Monthly Archives: January 2012

Kodak vs. Fujifilm:Lessons Learned Looking at Winners and Losers- Digital Photography Market

As we all know, the digital photography revolution impacted the traditional film market. which in 2000, accounted for 60 percent of Fujifilm profits.. The film market went to basically nothing, but Fujifilm found new revenue sources and thrived. Kodak was the global leader in the traditional film market but did not survive the technology disruption.


A recent Economist article provides excellent insights on strategies both established firms pursued in response to changes in the film market. There are also many lessons we can learn here which I believe help entrepreneurial firms seeking to identify and pursue new opportunities in highly competitive, changing, uncertain, high risk markets.  Here are three  insights that I believe are particularly helpful:

•    When Traditional Markets Change Dramatically, New Opportunities Emerge: Think Out of the Box (or ‘room’ as I noted in my recent book) To Create Winning Strategies

Look at how Fujifilm responded to the demise of the film market. Developed new products (cosmetics, others) leveraging competencies in chemicals and technology; Created film technology for displays, among other ideas. These new directions also create opportunities for agile entrepreneurial firms who embrace a similar
strategic vision, understand where technologies and markets are heading, understand where and how business processes can be adapted to create value and competitive position. What this also implies are new alliance opportunities at all levels including technology, distribution, marketing reach and so on. The starting point is to “think strategically’ which is  an entrepreneurial survival skill in today’s dynamic, global marketplace. Strategy planning matters, and it is a critical entrepreneurial skill worth honing.

•    Avoid the ‘Paralysis By Analysis’ Problem

Kodak was hampered by slow reaction to rapidly changing market and technology shifts. As noted, Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School suggested that Kodak executives “suffered from a mentality of perfect products, rather than the high- tech mindset of make it, launch it, fix it.”  The message here for entrepreneurial firm managers?  Obviously have to balance this with some analysis, but it often “Better to beg forgiveness than ask permission” to successfully pursue new business directions.

•    Disruptive Technology Innovation Always Occurred and Always Will, Only Faster

To see the traditional film market disrupted is really no surprise. Every sector is changing, and many are disappearing due to tsunami- like technology shifts.  We can discuss how long market shifts will take, what new sectors will emerge, who will be
competitors and so on, but the key point is almost all markets will change due to technology disruption .  So it is really no surprise to see the demise of Kodak and many others (e.g., minicomputer manufacturers, large copier companies, Borders, record stores, others)  who either did not fully embrace these radical changes, did not want to “disturb” their current business, or thought their businesses would exist forever. And these changes mean opportunity for agile entrepreneurial firms that understand
the changing competitive dynamics and develop well crafted strategies.

Paul B. Silverman

Author: Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives

Linked in:      Paul Silverman
Twitter:         globalbizmentor

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Next Gen Ad Analytics:’Finding the Significant Few Among the Trivial Many’

The online advertising market is estimated at more than $30 billion in 2011  growing at 22 percent annually based on Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) statistics. What we are seeing is explosive growth of predictive-analytics based tools and applications to drive the creation of new targeted ad services.

Look over today’s announcement that predictive analytics firm eBureau is spinning off its online advertising targeting business into a new company called TruSignal(TM) offering targeted advertising using proprietary predictive analytics and other tools.

All companies are interested in finding what we call the ‘significant few among the trivial many’ – I foresee many exciting developments and issues emerging here as we pursue this goal:

  • Expect other online advertising companies to create separate, specialized analytics driven service entities – analytics technology is driving this trend, is highly specialized, and this is moving very quickly
  • Different skills sets are needed as ad business moves to even more advanced analytics and visualization technologies- think of the implications for the online advertising sector looking for creative and ‘analytics-savvy’ candidates – new skill sets are needed now to secure and retain industry leadership
  • Expect to see more analytics spin-offs in other sectors- the same model is occurring in the health care, financial services and others

Always important to look at how major companies respond to these changes (think response of Barnes & Noble vs Borders to the e-book revolution). How does a major ad firm, well entrenched in traditional print, TV, radio media, address these new trends- most are obviously committed to the social media revolution but new predictive analytics tools are changing the rules of the game, helping ‘find the significant few among the trivial many’ in ways not possible today.

As these services accelerate, and they will, I expect to see major firms ramp up internal efforts to develop competitive analytics services organically. These powerful services are evolving very quickly and I expect to see major industry leaders seeking alliances with creative innovation leaders in the predictive analytics market.


Paul B. Silverman is a Lecturer in the Robert H. Smith School of Business in the University of Maryland. He also serves as CEO of Sante Corporation, an early stage personal health care management company, and Managing Partner of Gemini Business Group, a new venture development and advisory services firm. He can be reached at or via Twitter at @globalbizmentor


Paul B. Silverman writes about entrepreneurship, healthcare, analytics, and strategy management and serves as Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and Managing Partner of the Gemini Business Group, LLC, a new venture development firm, and author of “8 Building Blocks To Launch, Manage, And Grow A Successful Business.” He also serves as Adjunct Professor in the School of Business at George Mason University. See more at Paul B. Silverman Blog and sign up for Entrepreneurship Today! email updates to track latest new venture developments.

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Microblogging Creating New Social Media Legal Issues

Twitter and other microblogging platforms are obviously powerful social media tools. We have seen much discussion about security and privacy on Facebook and other social media but not much discussion on ownership of contacts and resources developed within these platforms.

We have seen similar discussions before, for example, related to who owns customer accounts when sales employees leave companies. However dissecting ownership rights of Twitter and social media accounts to determine who ‘owns’ which contacts and conversations looks like major challenge.

We are heading into new territory here – you can expect to see more discussion on this topic in coming months as more legal challenges like this emerge. Check out the following Guardian article

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