There are few corporate blunders as staggering as Kodaks missed opportunity to move away from film into digital photography
Its fair to say they didn’t grapple well with “Disruptive Technology”.
The old guard who disregard change and retreat to the comfort of their historic understandings do so at their own peril.
Take the car industry. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) just released its latest long-term outlook for electric vehicles (EVs) using Lithium-Ion batteries. It projects EV sales will overtake those using internal combustion engines (ICE) within roughly two decades.
2038 may sound like a long way away. But it isn’t when put in the context the first Model T Ford rolled off the production line early last century.
The Kodak Moment is not to concentrate on the Overall Sales and instead focus on Growth.
If Lithium-Ion battery technology continues to improve and EVs continue to improve faster in terms of pollution, maintenance and acceleration than traditional vehicles can, then the growth of EVs will overtake ICE by 2026.
So, if you’re an executive running an automotive company, what do you do with the data?
One answer is to just conclude they’re misguided and ignore them.
BP and the International Energy Agency, for example, forecast much slower adoption. Equally, though, others such as Continental AG, the German tire and components manufacturer, expect electrification to take hold much faster.
And therein lies the problem.
Because while size matters, growth matters more when it comes to investment.
The lesson of history is that changes in energy systems take place slowly. Systemic change is indeed slow, but marginal change (ie Growth) can be extremely rapid.
Belief in the “new thing” can go a long way toward making it the next “big thing”.