Over the weekend, I listened to an MP3 conversion of a talk at Google by Christopher Bonanos.
He wrote Instant: The Story of Polaroid.
It’s difficult to imagine such a massive company hitting the rocks and sinking so quickly.
But consumer videotape was the rock that sunk Polaroid like a corporate Titanic.
Here’s a glimpse of the scale of that company:
And here’s the Google Talk:
What my MP3 conversion lacked was, of course, the visuals. Which included comparisons between Edwin Land and Steve Jobs. Jobs was fan of that company, as he was of Sony.
Which is very unusual, in my view.
I mean, I knew no one growing up who admired and wanted to emulate a company. An athlete or actor or movie/TV character, yes. But a corporation? Never.
Anyone out there who thinks a leading company can’t die a sudden death is an ignoramus. All it takes is a Board of Directors ousting the genius founder — as they did with Land (and with Jobs!) — to insure the company will soon cease to exist.
Apple’s current Board of Directors is not the one Apple had when Gil Amelio still led the company. Jobs eventually ousted all of them. He had learned from Land.