DISCLAIMER: I’m not out here trying to get sued or anything. So I must say that although I talk about Polaroids, I’m really referring to instant film cameras only. I don’t know jack shit about the actual Polaroid company or their business.
I remember when I was six or so and I was sitting at the dinning room table of my old household eating a bowl of soggy Corn Flakes with an inch of sugar at the bottle of the bowl and my sister walked in with a big ass camera.
“Look what I got today!” She was ecstatic.
She held it up and snapped a picture of me shoving a spoonful of the cereal and sugar down my gullet.
“Stop!” I yelled.
“No look,” she held up a faded pic of the picture to me. Isn’t this so cool?!
Cut to a couple of months ago when I was celebrating the birthday of a close friend of mine in Saratoga Springs, New York. She took out this little pink plastic camera and said, “let’s take a selfie!”
We posed and she clicked the button and instantly, she was holding a faded little pic of us looking…well, faded.
“Isn’t this so cool?!” She beamed.
The problem is, it wasn’t cool.
The Polaroid Plummet
I’m a 90s baby, so growing up Polaroid cameras were a big ass deal, dominating the camera industry. They were a household name: everyone was shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Then, when the digital camera came, they just…disappeared. Now I know the argument is, they didn’t disappear Polaroid has a big name in the digital industry and blah blah blah but as a consumer I went over (or under, idk math) 15 years without hearing about the thing that made them cool: the instant print picture. With the age of digital cameras everyone was so obsessed with the quality of the pictures and having their pictures right where they could see them at all times, that we forgot about the awesomeness of the Polaroid instant picture. We went from instantly holding a picture of a chubby kid eating soggy cereal to pictures on a camera: having to go to a local Walgreens and sit in one of those uncomfortable ass plastic chairs looking at a little screen and clicking the pictures we want to print; praying to God that it doesn’t freeze on that one blurry pic of our tits. Or, if you were lucky, you had a printer at home that did it for you. But that’s besides the point. My thing is, where were the instant pictures?! What happened Polaroid?!
Here’s My Theory
I think Polaroid got discouraged. I think someone in the office said that digital was the wave of the future and they just went with it. Didn’t put up a fight, didn’t see the importance of their product.
They stopped believing in the thing that made them great.
Could you image how lit our iPhones would be today if Polaroid has kept their instant pictures and just advanced with the times? Now, to give Polaroid some credit, they did make a come back and you can buy an attachment thing that makes your photos instant for you. But still. If they had done this all along, I wouldn’t have to buy an attachment and I sure as hell wouldn’t have a shitty quality photo of me at a party in Saratoga Springs.
This is Why You Shouldn’t Be Like Polaroid
Polaroid didn’t stand by their shit. They sat around and let the next wave take them away from their awesome product. Instead of saying hey digital cameras with instaprint, cellphones with instaprint, they just jumped on whatever was popular. Don’t do that.
Whether it’s an actual product, an idea, or something in YOU that you think is dope and that you like, don’t let that thing go just to do what is popular.
Popularity and clout are about having something dope, KNOWING it’s dope, then telling those around you. I didn’t even know there were different types of yogurt until everyone started talking about Greek yogurt. It’s a cool yogurt and now every yogurt brand and their mama has a Greek cousin but that’s because someone knew that Greek yogurt was the shit and told others. Whatever your “thing” is, if you know it’s the shit, OWN THAT SHIT! Make sure people know your thing is the shit. Don’t abandon it when something else comes along.
And If You DO Abandon It
Bounce the fuck back! This blog post was about instant film yes but the real Polaroid company was bankrupt like three times! Them mofos are the bounce back, come back Kings and Queens! Pick yourself back up, take a look at the thing or quality that you know is awesome, dust that bitch off and TRY AGAIN.
For actual information on the Polaroid camera, go here.
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