A Kodak Moment

January 7, 2013

I remember, as a kid, walking around Disneyland, noticing yellow “no parking” size signs labeled Kodak Moment. They indicated a great vantage point for taking a photo.

When Kodak was challenged by Fuji for dominance in the sale of photographic film, Kodak succeeded by changing the value proposition. They were no longer in the photo business, they were in the memory business. And who better to protect your memories, the cheaper alternative, Fuji, or the company synonymous with photography, Kodak? The answer was obvious.

Yet today Kodak is in bankruptcy, its core film business gutted by the digital camera.

What’s darkly funny about this is that Kodak invented digital photography, yet chose largely to ignore it. Perhaps Kodak was too large to truly innovate. Perhaps it was too focused on film to make the switch to digital. Perhaps its employees, from executives to those working in its manufacturing plants, were economically handcuffed to film photography.

The same phenomenon is common in healthcare.

Many medical groups, especially hospital-based medical groups, choose, sometimes intentionally and sometimes simply by default, to ignore the fact that unless they establish an identity separate and apart from hospitals, their businesses will soon be obsolete.

Of course, their medical specialty will likely continue – but it will be controlled by someone else, whether by hospitals or by large groups which disrupt their business relationships.

Start taking action now to avoid having your own Kodak Moment.

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