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The demise of Polaroid Corporation

Uploaded by frollypoo on Mar 02, 2002

All good things must eventually come to an end. Polaroid was founded by a brilliant Harvard University dropout in 1937, Polaroid Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection on October 12th 2001, went from making 3-D glasses, desk lamps and filters for gunsights to become the number 1 maker of instant cameras in the world. Polaroid has proven to be an influential force throughout the decades. Polaroid developed a heat-seeking missile equipped with miniature computers, during the Second World War. Polaroid remained busy with military tasks, making filters for aerial reconnaissance, binoculars and gunsights, as well as inventing infrared filters, dark-adaptation goggles and target finders. The pivotal moment in the company's history came on Feb. 21, 1947, when Land wowed the Optical Society of America meeting in New York City with his demonstration of a single-step photographic process that enabled pictures to be developed in 60 seconds. The next year, Polaroid sold the first instant camera and film to the public at the Jordan Marsh department store in Boston. The Polaroid Model 95 Land Camera sold for $89.50. Over the years, Polaroid became a household name as actors Mariette Hartley and James Garner introduced Americans to Polaroid's One-Step camera in TV commercials. Polaroid's sales surged to $1.4 billion in 1978. Unfortunately, as Polaroid matured as a company and household name, it over estimated its influence as an American icon; it was unable to keep up with evolving technology and implemented poor business management strategies.

Polaroid had the reputation of being one of the most prosperous Nifty Fifty companies. A Nifty Fifty designation ranks a company as a very desirable one to invest in because the company displays innovative ideas and effective managerial practices. Executives at Polaroid always felt that there would be a niche market for instant photo imaging because “professionals like police officers, insurance salesman, adjusters and real estate agents would exclusively use Polaroid cameras at work” (Edwards). Sadly, Digital imaging replaced the need for instant photo imaging, which resulted in the elimination of instant imaging as a valuable tool. The prominence that Polaroid once enjoyed in the instant imaging niche market was shattered because “they overestimated the value of their core business” (McLaughlin). The development of inexpensive one-hour photo developing also affected the market for instant imaging. People could now go to the local grocery store and have a roll of film processed with increased quality in less than...

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Uploaded by:   frollypoo

Date:   03/02/2002

Category:   Business and Economics

Length:   6 pages (1,337 words)

Views:   2719

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