We already discussed the possibility that The Eastman Kodak Company may go down, but after rumors that the company is considering bankruptcy the stock closed at an incredibly low .78 which is insane right? The stock price looks like it’ll improve since Kodak has announced that they indeed are not going bankrupt, but all signs still point to big trouble. This could very well be the end of the century-old company as we know it.
But hold on just a darn minute! We’ve thought of a few things Kodak should do to turn it all around.
1. Develop a Smartphone
It was too bad that Kodak was slow to enter the digital camera market, and its a long shot to enter the smartphone market, but it could be gold in our opinion. They should develop a smartphone called “The Kodak” and do everything in their power to make the camera aspect of the phone the best available. Slap Android as the OS (or Windows), and all the crazy photo sharers just might flock to it.
2. Sell the Patents
This is a no brainer. The only way Kodak will generate enough investment income is to sell their greatest asset for possibly billions. This could create competition with the Kodak phone, but its too late for them to worry about that now. They need to work a deal out with Apple, Google or Microsoft and sell those puppies.
Chief Executive Officer Antonio Perez has announced in the past the he was trying to turn Kodak around by selling patents to continue funding its consumer and commercial inkjet printing units and has projected the businesses may generate an operating profit by 2013.
3. Destroy Shutterfly
Can you believe that if I type “photos” in Google Kodak is nowhere to be found. What’s up with that? Kodak has its own website like Shutterfly, called Kodak Gallery. They need to push that further.
4. Go cheaper on home printers
When Kodak was founded in 1888, quality was its “fighting argument.” It gladly gave away cameras in exchange for getting people hooked on paying to have their photos developed — yielding Kodak a nice annuity in the form of 80% of the market for the chemicals and paper used to develop and print those photos. Today, they have abandoned this model with their printers.
Basically, Kodak has lately been advertising as a source of cheaper ink, but their printers are more expensive. Drive the price down on the printers and move up on ink. Sure, Kodak is selling itself as the place to spend less on ink, but in this state of the economy, I’m betting more people will choose a cheaper printer. Kodak needs to spend more time making itself relevant again by lowering prices without diluting quality.
5. Continue Consumer and Commercial Inkjet Printing
We cannot say enough how big inkjet printing is and how much bigger it can be. Kodak should continue the route of improving its consumer and commercial inkjet printing.
6. Bring back instant photos
When I was a kid, I loved my Polaroid. In fact, Polaroid brought back instant photo taking with the Polaroid 300. Unfortunately, paper rolls cost $10 which means you’ll pay a buck per picture and that’s if every picture comes out perfect.
A few days prior to Thanksgiving in 1948, a Massachusetts-based inventor, Edwin Land, offered consumers an instant camera that developed photos in 60 seconds. Instant photography threatened Kodak’s profits from chemicals and film. Kodak responded by introducing its own instant photography products. Polaroid sued — alleging that between 1976 and 1986 Kodak stole its technology – asking for $12 billion in damages. In 1990, Polaroid won a mere $909 million and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in October 2001.
It would be awesome if Kodak could create their own instant photo camera but with less expensive rolls for it. I don’t know if this would help the company, especially in a digital world, but maybe smaller kids will love it.
Kodak should evaluate each business segment and become more lean. If they’re going to concentrate on their smartphone business, they’ll need to stop wasting time on failing projects. This will also raise more cash.
8. Photo Sharing & Apps
They should work on some photo sharing and other apps that support the brand of photography.
Its latest CEO (since 2005), former HP printer exec, Tony Perez, has been unable to revive Kodak. Last week, it pulled $160 million from its credit line and hired restructuring advisor, Jones Day on Friday even as Kodak denied that it was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. The guy is probably smarter than I am, so hopefully he’ll have some great ideas on how to revive the company.
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