Oliver Marks of Znet writes: "Sony, putting aside the human toll of massive restructuring, is a fascinating example of the carnage happening in the business world today, and the stifling of innovation in large companies. Today's multinational conglomerate had humble origins in post WWII Japan: Masaru Ibuka started a radio repair shop in a bombed-out building in Tokyo, and was joined by his colleague Akio Morita a year later.
These two innovators built Japan's first tape recorder and went on to experiment with transistors, a new invention at the time. The resulting transistor radios and subsequent creativity produced an explosion of consumer and professional products synonymous with quality. It's hard to overstate how innovative the company was in its youth: even the name Sony - a made up word which could be copyrighted and was one of the first global consumer brands - was hugely controversial in Japan, where it was unheard of not to have a company name in Kanji, and wildly creative and attention getting in the western world.
So how did this creative dynamo deteriorate into the opaque bureaucracy that is Sony today - a company which is ubiquitous on the planet but unfocused compared to for example Apple, who claimed the next generation of personal audio - and the massively lucrative content market - after Sony's hugely successful WalkMan?"