Kodak is one of the oldest companies in existence. Founded in 1888, it has now been in operation for about 130 years. Before the digital age, Kodak's primary business was in film for cameras of all types. But the company failed to keep up with the competition as the digital age emerged. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy, which it came out of almost two years later. The company emerged much smaller than the film juggernaut it used to be. In January 2018, Kodak in partnership with WENN Digital announced a brand new photo licensing platform which would be supported by a new cryptocurrency. This ancient company that failed to go all in on other technological revolutions in the past is now jumping in on the cryptocurrency craze. Has its management learned from past mistakes or is this a whole new blunder?
The new platform the company announced is KodakOne. This is a brand new photo licensing service supported by blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency powering the service is called KodakCoin, which began initial public offerings on January 31, 2018. Unlike Hooters creating a new cryptocurrency rewards program, KodakCoin and KodakOne are a possible solution to a current real world problem. If it works, this new platform could create an entire new scheme for image copyrighting.
KodakCoin will work on the KodakOne blockchain platform to provide a completely secure avenue for digital photo rights management. Photographers who hold KodakCoins will be able to upload new images, archive old work, and manage rights for their images on the platform. Users would be able to license their photos right from the platform and get receive payments in KodakCoin. Additionally, Kodak plans to use image recognition software to scour the web for instances of registered images, providing protection for all users on the KodakOne platform.
This new platform is a smart application of blockchain technology to solve a problem that has gone unaddressed for decades. Blockchain essentially functions as a secure public ledger. Every new transaction is added to the list, but due to encryption, no one is able to go back and change past entries. This creates a permanent record of every transaction. Blockchain would be the most secure platform to record image rights and keep track of them into the future. KodakOne makes KodakCoin the most logical and useful cryptocurrency that has been announced recently. It's not a token for token's sake. It will be serving a real, functional purpose that could take off in a huge way.
But what has some investors worried is Kodak's companion announcement: the Kodak KashMiner. The KashMiner is a small computer that will mine for Bitcoin. Investors can rent these machines over a two year period, but they must give up half of the profits to Spotlite — the company Kodak is licensing its name to for this product. According to promotional materials, you're supposed to earn $375 a month based on current Bitcoin value. But this is where it falls apart. Part of how Bitcoin works is that mining for it becomes more difficult overtime. So this profit rate will not keep up over those two years. The KashMiner may be the blunder in the company's cryptocurrency bet.
Nevertheless, Kodak's stock surged in response to these cryptocurrency announcements. Blockchain is the new hot buzzword and everyone wants to get on board.
But while the concept of applying blockchain technology to digital image rights does have potential, there are some concerns for investors looking to hop on to Kodak's new platform early. KodakCoin is not really a Kodak project. WENN Digital is behind the offering and is a company that specializes in paparazzi photo licensing. Another hiccup is the initial offering of KodakCoin is limited to so-called accredited investors in the United States, defined as a person with a net worth of $1 million or more, or an annual income above $200,000. Most photographers that would be benefited by this program would not make the cut off. Additionally, as with all cryptocurrencies, it is unlike KodakCoin will become widely traded. Meaning holders might have to keep their currency indefinitely. And maybe freelance photographers prefer to get paid in cold hard cash instead.
Whether or not KodakOne and KodakCoin function and takes off, you can be sure that this is the beginning of blockchain technology being applied to various avenues outside of just offering a new shiny coin.
- Cryptocurrency could be the digital currency of the future - PayPath ›
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- Commentary: Buy Kodak Stock, Not Kodak Cryptocurrency | Fortune ›
- Kodak's Cryptocurrency Is Already Being Presold - CoinDesk ›
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- Why Kodak's cryptocurrency move is a terrible idea | New York Post ›
- Kodak's Dubious Cryptocurrency Gamble - The New York Times ›
Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.
What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.
The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.
There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!
Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.
Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”
While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.
That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying
the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.
This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.
Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.
That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?
Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”
While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."
In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.
We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.
As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.
What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.
The rising trend of pet-friendly offices is part of the effort to incentivize employees to come back to work in person. Many companies completely embraced the remote-friendly convenience of WFH. Digital nomad culture emerged and “second cities” arose when people exited New York, San Francisco, and LA, and headed to Denver, Austin, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh.
But now, employees and employers have a choice to make. The question now is: to return or not to return to the office? This is no longer about forcing employees to commute. Post The Great Resignation, employees feel more empowered to leave in-person positions and seek out remote jobs. So if offices want people to return, they’ve got to do a ton to entice their employees.
Some huge companies with giant operating budgets are not worried. With major perks like shiny facilities and full-service food bars, they feel comfortable requiring in-office work days — even if it’s for a hybrid week. But the solution might be simpler: pet-friendly workplaces.
The Allure of Pet-Friendly Offices
According to the Washington Post, pet-friendly workplaces are becoming a common solution to improve employee morale and appease the rising number of pandemic pet owners. “As offices start reopening and thousands of workers are being called back for the first time in two years, some companies are allowing employees to bring their pets. About 23 million American households adopted a pet during the pandemic, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Many workers say they find pet-friendly environments an important perk for their new furry family members. A recent survey conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital, owned by Mars Inc., showed that 57 percent of the 1,500 pet owners polled said they would be happiest returning to a pet-friendly workplace. Half of the 500 top executives surveyed said they are planning to allow pets at the office. Tech companies including Google, Amazon, and Uber plan to continue to allow dogs at their offices, even with their flexible office policies.”
With so many people adopting and fostering since the pandemic, becoming a pet parent is a trend. And to welcome these new additions into people’s lives, it makes sense for some workplaces to welcome them into the office.
After spending unlimited amounts of time at home, many pets grew greatly attached to their “parents” — and pet-parents feel the same about their pets. Rather than keeping them locked in the house while their caretakers head off to work, this is a mutually beneficial solution to the current separation anxiety faced by pets.
Pets have also been shown to boost happiness in pet owners. According to heart.org, “Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety, and depression; ease loneliness; encourage exercise and improve your overall health. For example, people with dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease. Just playing with a dog has been shown to raise levels of the feel-good brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings and bonding for both the person and their pet.” Most likely, this might have a similar effect on people who bond with animals at work that don’t even belong to them, lending an overall mood boost to the office.
The controversy behind pet-friendly workplaces
However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about the prospect. Some would rather keep the office separate from their personal lives. Some are allergic to pets. And some people simply don’t like animals.
Offices considering pet-friendly policies are weighing the pros and cons to keep everyone happy. According to the Washington Post, clear guidelines and communication can increase the chances of success.
“Before making the jump, pet experts say that leaders should first understand whether their employees have interest in, or strong feelings against, having a pet-friendly office. Doing an anonymous survey may allow employees to freely share thoughts on the matter.”
Overall, the key to a policy like this is flexibility. “Be ready to adjust: Above all, pet-friendly offices should be ready to listen and adjust their policies as they go. What works for one office may not work for another, but experts say proper planning can lessen much of the burden.”
Ensure your office is actually suited to the pets you want to welcome. “A well-developed pet-friendly office should be both safe and welcoming to pets. That means companies should consider blocking off areas that could be dangerous to pets as well as making sure pets have access to clean water, food, and places to rest.”
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