Aug 10, 2012
Kenneth Verlage

Kodak. Now Nikon and Canon?


During education and with a youths confidence i was amazed and baffled at the well known business example with the Horse Carriage Makers who all failed to convert to Automobile manufacturers when that shift revolutionised transportation in late 19th century. I mean how could they miss? They had the whole product almost – they had the resellers and the customers. The knowledge of transportation. Just needed to add a little engine and get rid of a little horse. How could ALL fail to evolve their business modell? In every country?


I managed to explain it away with that they probably were not educated, not use to the pace of new things. Didn’t know what to look for. No Michael Porter to consult. No internet and no trend analyses. This was more than 100 years ago after all.

Yesterday i read an article on Mashable about Nikon maybe integrating Instagram into their cameras. OFF COURSE You are Nikon – what took you so long? Its more than hundred years later AND Michael E Porter is here. And still you (and Canon and all the others) are just on the verge of losing whole your horse carriage industry to the phone makers.

And talking about phone makers – how could cellphone giants like Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia be totally outmaneuvered by Apple’s and their iPhone overnight? How could those companies who spent year after year and billion after billion on phone development ALL drive up the same alley and the same dead end? Obliviously they were frantically developing something their customers didn’t actually want. Blinded by history and competitor moves.

Data wants to be free, internet for sure has taught us that. Why would anyone want their photos locked in inside a black camera housing? Naturally you want it at the computer for editing, at the publisher for publishing or at Facebook for mummy to see…anywhere but in the camera. So wake up Nikon and Canon – you have been tangled up chasing megapixles for so long you have missed your customers latest demand – connectivity. In three years there wont be a single camera sold that is not connected – and there is a powerful lesson to be learned here:

Do you chase ghosts or do you chase what your customer really wants?

And how do you really, really know that before its to late?


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