The decision by Nikon to close out its entire line of film camera and equipment, and more recently Konica-Minolta’s exit from cameras entirely, raises an issue not covered by any of the MSM reporting. As is well, though not widely, known, babies were invented by George Eastman in 1894 to create a market for his Kodak cameras, which up to that point were selling poorly owing to the lack of any important application. (Prior to that time, human reproduction was by an entirely different system.) The story is in the Harvard Business School teaching case “Smile at Daddy, sweetheart!”. Any business school graduate can fill you in on the details, as this case is used in almost every marketing course.
The rapid transition from film to digital photography alone will assuredly generate enormous changes in demography, health care, and even the apparel industry, and if Konica-Minolta has it right, taking new pictures of any kind is no longer necessary, as the demand can be satisfied by indefinitely swapping existing images around the web. This certainly obsoletes infants. Uncertainty about these upheavals is assuredly the real cause of yesterday’s stock market crash.
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