The business world never seizes to amaze. Another great company bites the dust – Sony Corporation. The company was brought to a complete distraction in just 15 years. Well, ok, it still exists but that is, first, not for long, and second, that is a pitiful shadow of the once great company.
In the news, Sony is selling its computer business “to concentrate on mobile”. What a load of bullshit. Sony is also apparently spinning out its TV business. Am I the only one that finds it all hard to believe? Sony, the great empire of video everything – video recording, video transmission, video viewing, video gaming – is going to concentrate on mobile phones. What a joke. Sony always had and still has the greatest technology in video and throwing all that out of the window is just, well, business nonsense. And therefore something else will happen.
I have a feeling of a deja vu with this story. Nokia folded while being the market leader to concentrate on, what, networks. Now Sony is folding while being the market leader to concentrate on mobile. Nonsensical explanations at best for the rest of us.
When did it all start? Sony started to sell off its assets, buildings in the first place, some time around the turn of the century. That was a clear indication of things going quite wrong financially – someone wanted the cash and did not care at what price to the company it would come. That started the financial erosion of the company that progressed swiftly: I do not think Sony owns much in terms of property anymore. Sony announced to stop manufacturing the Aibo robot dog in 2006 and that was the clear beginning of an end in technological sphere. Best and inventive products were not encouraged, the research engineers were the first to go in the several job cut rounds that followed. No new and exciting products came out.
There could be more at play that is obvious to me but these two pillars of destruction: financial erosion and enforced technological stagnation are already unsurprisingly sufficient to bring a company to its knees. Or to bring Sony to an extremely vulnerable position, ready for a takeover, if you prefer. And that is exactly what we see happening – takeover of key businesses of Sony by overseas companies. That is what it is all about. Who will get the Sony logo?
Good-bye, Sony. I will keep a fond memory of you.