Sony announced yesterday (Friday) that it was suspending the production of the CDs that have the copyright protection rootkit that was exploited by virus writers. On one hand, this is good news. On the other hand, I am once again thinking, what are they thinking? Rather than just suspend the production of the above CDs, they need to stop production completely, then go back to the drawing board and figure out how to compete in this new economy.
Sony and many like-minded companies seem to forget that one very important aspect of business, that business environment will always evolve. Old threats will disappear, but new threats will always show up. It seems that when companies are young, they seem to better grasp this fact than when they become a mature company.
These firms always talk about how they only hire the “best and the brightest”. Well, when you hire the best and brightest, you better make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. Its time for Sony’s B&B went back to the drawing board to figure out how they can compete effectively in this new environment rather than relying on sneaky tricks that would eventually result in undermining the trust of and alienating their customer base. A good example of someone who understands that the current environment has changed is Apple’s wonder guy, Steve Jobs, who as developed a great new business model in response to the new threat.
When you think about it, it is really remarkable that Apple’s iPods has such a huge market share when Apple’s computers command a relatively small share of the overall desktop market. Maybe Sony should hire Jobs as a consultant…
I think we will all be watching to see how this all plays out for Sony and their products especially in terms of sales of Sony Music CDs. If the majority of their customers are unaware of the controversy, that would be fine for Sony, however, because of the internet, word gets around fast and so it comes down to how many people will become aware of this issue… time will tell