When Charlie Rose interviewed Sony CEO Sir Harold Stringer on Wednesday, a few excellent questions were posed -- but a few other should have been.
* The current economic "crash," or whatever you want to call it will eventually require the world to lean more heavily on the Chinese, who will be able to dictate many of their own terms since they own so much debt worldwide. Sony has done well so far during the downturn, since people crave entertainment to take their mind off the mayhem, but events are still unfolding.
* The success of Blu-Ray was an effort requiring "six or seven" different parts of the company to act in concert in an effort Stringer branded, soccer, style, "Sony United." Describing the victory over the HD DVD format as one that placed it "in direct competition with something that has worked," he's relieved that the success of the standard means no one will carve "BETAMAX 2" on his tombstone.
* Stringer thinks that Hollywood movies click with viewers like nothing else on earth ("no one can match US movies for global appeal"), and says Will Smith is the biggest movie star in the world, in large part because of his relentless work ethic when it's time to promote his films.
* He loves the potential of OLEDs, and believes that once prices drop they'll change many of the ways in which we interact with data. It's likely to dovetail with his vision for integrating 'Sony experience' content over multiple platforms (TV, computer, PS3 -- in his words, "different screens").
* He once sassed a man who held the fate of his US citizenship in his hands. As a young man -- before his war service -- he found himself waiting nine hours at an American embassy for certain paperwork. Near the end of the day, he ended up dealing with a cranky low-level bureaucrat who asked him why he thought he'd be able to get a job in America. He retorted, "Well, YOU did!"