Over at the Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal has an exceptionally good post with an exceptionally good title: “The Triumph of Kodakery.” Inspired by the sad news that Eastman Kodak may be on the verge of bankruptcy, he points out that the dream the company was built on–making photography so effortless that it’s everywhere, and enjoyed by everybody–is hardly in trouble. It’s just that its purest expression today is the camera phone, not a Kodak camera that takes Kodak film that’s processed by a Kodak lab.
The dream originated in the brain of the gentleman in the above photo, George Eastman (1854-1932). He was the founder of Eastman Kodak, and he didn’t just start one of the most important companies in the history of consumer technology products. He played as important a role as anyone in inventing the idea of consumer technology products.
Even more than such other pioneering technologist-entrepreneurs as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford, Eastman seems astoundingly contemporary. If he showed up in Silicon Valley today, he’d be right at home. (Actually, he might have as good a shot as anyone at fixing what ails Kodak.)
A few of the things that make Eastman so cool, and his accomplishments so timeless:
More of the Technologizer post from Harry McCracken