Can Kodak Transition To Digital?

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!

Viral Marketing Brilliance

Apple's greatness in online buzz marketing

Watch for the conversation, etc.

More later…

My Personal Brand 3.0

In early 2002 I bought this domain as a part of my first job search since I graduated from college. I picked up a website template and populated it with my resume and bio. I’m not sure if this had any effect on my eventual success of finding my next gig, but it made me feel better at the time.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve been using this place off and on for personal blogging which you can see via the magic of the Wayback Machine. Nothing spectacular or sustained (unfortunately). Looking back now, I was an idiot for not using this space for personal branding, so my first New Year’s resolution is to build my personal global microbrand from the ground up right here. Stay tuned.

My first personal website, circa 2002

Nice Viral Marketing, Redbox

I just returned from my local MacDonald’s where the Redbox DVD rental box is here in Lakeville. They are in quite a few Twin Cities MacDonald’s and soon to be in Walgreen’s. As a Blockbuster online customer, I’d only sampled Redbox a couple times, mainly to just check it out. Nice concept, but not for me on a regular basis.

That all changed several days ago when I found out about Redbox codes via Lifehacker. Since then, I’ve rented 5 movies with codes and haven’t yet paid a cent for any of them. I’m sure they have research that says most folks don’t return their DVD’s on time and they make some money on the late returns. So thank you, all non-punctual consumers who supply me with a constant supply of crappy Hollywood films (tonight’s classic is “You, Me & Dupree“). To be fair, you can find some gems in Redbox like the gritty “The Proposition” and “DaVinci Code” is not THAT bad.

So take my advice and get some Redbox codes and rent your own free movie. It’s very cool and a great example of viral marketing.