Management Office Design

The Lesson for Dentists in the Demise of Kodak

kodakcrackedNice article by Fred Joyal:

In 1996, Eastman Kodak had a market value of over $30 billion, and was considered the fifth most valuable brand in the world. In September 2013, the final bankruptcy of the company made its shares worth nothing. Zero.

How did this happen?

…If you think you don’t need a nice reception area, and a clean, technologically advanced practice, and a friendly staff, and an active Facebook presence and a dynamic website, you’re fooling yourself. The decline of your practice will be gradual, until it’s rapid.

via Go Ask Fred: The Blog of Fred Joyal » The Lesson for Dentists in the Demise of Kodak.

Of course what killed Kodak was digital photography. This is a classic case of a disruptive technology that completely changed an industry and killed off the leader. It is fashionable to blame the management at Kodak for not seeing what was coming and not reacting to change in an effective manner. However Clayton Christensen in his insightful books starting with “The Innovator’s Dilemma” makes a persuasive case that there is nothing that can be done when disruptive technology hits. The industry leaders are doomed.

What disruptive technologies are coming to dentistry? I believe the change from metal to non-metal restorations could be seen as such a change. The next one might be digital impressions.

However the bigger point that Fred makes is that we are not selling fillings and we cannot ensure success merely by getting better at the clinical delivery of a filling. In the case of Kodak it did not matter at all how much better they got at making film. We are selling health and more importantly an experience. Understanding and using technology well is an important part of delivering an exceptional patient experience.

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