Why Is Kodak Going Bust? Blame Rochester
WSJ essayist thinks hometown held back the company
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2012 12:01 PM CST
Kodak headquarters in Rochester, NY.   (AP Photo/David Duprey, file)

(Newser) – Kodak is on the brink of going belly up, and the prevailing wisdom says that the company missed the boat on digital cameras and smartphones. "Rubbish!" writes Rich Karlgaard, who will after today be persona non grata at the local chamber of commerce, in the Wall Street Journal. He thinks a big part of the reason behind Kodak's struggles is its hometown of Rochester, New York.

"When you study the history of great American companies that stumbled and failed, or only partially recovered, you see how difficult it is to overcome the mindset of your immediate surroundings," he writes. Oof. If Kodak were in, say, Silicon Valley, the company could have been more aggressive with restructuring and layoffs, he argues. "The impact on a small city and the multiplier effect of lost jobs, axed all at once, would have been a civic disaster. Of course, Kodak's slow bleed has turned out to be a civic disaster anyway." Full column here.

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
davifranci
Jan 14, 2012 6:45 PM CST
it was the u. of r and taylor instruments, also a rochester business, that bought my family to America. as the the first fleet relatives diminish so do the American companies that were giants..R.I.P. Eastman Kodak
sonaxj
Jan 14, 2012 7:42 AM CST
Just like Minnetonka killed Polaroid, while billion dollar companies, Cargill and Carlson, are thriving there?
Winston_Smith
Jan 13, 2012 11:11 PM CST
Well, there must have been *something* unique about Kodak to make them so incredibly blind. I saw this coming 20 years ago, when the first decent digital computers and printers were coming out, and I was hardly alone. They had an incredible amount of time to adapt, and the did not.