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  • pleasepleaseme2010 pleasepleaseme2010 Jun 18, 2010 3:46 AM Flag

    The End of Sony

    It's worth remembering that the once-great Sony Design Center had the product concepts, the designs, the technology and the business plan to create iPod-like devices, an online store similar to iTunes and a lot more, in a coherent package with partners on deck, slick demos to sell the story internally, etc. IN NINETEEN NINETY EIGHT ... one year before the launch of Napster. But Sony corporate and the music side of the business would not green light the effort. That was a stunning miscalculation, as we now know. One of many that I witnessed during the late 1990s, when Apple was a small fraction of its current size.. The smartest among the in-house staff at Sony Electronics in Tokyo, San Francisco and Park Ridge knew that Sony had lost its creative edge. And by 2002 virtually every non-Japanese staffer and contractor at the Sony Design Center and key members of the engineering staff were gone. One of them did go to another lumbering giant called Phillips, where a guy named Fadell would take an idea that was first fully articulated at Sony and carry it with him to Apple. The entrenched mediocrity and cancerous "not invented here" syndrome that afflicts so many firms had such a tight grip on Sony by that time, they did not even react when the i-Pod was introduced. Sony could have done so much at that time. But the company simply lost its nerve. The debacle we see today is the result. Of course, failure is not inevitable. It's usually self-willed. There are compelling opportunities and entry points that Sony can seize upon to become a contender again. But entrenched mediocrity and a tendency to say "no" or "not yet" rather than "yes" is difficult to stop once the decision makers become as risk-averse as they are at Sony today. Time will pass the company by, loyal customers will forget them and move on, if they do not change that culture and decide to become a leader once again. As you see at Apple today and as we saw at Sony during Morita's time, creative ideas have the best chance of becoming real products when the top person is creative, willing to take informed risks, and despises anything that smacks of mediocrity. Apple has that. Sony does not, but can recapture that spirit ... with a new and very different top man in place, of course.

    That's my opinion as a former insider.

    • Sony is done. Apple follows. Philips invents, Philips brought teh CD and DVD to Sony. AND Philips actually started Panasonic ELECTRONICS in the 50's, owned 35% of it for decades. Sold it in the 80's. Now Panasonic will own Sony! Things go round and round. Samsung is running high now, they too will crumble. GE, Philips, Siemens, started, created the world of electronics and electrical stuff, all others follow. Heck even Bell Labs folded, the 3 are still going strong.

    • what is so funny is that after reading your posts, i would say that YOU should be the CEO. not joking. why do people like us see so clearly what the problems are?

      if i had the resources and name of sony, you can bet that i would make sure that the next thing that i create dazzles and i mean dazzles. that is what steve jobs does. it wouldn't matter to me if i produced only one product in the next 20 years -- NOTHING goes out the door unless is it the sh7t! period! movies, devices, etc.

      it almost seems that companies like sony (the "pop" sony of today, not the SONY of old -- just take a logo subtext - "make.believe" to get the gist of the distinction), rimm, msft, dell, in their attempt to enter markets like smartphones, tablets, etc., are simply going through the motions! as if and as long as they all keep busy and make paychecks.

      in all fairness however, steve jobs is not fair competition. what apple has gathered by his genius and a little timing luck, is truly unimaginable. plus, the platform that they chose, which i believe is unix based, is THE WAY TO GO. you need a big ego and stomach to go against apple.

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