New Technologies: Story of Polaroid| MAKO Design + Invent

Instant; a new book captures the invention of the polaroid

October 3, 2012

New inventors may want to add the freshly pressed book Instant: The Story of Polaroid to their reading list. Within its pages, New York magazine editor, Christopher Bonanos, maps out the rise and fall of Polaroid in a story that fuses new technologies, business, and pop culture. According to a Core77 blog, it also portrays Polaroid’s creator, Edwin Land, as a “prolific inventor and restless visionary”.

The book captures an image of the Polaroid company as, “an absolute innovation machine” during its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. The book’s website claims that during this time period, “Polaroid was what Apple is today … In fact, the late Steve Jobs expressly said that he modeled his company to a great extent after Polaroid.”

The parallels between the two companies are worth pointing out. Both started with “genius-visionary” founders and rose, relatively quickly, to a height of seemingly unstoppable success. A few years after Polaroid reached the one billion dollar annuals sales mark, Eastman Kodak attempted to compete with this rising star but ended up doling out the largest patent settlement ever recorded; an event that immediately calls the current Samsung infringements to mind.

Unlike Apple; however, the fate of Polaroid has been sealed. Eventually, Land took a chance on a new product line that failed. This soiling of his spotless success was enough to push him into retirement and his successors weren’t able to keep abreast of the two new technologies that ultimately rendered Polaroid obsolete: digital photography and inkjet printing.

By studying and learning from historical examples such as this, today’s inventors can make more educated decisions and avoid common mistakes while pursuing their own ventures. And instead of being a dry, dull read, Instant: The Story of Polaroid may be one of the more colourful textbooks an innovative mind may encounter.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!

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