Several years ago, I was sitting at an auditorium in Orlando at the Photo Marketing Association’s (PMA) trade show and was listening to a senior exec from HP talk about the role the company was going to play in taking photography forward. This was a year after Hurricane Katrina. The big challenge he said facing the industry was that when pictures went from film to digital, consumers stopped printing pictures but were still taking pictures digitally. The issue the photography industry faced was that it was largely driven by film, paper and chemical revenues that suddenly disappeared when pictures were taken on a digital camera. Before the photography industry could get used to the digital age, they suddenly found themselves competing with the likes of Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola as most mobile phone manufacturers had now incorporated lenses into their devices. It didn’t take long for companies like Nokia were buying more lenses globally than the likes of a Sony, Canon or Nikon.
Kodak: A Blast from the Past
The executive from HP said companies like HP had a solution in getting those pictures off those memory cards and have solutions to get them printed or shared. HP had just made an investment in a photo sharing service at the time, said they would also have kiosk printing solutions and a cloud-like solution where you could send pictures to be printed professionally. This was in addition to HP’s core home printing solutions. This seemed to be the right direction to move as industry incumbent Kodak had been promoting many of the same concepts through their own photo sharing service, kiosk solutions and the introduction of their own home printers.
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