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But Our Cameras Survived
Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innov...
The shift from film-based photography to  digital imaging has put many former    camera giants in deep trouble…
The explosion3025201510 5 0 1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005Number of fil...
Kodak…
… Polaroid…
… Leica…
Konica…
… Agfa…
… Hasselblad..
But someold cameracompanies survived the shift.
Canon…
… Nikon…
… Olympus.
In other slideshows    I have explained why so many cameracompanies encountered        problems.
Some companies like Kodak lost the    value of their position and       distribution network.
Agfa made money on film andwith the shift to digital imaging   they lost their revenues.
Another explanation is that cameras   used to be all about precisemechanics and optics and that the…
… the shift to electronics rendered  all this competence obsolete.
But Canon, Nikon and Olympus alsoencountered many of these challenges,  and they not only survived but also        prosper...
So why did they succeed in this shift  when so many other firms have       suffered so greatly?
By looking at how the Japanesecamera firms handled the shift we can learn, and maybe avoid the destruction of huge compani...
So let’s go back to the early days of digital imaging and look at how the Japanese  companies handled the digital threat.
In 1981, the industry was shakenwhen SONY launched their Mavica, a   camera that used floppy discs           instead of fi...
In Japan it was referred toas ’the Mavica shock’. They feared that something like     this would happen.
Therefore, manycompanies invested in and   launched their own’Mavicas’ during the 1980s.
Canon formed a task forceto develop a colour Mavicain 1981. It was launched in1986. Fujifilm came up withsomething similar...
None of them lead to any great success.
The Mavica was simply not theway forward to digital imaging.
But the Japanese companieshad a high learn on investment.
Some companies like Canondid a lot of internal development.
Since the required competence wasdifferent, Canon recruited engineers and managers from electronic companies.
They wanted to do things in-house since it was important to obtain knowledge     and renew the resource base.
Initially, Canon and the others targeted niche  markets such as photo journalism, where       digital imaging could be nur...
Digital imaging was developed in a separateorganization that was not subject to the daily     internal competition for res...
Eventually, thedominant design   emerged.
In 1995 Casio launched the QV10.
It had an image qualityof 0,25 Megapixels andrequired 4 AA batteries.
Not the greatest gadgetmankind has invented.
But the concept ofhaving a LCD screen andthis design turned out to    be very attractive.
Now the big Japanese  dragons like Canon,  Nikon and Olympus    invested a lot indeveloping this concept.
The Japanese firms worked   jointly in an industryassociation to solve critical     technical issues.
Moreover, they made sure   that the structure was   modular, so that eachindividual component could  be improved separately.
Instead of fighting battles about standards,  each company could instead focus on theproduct and reducing R&D costs. This ...
The modular, standardized structure also   implied that consumer electronics         companies could work          on each...
Memory cards…
Image sensors…
LCD screens…
… could be developed by companies like Sanyo.
Sanyo provided the bigcamera firms with electroniccomponents, and they could  instead focus on optics, design and developm...
Each component  was now  subject to    rapidimprovement.
Once the cameras were goodenough and cheap enough…
Products like Canon Ixus…
… And Nikon Coolpix now   flooded the market.
Soon after, AgfaPhoto was in      deep trouble…
And Kodak was in deep trouble…
The Nikon D1 from 1999 was the first true alternative for photographers     who wanted digital cameras.   It was mortal to...
It put Hasselblad in deep trouble.
And Leica was in trouble.
The Japanese cameracompanies help us tounderstand how a firm can master a digital     revolution:
1. Enter early andexplore the technology.
2. Separate thedevelopment from yourmainstream business.
3. Recruit people who    have extensive   experience of the     technology.
4. Find a nursing market which can tolerate the high price and the low      performance.
5. Collaborate with others and find acommon standard.
6. Create a modularstructure where other   companies with expertise can make improvements on a  component level.
Image attributions
Find out more about the camera industry here:www.christiansandstrom.org
Christian Sandström
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation
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Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation

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How the Japanese camera companies survived the shift to digital imaging.

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Managing and Surviving Disruptive Innovation

  1. 1. But Our Cameras Survived
  2. 2. Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaks about disruptive innovation and technological change.
  3. 3. The shift from film-based photography to digital imaging has put many former camera giants in deep trouble…
  4. 4. The explosion3025201510 5 0 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005Number of film and digital cameras sold in the United States
  5. 5. Kodak…
  6. 6. … Polaroid…
  7. 7. … Leica…
  8. 8. Konica…
  9. 9. … Agfa…
  10. 10. … Hasselblad..
  11. 11. But someold cameracompanies survived the shift.
  12. 12. Canon…
  13. 13. … Nikon…
  14. 14. … Olympus.
  15. 15. In other slideshows I have explained why so many cameracompanies encountered problems.
  16. 16. Some companies like Kodak lost the value of their position and distribution network.
  17. 17. Agfa made money on film andwith the shift to digital imaging they lost their revenues.
  18. 18. Another explanation is that cameras used to be all about precisemechanics and optics and that the…
  19. 19. … the shift to electronics rendered all this competence obsolete.
  20. 20. But Canon, Nikon and Olympus alsoencountered many of these challenges, and they not only survived but also prospered in this shift.
  21. 21. So why did they succeed in this shift when so many other firms have suffered so greatly?
  22. 22. By looking at how the Japanesecamera firms handled the shift we can learn, and maybe avoid the destruction of huge companies.
  23. 23. So let’s go back to the early days of digital imaging and look at how the Japanese companies handled the digital threat.
  24. 24. In 1981, the industry was shakenwhen SONY launched their Mavica, a camera that used floppy discs instead of film.
  25. 25. In Japan it was referred toas ’the Mavica shock’. They feared that something like this would happen.
  26. 26. Therefore, manycompanies invested in and launched their own’Mavicas’ during the 1980s.
  27. 27. Canon formed a task forceto develop a colour Mavicain 1981. It was launched in1986. Fujifilm came up withsomething similar in 1988.
  28. 28. None of them lead to any great success.
  29. 29. The Mavica was simply not theway forward to digital imaging.
  30. 30. But the Japanese companieshad a high learn on investment.
  31. 31. Some companies like Canondid a lot of internal development.
  32. 32. Since the required competence wasdifferent, Canon recruited engineers and managers from electronic companies.
  33. 33. They wanted to do things in-house since it was important to obtain knowledge and renew the resource base.
  34. 34. Initially, Canon and the others targeted niche markets such as photo journalism, where digital imaging could be nurtured.
  35. 35. Digital imaging was developed in a separateorganization that was not subject to the daily internal competition for resources.
  36. 36. Eventually, thedominant design emerged.
  37. 37. In 1995 Casio launched the QV10.
  38. 38. It had an image qualityof 0,25 Megapixels andrequired 4 AA batteries.
  39. 39. Not the greatest gadgetmankind has invented.
  40. 40. But the concept ofhaving a LCD screen andthis design turned out to be very attractive.
  41. 41. Now the big Japanese dragons like Canon, Nikon and Olympus invested a lot indeveloping this concept.
  42. 42. The Japanese firms worked jointly in an industryassociation to solve critical technical issues.
  43. 43. Moreover, they made sure that the structure was modular, so that eachindividual component could be improved separately.
  44. 44. Instead of fighting battles about standards, each company could instead focus on theproduct and reducing R&D costs. This created a healthy competition - each one differentiated within the defined settings.
  45. 45. The modular, standardized structure also implied that consumer electronics companies could work on each component.
  46. 46. Memory cards…
  47. 47. Image sensors…
  48. 48. LCD screens…
  49. 49. … could be developed by companies like Sanyo.
  50. 50. Sanyo provided the bigcamera firms with electroniccomponents, and they could instead focus on optics, design and development.
  51. 51. Each component was now subject to rapidimprovement.
  52. 52. Once the cameras were goodenough and cheap enough…
  53. 53. Products like Canon Ixus…
  54. 54. … And Nikon Coolpix now flooded the market.
  55. 55. Soon after, AgfaPhoto was in deep trouble…
  56. 56. And Kodak was in deep trouble…
  57. 57. The Nikon D1 from 1999 was the first true alternative for photographers who wanted digital cameras. It was mortal to many of the old camera firms…
  58. 58. It put Hasselblad in deep trouble.
  59. 59. And Leica was in trouble.
  60. 60. The Japanese cameracompanies help us tounderstand how a firm can master a digital revolution:
  61. 61. 1. Enter early andexplore the technology.
  62. 62. 2. Separate thedevelopment from yourmainstream business.
  63. 63. 3. Recruit people who have extensive experience of the technology.
  64. 64. 4. Find a nursing market which can tolerate the high price and the low performance.
  65. 65. 5. Collaborate with others and find acommon standard.
  66. 66. 6. Create a modularstructure where other companies with expertise can make improvements on a component level.
  67. 67. Image attributions
  68. 68. Find out more about the camera industry here:www.christiansandstrom.org
  69. 69. Christian Sandström

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