Did Rochester Kill Kodak?

January 13, 2012

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes Magazine and self-appointed technology guru, argues in a Wall Street Journal op ed piece that the staid business environment of Rochester contributed to Kodak’s ill-fated decision to stick with film instead of pushing heavily into digitial cameras.

“Kodak’s other structural problem is geography,” Karlgaard writes. “When you study the history of great American companies that stumbled and failed, or only partially recovered, you see how difficult it is to overcome the mindset of your immediate surroundings. Businesses located in places where success is the norm, and innovation is built into the ecology, have a better chance of fixing themselves.”

What do you think? Is Karlgaard onto something or is he blaming the victim?