Friday, January 21, 2005

There's a lesson . . .

Posted by Craig Westover | 7:47 AM |  

For my MSM readers (that's "Mainstream Media" for those mainstream media not familiar with blogosphere shorthand), there's a lesson in this Washington Post story.

Sony Admits Losing Out on Gadgets

TOKYO, Jan. 20 -- Sony missed out on potential sales from MP3 players and other gadgets because it was overly proprietary about music and entertainment content, the head of Sony Corp.'s video-game unit acknowledged Thursday.

Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said he and other Sony employees have been frustrated for years with management's reluctance to introduce products like Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod, mainly because the Tokyo company had music and movie units that were worried about content rights. . . .

Kutaragi said Sony's original spirit of innovative technology had grown "diluted."

"We have to concentrate on our original nature -- challenging and creating," he said.

Once the powerhouse of global electronics, exemplified in its Walkman, Sony has lost some of its glamour lately, losing out in profitability and market share to cheaper Asian rivals.

Whether the MSM wants to acknowledge it or not, blogs are having an impact on the way people interact with the traditional forms of news dissemination.

MSM executives should be asking themselves the age-old basic question -- What business are we in? If the answer comes back "The newspaper business," the "televsion news business," or the "radio business," these executives are in for a Sony-like awakening. The visionary answer is "the information business," and that mission should be primary, not necessarily the mode of delivery.

As Kutaragi advises, "concentrate on [y]our original nature."

Sony's reluctance to recognize the impact of technology cost it billions, and now it's playing catch-up with its competitors. Five years down the line, it will be interesting in the MSM world to see who is chasing whom.