A few months after seeing a Macintosh and Laserwriter running Aldus Pagemaker I joined the Eastman Kodak Company. It was September 1985 and I was seasoned by three years of sales experience in L.A. (selling, among other things, phototypesetters; thus my haste getting onto “plan b”).
In the nearly 13 years I spent with the company, I was interested in how a brand such as Kodak could transition into the digital age. There have been few — if any — companies that have gone from a purely analog business to digital but I reasoned Kodak had a pretty good chance. I was involved in the launch of a number of digital products in the early to mid-1990’s, such as thermal printing plates, digital color proofing systems and professional digital cameras.
I left Kodak in 1998 to join a Web 1.0 start-up and really haven’t looked back since but I do root for them when I see something smart that shows there might be a chance to keep the lights on in Rochester into the 22nd Century. One such ray of hope is this YouTube viral video I saw on Jason Calacanis’ blog today:
Do they have a shot at staying with us for another 100 years? I’d say it’s still 50-50 but the odds now look better than when I left the building 9 years ago. Keep it going, folks!