Kodak vs. Instagram is one way people often pitch the job killing potential of technology — a small startup functionally replaced an industrial behemoth. Veteran technology reporter says this example is far more complex.
The classic example is that almost everybody cites this apparent juxtaposition of Instagram—thirteen programmers taking out a giant corporation, Kodak, with 140,000 workers. In fact, that’s not what happened at all. For one thing, Kodak wasn’t killed by Instagram. Kodak was a company that put a gun to its head and pulled the trigger multiple times until it was dead. It just made all kinds of strategic blunders. The simplest evidence of that is its competitor, Fuji, which did very well across this chasm of the Internet. The deeper thought is that Instagram, as a new‑age photo sharing system, couldn’t exist until the modern Internet was built, and that probably created somewhere between 2.5 and 5 million jobs, and made them good jobs. The notion that Instagram killed both Kodak and the jobs is just fundamentally wrong. (html)
For a somewhat different view, see Gradually, Then Suddenly
Initially it looked like digital cameras might complement cell phones. See Digital Camera Decline
Source: The Kodak Jobs Myth