Kodak and Fujifilm are well known companies in the households in the United States and across the world. Few people know the actual history of both companies and the competition they have been in over the years. It’s an interesting history on how both companies started and how they have developed and challenged each other over the years.
George Eastman, who was the founder of Kodak, started his business career as a 14-year old boy when he had to quit school and work to support his mother and two sisters. Mr. Eastman had a gift for organization and management while his lively and inventive mind made him a successful entrepreneur by his mid-twenties. What sparked the idea of a simple camera was that his coworker suggested he make a record of his vacation to Santo Domingo. As a result, he became absorbed with photography and wanting to simplify the photography process. Eastman started Kodak in 1880 and built it on four basic principles: mass production at low cost, international distribution, extensive advertising, and a focus on the customer. Later on he added the following policies: foster growth and development through continuing research, treat employees in a fair, self-respecting way, and reinvest profits to build and extend the business. Mr. Eastman started the company by manufacturing dry plates for sale to photographers. One mishap almost shut down the company when dry plates that were sold went bad. Eastman came up with a quick solution to recall the bad plates and replace them with a good product. His quick thinking saved the company and the company’s reputation. Mr. Eastman began experiments that focused on the use of a lighter and more flexible support than glass. He began advertising to the public to look out for a new product that will prove an economical and convenient substitute for glass dry plates for outdoors and studio work. Once he started perfecting the transparent roll film and the roll holder, Eastman realized he would have to reach out to the general public and amateur photography. The Kodak camera debuted in 1888. They developed the slogan “you press the button, we do the rest.” Kodak made the process of taking and developing pictures easy and accessible to nearly everyone. Kodak has led the way with a plentitude of new products and processes that makes photography simpler, more useful and enjoyable. The company Kodak has grown to be is known not only for photography but also for images used in leisure, commercial, entertainment and scientific applications. They are constantly developing technology to combine images and information which is creating the potential to greatly change how businesses and people communicate. Eastman’s goal was to make photography “as convenient as the pencil” while Kodak is continuing to expand the ways images touch people’s lives. Kodak continues to rank as a premier multinational corporation and with a brand that is recognized in nearly every country. Kodak has been involved in technological innovation throughout the motion picture industry as well as the health imaging industry, document imaging, printing and publishing, and space exploration.
Mr. Eastman believed employees should have more than good wages. He believed that worker’s goodwill and loyalty contributed to the prosperity of an organization. Eastman started the “Wage Dividend” in which each employee benefited from the yearly dividend on the company stock above his or her wages. The wage dividends represented a large part of the company’s net earnings; the wage dividends were viewed as an innovation. To show even more appreciation to his employees, Eastman gave one-third of his own holdings of company stock to his employees. He also provided them with a retirement annuity, life insurance and disability benefit plans. (History of Kodak)
Fujifilm was established in 1934 in Japan. Fujifilm has established itself as a leader in in the motion picture...