Sony’s disjointed approach had four separate teams working on an iPad competitor

According to a rather interesting report by the Wall Street Journal, Sony’s approach to developing a product to challenge the iPad was a rather disjointed affair. The report states that Sony had four different teams working on four different projects.

Luckily for Sony, soon to be appointed CEO Kaz Hirai formed a User Experience Group and culled all but one of the projects. This lead to the development of Sony’s Tablet S hardware along with its Playstation suite integration.

The company had long had a reputation for creating 'silos,' or divisions that operated in isolation from each other. Aside from creating a disunited front, it sometimes led to segments being actively jealous of each other and refusing to collaborate. Walkman and home theater groups, for example, didn't get the cooperation from Sony's own music and movie groups to make digital media stores.

Under the leadership of Sony’s new CEO Kaz Harai, it is expected that Sony will have a much more rigid structure. Management will make decisions on product directions and strategies. Individual teams will then be taxed with the problem of making the products real; Sony wants to emulate the Apple way of developing new products.

Source: WSJ via Electronista

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

Inappropriate Response says:

i guess there's something to be said to putting your 4 best guys on it, and see which one is the best - as opposed to grouping them all and having the infighting within the group.

Carioca32 says:

Of course, and this approach has served Sony well in the past. Neither the WSJ or Electronica call the approach "disjointed", which is clearly pejorative.
The so called "disjointed" approach was very common at NASA in the 60's to tackle some of the challenges to putting men on the moon, and tends to bring up the best in R&D teams. Ok, Apple doesn't operate that way (as fas as we can tell), but that doesn't mean that this approach is inherently wrong.

plunder says:

Apollo involved "Fire Fighting" (not a reference to Apollo 1 BTW) under a virtually limitless budget with high time pressure. So one can see why they did that. Apparently apple do the 10-3-1 bit (10 fully detailed designs, 3 working prototypes to test and assess, one design in production). I suppose the Apple approach would be cheaper, perhaps Sony needed the speed.

parpart33 says:

What does this have to do with iPhone or iPad insights? Can someone clarify? I thought this site was dedicated to information concerning iOS devices. I am never going to buy a Sony device, so I could care less about this report. Please advise.

Carioca32 says:

It is about bashing and demeaning everybody else too, after all Sony is just this second-rate japanese company that never created anything and has no reputation for quality and innovation.

Apple&SonyFanbiy says:

Seems you have never bought a walkman or discman in your life before eh? Before you go about bleating to others about a "second rate japanese company" that is sony, perhaps you could google and find out why this tech giant has been around for so long. Enough said.

Carioca32 says:

I guess you missed the sarcasm. I´ll but between tags next time.

Chatnoir80 says:

Then don't read the post. Simple.

cardfan says:

Lots of companies use this "disjointed" approach. Apple didn't because they had a certain Steve Jobs. You need strong centralized leadership to emulate apple. Or more simply put, a great leader who knows what he's doing. It remains to be seen if Cook is that guy.
I doubt many on the street could even name the Apple CEO. Not good for Apple because being a legend is what allowed Jobs to do his job while not worrying about BS from others.
Can Cook do the same? He needs to step up at the upcoming events, be the voice of Apple, and not delegate these duties to other execs. It's widely believed that Cook doesn't have Jobs' sense of innovation and knowing what consumers want and many doubt his ability to make any kind of product decisions as Jobs routinely did.
Instead, he'll rely on others advice in the company. That's already unlike Apple.

Jdevenberg says:

Apple used this same approach in the past. The apple ii, Lisa, and Mac division all competed and didnt cooperate with eachother

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