Saturday, July 11, 2009

Disruptive Innovation and Pentax

Thanks to Mr. M42 Guy at the RiceHigh's Pentax Forum, I have just finished viewing the following presentation (an academic analytical article) which summarises well about the past history of Pentax and its business developments and finally the current difficult situations as faced by the *brand* and its company (now Hoya):-

Indeed, I have some sorrows in my mind after reading it but I have to say the analyses are just so accurate (some of which are actually also what I have been thinking and talking about) and many facts have yet been reviewed and shared.

Have a look and I recommend it for any objective Pentaxian whom would like to learn something, but of course not for any fanboy.


Anonymous said...

Rice, could you answer one question to me: why do you constantly expect Pentax to be Canon?

Pentax is not Canon. It does not have the money or the resources to measure up nearly to Canon. Yet they manage to deliver a product which can compete with the others, although not lead.

I agree that Pentax has engineering mishaps and difficulties, but given the circumstances and resources they currently have in this economic situation, yielding out a camera such as the K-7 deserves praise, not scorn.

And the bugs will get fixed. I am an electronics engineer myself and I have seen even worse products going out to the market.

But I can tell you, you do such a good job of cataloguing and advertising every single problem of the pentax system that I am glad I started reading your blog after I bought into the pentax system. Otherwise I probably would not, and I think I would be at a loss there.

I am happy with all of my pentax gear. It has upsides and downsides. The upsides bring me joy and the downsides make me think how to avoid them and to adapt. Nothing bad about it. And the best part is it allows me to get premium lenses at a low price. And I am not considering the new stuff (which I believe was probably underpriced as is), but the old film glass, which is certainly not to throw away.

For the money I paid, I still think I got more than I paid for. Bugs or no bugs. I just hope that they will endure these hard times.

RiceHigh said...

> why do you constantly expect Pentax to be Canon?

One word: Competition

If one can't compete, they cannot survive and will die!

Here is what quoted via Alan Greenspan for an European leader said, "What is
the market? It is the law of the Jungle, the law of Nature. And what is
Civilisation? It is the Struggle Against Nature."!

I like both points made. Very true.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. The presentation made many points clear for me. An I start becoming worried about my Pentax SLR system. Maybe I shoud get rid of it right now.

Anonymous said...

Interesting program. It left out Minolta and a couple of other salient facts:

Leica survives and has been on the brink of bankruptcy for decades.

Camera bodies will all die out. Optical skill will always ensure some form of survival. Most camera companies started out as optical companies before diversifying into cameras when they appeared. And binoculars and telescopes. You get the idea. Take advantage of the situation.

SLR development is now at a peak. The market is competing more and more for less necessary features. And the prices are going up for all manufacturers.
Unfortunately for Canon and Nikon they have no new great SLRS in the bottom of the market that make for compulsive upgrading.
A 6mp Nikon D40, Canon 350D or Pentax K100D suit most owners very well. Why spend more?

Diffraction limiting of the lens gets worse with more mps. Once people realise this secret, who cares about spending more money?

At the end of WW2 several car manufacturers were offered the VW Plant and Beetle for nothing. They all said it sucked. You know the rest.
Pentax went through a tough time changing from M42 mount to K Mount.VW went through a tough time changing from the Beetle to Golf.
Why did they survive these crises?
Fundamental respect for essential skills: VW: solid engineering.
Pentax: solid optics;
Leica: solid optics.
There's no big deal about sensors and electronics these days.Lots of companies make the stuff.

I believe Pentax will survive. I worry about Canon and Nikon having to convince people to upgrade to ever more flimsy plastic fantastics offering average construction and low pride of long-term ownership.
Like VW and Apple Computers and Pentax today, survival comes from fundamental, difficult to find anywhere else, precision skills and knowledge. Oh! And don't forget Leica.

Anonymous said...

One word: Competition

If one can't compete, they cannot survive and will die!

That is true, however the argument IMHO becomes faulty, as it is apparent that very few market players can truly compete with Canon and Nikon in the DSLR area (almost none).

By that logic, do you think we are going towards a C/N only future (comparable to Intel/AMD on the CPU front)?

And that also Sony and Olympus will drop the SLR market after some time, possibly tending only to EVIL cameras such as the Panasonic DMC-G(H)1?

I always considered Pentax to be more of a "niche market" player, not an outright competitor to C/N.

Anonymous said...

I think Canon and Nikon have to worry about Sony. A big company with lots of electronic skills and manufacturing ability and since acquiring Minolta, optical and imaging expertise.
If demand falls in one area, Sony has always survived because of its diversity: the Betamax death and new life for Sony with VHS.Transition is
part of Sony's culture. Also, Sony invented digital imaging, did it not?
And it makes sensors like Canon.
Like I said, Nikon and Canon, watch out for Sony!

tigrebleu said...

Nice work. Well researched and accurate on most points.

Good job.

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