In the world of technology, it seems the focus is usually on the early stages of the product lifecycle curve.  While we dream (and hopefully plan) for the point when our product moves beyond the realm of the visionary and early adopters, much of our effort and challenge remains with those early stages.

On June 22, 2009 Kodak announced the end of the line had come for its Kodachrome film products – after a 74 year run.  Amazing.

Kodachrome Announcement

In today’s technological world, to imagine a product life cycle of 74 years is hard.  But Kodak succeeded with Kodachrome for many years..

Marketed to both professional photographers and the rest of us more in the snapshot category, the Kodachrome film products  were known for their vibrant colors, fine grain, sharpness and archival qualities.  For many, it was the film of choice.  The product line made its way into a popular song recorded by Paul Simon in 1973.

In making the decision to discontinue this product line, Kodak indicated that today Kodachrome generated revenues had declined to a fraction of the company’s total revenue.  Its product life cycle peaked in the 1950s and ’60s but as Kodak’s business changed in response to the disruption of digital photography sales declined.

The reality is that the end of the cycle comes for all products.  Often in the technology world, the cycle is disrupted by new innovation and the tail of the curve is cut short.  But for some – like Kodachrome the cycle is long and successful.

For the nostalgic, Kodak has compiled a gallery of iconic images shot with Kodachrome film.

“Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”—Paul Simon, 1973