Rochester's bankrupt Eastman Kodak Company is reported to be in the process of selling is online photo services business, Kodak Gallery, to competitor Shutterfly.
Eastman Kodak Co has agreed to sell its online photo services business to Shutterfly Inc for $23.8 million, kicking off the bankrupt photography pioneer's relaunch as a much slimmer company although a patent sale seen crucial to its turnaround may still be months away.
The once-iconic company that invented the hand-held camera has said it will quit the camera business and is expected to fetch $1 billion to $2 billion from the sale of about 1,100 digital patents, which is due to get under way by June 30.
After dominating Upstate's industrial landscape for more that 100 years, Eastman is now forced to surrender it's still-viable photo printing business to what was, only a few years ago, a tiny start-up that no one at Kodak Park had ever heard of. While Kodak management was out spending their annual bonuses on Buicks and swimming pools, a few techies in California were thinking ahead.
Shutterfly was founded in 1999 by two employees of Silicon Graphics – Eva Manolis and Dan Baum. Eva was a product person and Dan was a technology person. They teamed up and asked Jim Clark to fund it, which he did...
The vision at the time was that people were starting to buy these new things called digital cameras, but their pictures were stuck in them. They created a site that allowed people to get their pictures out of the camera, literally. Their early adopters where white men, technofiles, spending $2,000 for a 1-2 Mega Pixel camera. That was in 1999. They started programming in April, and the site launched on December 11, 1999.More on Kodak's digital photography history here.