Kodak, Creative Destruction and Crony Capitalism

This article by AEI’s John Steele Gordon documents the rise and fall of Kodak and the near demise of Xerox and IBM.  Unfortunately for us now large companies have learned to avoid Schumpeter’s creative destruction by turning to government and engaging in crony capitalism.

It is likely that Kodak suffered from “monopoly disease.” With a guaranteed market, monopolies don’t have to work hard to make handsome profits and they tend to become fat, dumb, lazy, and un-innovative. When the world changes, monopolies often have a very hard time adapting. Many of them don’t. Xerox floundered after its patents on copiers expired in the 1970s. IBM, overwhelmingly dominant in mainframe computers, nearly didn’t survive the personal computer revolution of the 1980s.

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