Nowadays time to market matters a lot. Canon took a big chunk on the market with the first entry level DSLR (Digital rebel aka 300D). Late entrants got their behinds whooped for a while... like Minolta and Pentax. But now they are trying to come back with a vengence.
Kodak was so slow in coming up with a digital solution for the consumer market that they never recovered. That is despite the fact they invented the digital sensor. I had 2 Kodak digi cameras (a 2MP one and a 5MP one) so far. And both are super good in color rendition. But being slow to market with products pretty much killed them. That said, Kodak's high end sensors are still kicking butt. And are being used in high end applications like MF digital backs and industrial applications.