Whatever Happened To Sony?

November 18, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Sony, a Japanese company that was once the poster-child of a future where western companies would no longer dominate, has stumbled upon hard times write Jake Adelstein and Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky. In fact, it’s not clear if the company will survive for long. They looked at what went wrong for what was once one of the biggest, most exciting companies:

  • In a possible attempt to bring in fresh blood and new ideas, Sony encouraged its older workers to retire early. However these experienced hands went on to work for Sony’s competitors while the inexperienced engineers lacked the confidence to experiment and innovate.
  • Domestic sales in Japan make up a significant portion of Sony’s revenue. However Japan’s loyalty for Japanese products is waning, and Sony can no longer rely upon generating sales in Japan with mediocre products.
  • The brand itself has lost its veneer. Once associated with dependability and reliability, that reputation is rapidly deteriorating as manufacturing facilities are moved out of Japan and into countries with lower labour costs, but also lower levels of skill.
  • The company may also have lost its focus. Is it a hardware company that builds televisions? Is it a gaming company that sells games for its PlayStation system? Or is it an entertainment company that produces Spiderman films?
  • The company also has a history of trying to lock customers into its proprietary formats. This is becoming an increasing disincentive to buy Sony products.

Read more about what went wrong, the internal management struggles, the role of Japan’s yen, and many more fascinating details over here.

Source: Kotaku