pbahra writes: "Kodak’s declaration of bankruptcy earlier this month closed a glorious chapter in the history of photography. With the introduction of the first automatic snapshot camera more than 110 years ago, Kodak transformed photography from an alchemy-like activity dominated by professionals into a hugely popular one that became an integral part of people’s lives. Photography had been mostly confined to professionals who took formal portraits in studios. Kodak got photography out of studios and into family life. Understanding how it did this is vital to grasping the reasons for its failure. Thus, when digital technology arrived in the photographic industry, Kodak inhabited a world that was largely its own creation. There was no one more steeped in it than Kodak. This became obvious to me when I spent a day with Kodak’s top management in their Rochester headquarters in the U.S. about 11 years ago. But by the end of the day, I was convinced that this company was not going to be around much longer. Here are the top five reasons for Kodak’s demise:"
pbahra writes: "In Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams' 2006 book Wikinomics, the authors looked at dozens of companies that have used the Internet to transform their business models and achieve tremendous success. However, they noticed something striking: the rate of business model innovation has not accelerated. Increasingly it’s becoming difficult or even impossible for companies to achieve breakthrough success without changing their entire industry’s modus operandi. For example, despite the advancements of modern medicine, healthcare’s business model has remained unchanged for centuries. Doctors wait for sick people to come to them and tell their patients what to do, one-on-one, face-to-face. Patients play little or no role in deciding their own treatments plans. Patients are passive recipients. The entire industry needs to reinvent itself around the Internet and recast the doctor-patient relationship. Patients should use the Internet to become informed. Every citizen, including newborns, would have a personal health page. Think of it as a patient’s personal window into his or her own health and the basis for participation in a broader health social network."
pbahra writes: "Is throwing net neutrality under the bus the price of a modern European telecom network? While the debate over a free and open Internet has raged in the U.S., it appears in Europe that the argument is largely over; net neutrality lost. What we are now arguing about is where to draw the line, not should we draw one at all. The debate spans a spectrum that on the one end says all bits are created equal and free and should be treated thus, through the mid-point that says telcos should be able to manage services on their own networks (prioritizing some kinds of packets over others) and offer so-called tiered services (the more you pay, the better the service), right over to the view espoused by Hannes Ametsreiter of Telekom Austria, that it is my network so I say what happens on it. In the U.S., this has assumed the role of a debate over free speech. In Europe, it has been rather more prosaic."
pbahra writes: The smart money was right. Nokia has jumped into bed with Microsoft and will produce phones running Windows Phone 7. The cynics would say that, here, we have two lumbering dinosaurs of the technology world clinging to each other hoping that the other gives them a future. Optimists would point to two companies that need each other, both bringing vital components to the alliance. The big winner is Microsoft. Windows Phone 7, while reasonably well received by commentators, has not set the world on fire. An alliance with Nokia gives it access to the world’s largest phone maker and its huge mindshare—in many developing nations a mobile phone is known as a Nokia. The biggest loser is MeeGo, the ugly, unloved step-child of operating systems.
pbahra writes: Just days before Nokia Corp. Chief Executive Stephen Elop is to reveal his plan for turning around the ailing handset maker, an internal memo penned by the executive describes a company besieged on all sides by competitors and in desperate need of a huge transformation. Comparing Nokia to a man standing on a burning oil platform who jumps into icy waters to escape the flames, Mr. Elop says dramatic action is needed to reverse a decline that has left the Finnish company "years behind" the competition.