In 1998, Kodak had it all: the market position, the brand image, the technical knowledge and the financial resources. When it came to photography, no one could hold a candle to Kodak. The company was a global giant and bursting with power — only to slide into insolvency at an incredible speed in 2012. Since then, Kodak has served as a cautionary tale about what it means to miss the boat on digitization or to invest in so-called bridge technologies. Many companies learned a harsh lesson to take radical changes in technology seriously.
More than 50 years ago, the American computer scientist Melvin E. Conway gave his first thoughts on how modern software companies differ from their hardware counterparts. Conway’s Law, and many other studies after it, established a direct relationship between the necessary architecture of a tech product and the characteristics of the organisation that develops it. The experts agree: hierarchical companies with a hardware background, such as automotive or manufacturing, do not have the necessary structures in place to introduce technology-driven products and digital thinking.