The expendable leaders of Eastman Kodak are having an auction today.

My wife and I attended a real estate auction a few weeks ago, the Davison estate was the crown jewel of Spencerport twenty years ago.  A century old colonial done with the style of Graceland she sat one hundred yards back from the Erie Canal on the western edge of the Village of Spencerport. Located at the quiet end of a dead end street the estate was surrounded by a few acres of perfectly maintained lawn and gardens.  With large several car barn/garage it was the home everyone would dream of owning.

And then time went by.

The Davisons passed on and in 2005 near the top of the US real estate market the jewel of Spencerport and various plots of land in the village sold in auction to a perspective builder for over one million dollars.  With the crown jewel and a dream the new owner proceeded to work with the Town of Ogden and the Village of Spencerport to sub-divide the land into tiny parcels of land, the new plan included 3 building lots directly between the Davison home and the Erie Canal.

The survey stakes and colored tape went up, the streets woods and lawn was tore up to make room for utilities; gas, electric sewers and finally some new roads.

The crown jewel sat empty, the lawns and garden unmaintained, she soon became just another old home for sale at what once was the end of a quiet street.

Fast forward to 2012, the real estate market has tanked, banks are reluctant to loan money and it has become a buyer’s market for existing homes.  The former Davison estate has been sliced and diced into a bunch of tiny over-priced building lots all sitting empty for over five years.  With no money coming in, the original home, barn and the building lots placed between the homestead and canal are back on the auction block.

I can’t tell you how many ideas I ran through my head trying come up with one good reason to make an offer and bring the jewel back to her glory days.  But the damage had been done, time and lack of proper care and maintenance had taken its toll, it would take nearly two-hundred thousand dollars to make her what she used to be.

Sadder than this, with a starting price of only one hundred and fifty thousand not a single hand went up, the same thing happened with the building lots and in less than fifteen minutes the auction closed.  Only seven years ago this portion of the estate had sold for over five hundred thousand dollars and this is not Florida, home prices here have held steady for years.  The drop in value came only from negligence, greed and bad business plan.

And, the same three thing bring me to Eastman Kodak, negligence, greed and a bad business plan are exactly what made Rochester’s former photo giant exactly what it is today.

An old house that nobody wants to call home anymore. An empty shell that once held precious memories and promise.

The people who made her what she once was have passed on, retired or left to start out on their own when they came to realize George Eastman’s family business had been taken over by a gang of fools destined to cut this crown jewel into hundreds of useless little pieces.

Today the greedy get their final say as US bankruptcy attorneys have agreed to allow “The Company” to auction off thousands of digital patents at a project value of over 2 billion dollars.

These patents are the life blood and remaining hope of what once was Eastman Kodak.  The hard work and ideas of some of Rochester’s best and brightest.  Ideas and hard work put forth in hopes that some or maybe even one might have the impact of consumer film or motion picture, something, anything that might bring a company in critical condition back to life.

And when they have been sold, this home will sit empty, and the chosen fools who sit atop of George Eastman’s Kodak Tower will again fill their pockets secure their own retirement plans and send more of her finest assets to the unemployment line.

To those who once worked hard to make Eastman Kodak the pride of our community we still have our Kodak Moments.  The photos of our families, they hang on the walls of the place we call home.  A home after all is filled with family, a place still alive and vital with the promise of a great future.

So in the name of Negligence, Greed and a Poor Business Plan, I hope once again for a no-bid auction.  It would send one final message of incompetence to the gang of fools who cut the jewel!

In closing this blog, I would like to communicate how thankful I am to have found a company where values are a lot more than words on a poster. GPAllied and the companies who make up the Allied Reliability Group is a place with a solid plan and a great future.  I can only hope the people of Rochester who helped make Kodak great find a workplace they can call home!

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2 Responses to Eastman Kodak to Auction Patents

  1. True and sad story. Well said.

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