Saturday, August 02, 2008

Photo printing? Yeah right.

Of course Kodak will say that the volume of shop-based photo printing would increase. That's the only business they have that's worth anything now. Their cameras aren't any good while film-based photography is quickly being transformed into a specialist hobby.

But the quote that shows how out of touch they are is this:

“Many people still want to keep their photos with them or have copies that they could share with friends or families. Most people don’t want to be bothered with too much technology so they’d rather entrust their pictures to their friendly neighborhood printer.”

We already have a way to keep our photos with us, we call it the cellphone. Sharing with friends and family is easier with blogs and online photo archives. I was at a college reunion yesterday and we were passing around phones and referring each other to websites for photos. And we're of the generation (perhaps the last one) that grew up on film photographs.

People don't mind being bothered with "too much technology" if that technology is cheap and easy to use. It seems the only people Kodak is targeting these days are old fogeys who can't be bothered to learn how to operate a PC.

In fact the real business opportunity is in doing the opposite.

I'm sure many people would like a service that will scan old photographs, clean them up, and upload them to a Flickr account. I want to digitize what I have to prevent them from deteriorating and be able to share them with more people than the ones I'm in physical proximity to.

Kodak missed the boat and continues to miss the point.

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