Identifying Your Blue Ocean ® Opportunities
There has been a lot, I mean a whole lot, in the press over the
past weeks about Kodak, with the latest news being that the company
will likely file Chapter 11 within a matter of weeks, if not
days. So, what's going on with Kodak, a company that brought
photography to everyone, not just the professional
photographer. In brief, they lost sight of the changing needs
of their most important customer, the amatuer photographer.
They failed to recognize that the amatuer photographer did not want
to wait days for their pictures to be developed, only to find out
that their thumb was in front of the lens when they made the
picture of their their three year old opening their birthday
present. Kodak's first encounter with "instant photography"
was the Polaroid Land Camera. Although not exactly instant,
the Polaroid camera produced a finished photograph in about one
minute. However the Polaroid development process did not
provide the high quality finish that the Kodak process provided so
the Polaroid camera was never a real threat to the Kodak franchise
of high quality pictures for the amateur photographer. Which
leads us to the ultimate downfall of Kodak, the digital
camera. The sad part of this story is that Kodak researcher's
were the first to develop digital photographer in the 1970's, but
the company shelved the technology, viewing it as a threat to its
lucrative (at the time) film business. This was not the first
(or I imagine last) time that an American company had developed a
breakthrough innovation only to shelf it because they did not
appreciate the potential value of the technology, it would take
them into a new and unfamilair market, or, as with Kodak, the
technology was viewed as a threat to their existing business.
So Kodak made two big mistakes; first they made the business
decision to shelf the digital camer technology so as not to
threaten their film business and second, they failed to really
understand the latent needs of their most important customer (or,
even worse, understood the needs of their most important customer,
but failed to act on them) and stood behind a dying business until
it was too late. The lesson from Kodak's problems is the need
for all companies to fully understand their value chain, or chains
as the case may be, correctly identify the most important customer
in their value chain(s), and through value innovation methodology,
fully understand the latent, unmet needs of their most
important customer and act on them.
Innovation Insights works with companies and organizations to
help them fully understand their value chain(s), identify the most
important customer in their value chain(s) and, using value
innovation techniques, identify and act on latent, unmet needs of
their most important customer. Kodak should have contacted us
H. R. (Pent) Penton, Ph.D.
Innovation Insights, LLC is independent of and not affiliated in any way with the Blue
Ocean Institute, Fontainebleau, France or the Product Development Institute, Inc.
Blue Ocean Strategy® and Blue Ocean® are registered trademarks of the Blue Ocean Institute, Fontainebleau, France
Stage-Gate® is a registered trademark of Product Development Institute, Inc.
Wide Moat Uncontested Market Space® is a registered trade mark of Innovation Insights, LLC.
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