Kodak, of course, ruled their world. They were as close to a monopoly as they could get for generations. Along the way, though, the company made the mistake of misdefining quality. They thought that what would ensure their future was…
In the same way that Kodak’s and Polaroid’s customers cared less about the quality of the image and more about the ability to take and share photos easily, a similar situation has played out and continues to play out in the entertainment industries.
While there are audiophiles, most folks aren’t so fussed by the relatively low audio quality of digital music files. They want easy access to music. Similarly, there are those who hold fast to the quality of celluloid motion picture film. Vast masses of others could care less about video’s reduced dynamic range. They are more interested in being transported to another world. The human imagination is pretty good at doing that without the reproduction of “reality” in front of our eyes. Books transported us for centuries with the use of mere words.
Quality is such a subjective concept. The producers at Kodak and Polaroid assumed their understanding of “quality” was the same as their customers’. They assumed what they wanted to achieve was what their customers wanted to have. In these instances, fidelity of image and sound were less critical then overall experience of the product.
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