Lunchtime Briefing: Sony Baloney
I've been meaning to do a What's Wrong With Sony? piece for some time. Props to the New York Times for sorta beating me to it today, taking a look at the company pegged to the Great Flaming Battery Recall.
I have a bigger question, though, on Sony, and I'd like your feedback: How did Sony blow it?
When I was accumulating my home entertainment units 10 years ago, with a tuner, CD-changer, casette player (can you believe it?) and TV, I bought all Sony products. They were the gold standard for reliable, reasonably affordable electronics, if you didn't want to pay a factor of 10 more for Bang & Olufsen and other boutique brands.
Sony had the portable music and portable TV market locked down tight, with the Walkman, Discman and even Watchman. At one point -- I checked -- Sony had something like 75 percent of the mobile music market.
Five years ago, I thought they were ready to rule the world: They had the best electronics AND they had a movie studio, a television syndication business and a music label. The total marriage of content and delivery.
Then, the iPod happend.
And Sony had no answer.
A former Sony exec told me that the company has too many silos -- i.e., individual busines units -- that don't talk to each other. So, Sony, the TV-making unit, doesn't talk to Sony, the movie studio, about how to deliver Sony movies to Sony TVs.
A large part of the blame falls on senior management, of course, and I guess Sir Howard Stringer is trying to fix the ship, but he's been in the job for about a year and the biggest thing he has to his name is the Great Flaming Battery Recall.
What has been your experience with Sony? Why have you stayed with the company, or left the company, in terms of its products?
What's your on-the-ground view of how Sony blew the 21st century? At least so far.
Today In The Post:
-- What's wrong with Sprint Nextel? Ask the nearly 200,000 customers who left last quarter. Or, just read Yuki Noguchi's story today.
-- Walls are one of mankind's earliest and most enduring technologies. They were our first line of defense against other cavemen and they remain modern man's first line of defense against talking about emotions. Yesterday, President Bush OK'd buidling 700 more miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Read an excellent story on the history of walls in today's Style section by my colleague and bud Joel Garreau.
-- CNet has started a blog called Crave, which focuses on the newest gadgets that you simply, absolutely MUST have.
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