Good­bye Lin­ear Think­ing: Hello Ex­po­nen­tial!

Hello Ex­po­nen­tial!

Rotman Management Magazine - - NEWS - By Peter Dia­man­dis and Steven Kotler

Our brains were not de­signed to process at the scale or speed of to­day’s ‘ex­po­nen­tial’ world. Here’s what to do about it.

Our brains were not de­signed to process at the scale or speed of to­day’s ‘ex­po­nen­tial’ world. Learn­ing ‘the 6Ds’ can help.

and Ge­orge East­man was a 24-year-old ju­nior THE YEAR WAS 1878, clerk at the Rochester Sav­ings Bank in dire need of a vacation. He de­cided to go to Santo Domingo, in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic. At the sug­ges­tion of a co-worker, East­man pur­chased all of the req­ui­site pho­to­graphic equip­ment to record the trip: a cam­era as big as a Rot­tweiler, a mas­sive tri­pod, a jug of wa­ter, a heavy plate­holder, the plates them­selves, glass tanks, an as­sort­ment of chemicals, and, of course, a large tent — this last item pro­vid­ing a dark place in which to spread emul­sion on the plates be­fore ex­po­sure and a dark place to de­velop them af­ter­wards.

East­man never did go on that vacation; in­stead, he be­came ob­sessed with chem­istry. Back then, pho­tog­ra­phy was a ‘wet’ art, but East­man — who craved a more portable process — heard about gelatin emul­sions ca­pa­ble of re­main­ing light-sen­si­tive after dry­ing. Work­ing at night in his mother’s kitchen, he be­gan to ex­per­i­ment with his own va­ri­eties. A nat­u­ral-born tin­kerer, East­man took less than two years to in­vent both a dry plate for­mula and a ma­chine that fab­ri­cated dry plates. The East­man Dry Plate Com­pany was born.

More tin­ker­ing fol­lowed. In 1884, East­man in­vented roll film; and four years later he came up with a cam­era ca­pa­ble of tak­ing ad­van­tage of that roll. In 1888, it be­came com­mer­cially avail­able, later mar­keted un­der the slo­gan ‘You press the but­ton, we do the rest.’ The East­man Dry Plate Com­pany had be­come the East­man Com­pany, but East­man wanted to call it some­thing ‘stick­ier’ that peo­ple would re­mem­ber and talk about. One of his fa­vorite let­ters was K. In 1892, the East­man Ko­dak Com­pany was born.

In those early years, if you would have asked Ge­orge East­man about Ko­dak’s busi­ness model, he would have said the com­pany was some­where be­tween a chem­i­cal sup­ply house and a dry goods pur­veyor (if dry plates can be con­sid­ered dry goods). But that changed quickly. “The idea grad­u­ally dawned on me,” he once said, “that what we were do­ing was start­ing to make pho­tog­ra­phy an ev­ery­day af­fair.” East­man later said he wanted to make pho­tog­ra­phy “as con­ve­nient as a pen­cil,” and for the next 100 years, East­man Ko­dak did just that.

The Mem­ory Busi­ness

In 1973, Steven Sas­son was a freshly-minted grad­u­ate of the Rens­se­laer Polytech­nic In­sti­tute. His de­gree in Elec­tri­cal En­gi­neer­ing led to a job with Ko­dak’s Ap­pa­ra­tus Di­vi­sion re­search lab where, a few months into his em­ploy­ment, his su­per­vi­sor ap­proached him with a ‘small’ re­quest. Fairchild Semi­con­duc­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.