well or for as long as they could hold before the roof fell on them.

The fall of Lehman Bros during the subprime crisis was also another great example of a Kodak Moment. They just did not want to know what were going wrong. By not acknowledging them, by not talking about them, there was no problem at all. But Murphy’s Law would come back to kick them real hard, that what can go wrong, or already went wrong, would fall apart below their feet.


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha.
Good one redbean.
In Italy, all the roads lead to Rome.

In Singapore, is it true?
Do all the roads lead to PAP?
Are all the Temasek-linked companies influenced by PAP?
Did NOL just finish its Kodak Moment?
Are SGX and SMRT going through a Kodak Moment now?

What about the Grandfather of all Kodak Moments in Singapore?
Did PAP and its succession plan just undergo a Kodak moment with a recent medical emergency?
Does this mean PAP is also going through a Kodak Moment?

Anonymous said...

this is what the experts called "live in the PRESENT!".......

just enjoy the present while you can........

don't care what come next........

cross the bridge when you come to it........


Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

No one likes to hear dire prognostications. Anyway predictions of any future outcomes is probabilistic---no one can say FOR CERTAIN either way how the future will pan out, especially if there's MASSIVE human action involved in the myriad processes.

We can predict, with accuracy, the movement of object in the cosmos. However when it comes to humans acting in and on markets, or preferences for commercial products, and lately as we have seen, their POLITICAL leanings; they are all essentially chaotic.

But, as a species we have advanced. Thankfully now we have large data sets and a resurgence of Bayesian statistics (written off as "rubbish" in the last century), as well as great leaps in cognitive and behavioural neuroscience, as well as Artificial Intelligence to help us make better predictions.

Unfortunately, we will still see financial collapses and epic failures because humans will occasionally IGNORE THE DATA and act in satisfying their NARROW SELF INTERESTS, their out-of-control EGOS and EMOTIONS to the detriment of (often) millions of others.

Human cognition and behaviour is stuck in the "caveman" phase. Technology has advanced rapidly and is levelling up every moment. What we have are "caveman brains" in-charge of (the equivalent of) planet-destroying nuclear weapons, and to protect their backsides, a culture of DENIABILITY and departure from PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, because human cognitive biases will ALWAYS encourage us to act that way. i.e. "Everyone's an idiot. I'm the only intelligent and flawless person here!"

Enjoy the ongoing saga of mankind. It's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

The kind of a Kodak demise will never hit the GLC/ Tamasick lick companies here in SinkieLand ma..bcos the then old men had promised to get up from his coffin when he smell something wrong ( ie the old man will be resurrected much like the Jesus did in the Bible) ...wat every Sinkies need to do is to recite him / praise him & all problem will become Liao & for good..that's why someone already told the young don't worry don't be afraid of making mistakes & thou shall be put them right ..look at the mrt trains even b4 problems occur they already sent it back to vendorto get it fix..see nothing can go wrong wat( wat Murphy law..it's KY laws that overtakes it)..the works of "natuaral alice-to-cats" overpowers Murphy in SinkieLand here...

Anonymous said...

Redbean your analogy is wrong.

CDO, MBS, CDS, ABS, HFT, dark pools, etc etc ARE the new instruments & technologies to earn outsized profits & protection for banks & the deep state players. So what if some retail consumers suffer & go bust?? This is simply part of the creative destruction process required to raise the developmental path of humans. 2008/2009 & 2011 was merely a growing pain as the financial world & govts had to learn to manage these new technologies & instruments. It's like a kid learning to ride a bicycle, or a teenager learning to drive a car.

Not accepting these new methods is just like Kodak or Nokia or MySpace or AltaVista & thousands of other has-beens. In fact thanks to all these new stuff, S'pore banks are MUCH BETTER PROTECTED against the property slump compared to the last Asian Financial Crisis in the late-90s. The risks & losses have already been packaged & distorted away. You won't see the same agony today like in the late 1990s when S'pore saw the implosion of Keppel Bank & Tat Lee Bank, and the forced takeover of OUB and POSB.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ya, when Lehman was writing all the CDOs and CDS, they also believed they had the best formula and everything was covered. They were doing all the right things.

The next financial crisis is going to be many times the last one. The derivative bubbles is now bigger than before. Think it will not blow up?

The stock exchange is a walking corpse, but everyone wants to believe and still think it is alive.

patriot said...

Simply put,
it's all cyclical
or everything goes
in cycle.
Comes into being, ages
then dies and rots.

Lastly disappears for
good. Be it Kodak or regime
and anything else.


patriot said...

The Chinese has a saying
Though not exactly similar to cycle of
Nature, it does share
common result.


Anonymous said...

HK gov’t received complaints of Singapore MTR train problems during tendering in early 2015


In attached documents, the sender made reference to the “Singapore C151A train underframe sub-floor cracking problem”.
“Thousands of brackets had been added to the relevant areas, as a temporary measure to ensure the safety integrity of the underframe sub-floor member to prevent the equipment from falling down onto the track,” the sender explains. “Ultimate solution will require the fleet to be recalled back to Qingdao for replacement of the sub-floor.”

Anonymous said...

When they sliced the K in Kodak, the company went downhill.
When IBM sliced the solid IBM letters, it also went downhill.
Seagate changed the logo of their founder to "Three long and two short" of a circle and then changed it to a no-head snake in light bright green and it is in trouble.
Luckily, OCBC only sliced the bottom part to make it look like water.

Moral? Do not slice or spice up your company logo.

Anonymous said...

Moral? Do not slice or spice up your company logo.
July 07, 2016 1:25 pm

The lightning logo will always stay the same.
That's why 70% dafties will always vote PAP.

Anonymous said...

The lightning zig-zag flash will decapitate many rivals, in addition to giving them high voltage shock. But papas cannot think out of the circle, so to speak. Tio bo?

Anonymous said...

Singapore will die & not survive another 100 years. Doesn't mean that humans will regress & not improve. Over the last million years, billions of humans have died in wars, massacres, catastrophes, genocides. Entire races & nations have been wiped out. Hundreds of empires & countries have imploded, exploded or simply faded into extinction. And yet the human story is one of continuing development, progress, innovation and improvement. The destruction of your family or country doesn't mean that humans will not continue to progress.

Anonymous said...

The destruction of your family or country doesn't mean that humans will not continue to progress.
July 07, 2016 6:10 pm

Very tiok.
The destruction of PAP doesn't mean that Singapore & Singaporeans will not continue to progress.

Anonymous said...

Have seen a train cabin has heat bomb explosion?

Tonight 10:30pm. Shong san train station had a cabin exploded with heat from top down. No one died. But those exposed skin of injured were burned reddish in color machiam lobster color. Ie burning mark.

Not small part burned, big portion of skin burned.
1 woman s hair caught fire.

It was deducted that some kind of explosive exploded unexplained in one cabin, near the door with some window glass broken into pieces. The explosion sound was huge and people started to run as their exposed skin were burned. One injured said she saw explosion from the lamp side. Her hair was burned. Her face, exposed arms looked like lobster skin.
It seemed the explosive was intended to burn the cabin. But there was fire distinguished by passengers.

Singapore is the best managed city.
There is no explosion in mrt or bus even though the smart well paid ministers took in 2 over millions of foreigners.

Anonymous said...

PAP is not Kodak lah.

PAP is a political party. As long as PAP can win elections due to opposition not ready to be govt, PAP will be strong and relevant to Sinkies, never mind PAP is screw up, or Sinkie stock market become Kodak.

Whereas Kodak is just a company with a product that has gone obsolete so of course out of business lah. Simple as that.

Hope RB can see the picture clearer now, and not anyhow compare apples with oranges.

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