The agony of Japan Inc. – Fortune Tech

A look at the sad state of Japanese electronics companies in the modern era. Once on the cutting-edge of technology, they have languished in the age of the web. Though still one of the most developed and productive countries in the world, many signs point towards a stagnation of the innovative kind. You don’t need to look far to remember many of the tech giants of old, who are rapidly fading into irrelevance in a sea of red ink.

“Japan’s electronics conglomerates never really understood the web, no matter how they tried. They could follow the web, but never for a moment did they ever show that they could lead it into new territory. And the web is all about exploring new territory. So while there were a number of bestsellers that tried to warn of the rise of Japan Inc., there were few if any that explained what went wrong. There was the bust of the Japanese stock bubble, and the subsequent two decades of deflation. There was the sclerotic tendency of Japanese companies to stubbornly cling – long after they made economic sense – to practices that led to its rise: cross-shareholding, an obscure intimacy with government bureaucrats and a sense that the corporation knew better than the consumer what was best.”

The agony of Japan Inc. – Fortune Tech

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