Kodak’s “Winds of Change”

This is a six-year-old corporate video developed by Kodak to be played at sales conferences… just a few months before the iPhone was announced. Sad to see that they knew exactly what was coming, and still couldn’t adapt. The Innovator’s Dilemma.

But in searching YouTube for this video to send to a friend, I found out that the same actor made another video for Kodak a few years later.

This one is more of a sales pitch, and not nearly as good, but there’s some fabulous copy in the middle that doesn’t seem to be on the Web anywhere. So I transcribed it:

I used to look forward to printing the way I used to look forward to being audited while recovering from outpatient surgery. Every time I hit “Print” on my old inkjet, I’d start to get the shakes. A cold sweat would form upon my brow. Paranoia of misspelled words and grammatical errors would create haunting visions of financial ruin. One time I had the orientation of the paper set wrong… sweet Mabel, I almost lost consciousness!

Then the wife. She started doing that scrapbooking stuff. I’d hear the incessant humming of that little grey box — and I’d cry. I would fall to my knees and weep as all my dreams of a comfortable retirement melted away with every replacement cartridge. What could I do?

It’s ink! It cost more than the printer, though!

Do you realize that an ounce of ink costs more than a shot of the finest 20-year-old Scotch? Lord knows I do!

I thought about printing my own money but it costs too damn much!

It’s ink, for crying out loud! Ink!

Someone explain it to me? Anybody? I could understand it if maybe it had to be extracted from the eggs of bald eagles, painstakingly heat-treated in 2000-degree blast furnaces, and then imported by a complex network of ships, trains, and pack animals — but it’s just ink!

…No longer will we bear the shame of printing our children’s reports in draft mode. No longer will we tremble in fear, impoverished by the notion of making copies of family reunion pictures. No longer will we kowtow to the greedy CMYK devils, taking a pound of flesh for every ounce of ink!

Standard disclaimer: I don’t own any of this, just pointing to it. Enjoy.


  1. My company was in a JV with Kodak Imaging group in the ’90s. They could have owned the digital world today, but back then senior management fought it every step of the way. They would readily admit is was coming. Why did they fight? Because their bonus plans were based on quarterly earnings, and those earnings were based on film. The digital revolution would not hit till after they had cashed out and retired. If their bonus was based on earnings 10 years out, Kodak would still be in business today. IMHO, the emphasis on managing for earnings growth has killed innovation in the large caps.