So I happened to come across this rather interesting article in Fortune magazine talking about why smart companies can be “too smart for their own good”. Written by Brent Schlender, the focus was mostly on Sony’s drive to try and be the best, but their last two releases have been rather dismal and perhaps Sony should look into getting a product that is cool, but not try and shoot for the moon.
Schlender writes in his article:
It’s not every day that you see successful corporations humiliate themselves. But it happens. In the case of high tech, it usually occurs when a company can’t resist the urge to launch a moon shot, a Herculean but overly ambitious and inevitably misguided effort to come up with some ultimate new thing…
He continues on throughout the article to talk about how Sony has placed a lot of stock in the success of its Playstation 3 (which has been beaten by the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360) and also the rollout of the Blu-Ray technology to play DVDs. Sadly, the time that Sony took to modify their system and to create their own technology to market Blu-Ray was for naught as other competitors quickly rolled their systems out. Perhaps Sony spent more time to make sure that the Playstation 3 had that extra capability to play Blu-Ray devices, but if they had gotten it out earlier, then perhaps they could have capitalized on the market before the Nintendo Wii was released in North America.
In any event, this article was a good read and it is online right now so you can read it for yourself and see what Schlender is talking about. One of the last things that he talks about is how the Playstation 3 and Blu-Ray falls into the same category as Edsel (Ford Motor Company), New Coke (Coca-Cola), and IBM’s inability to effectively release its operating system thereby allowing Windows to control the computer world.