Once at the pinnacle for developing new technology, Sony executives have realised that for the last 20 years they have been playing second fiddle when it came to new technology and innovation.

To stem the tide and a fear that gap might be growing too large, Sony has created a New Business Creation department – which was first hinted to in April.

The new division is on a quest to undo the lack of innovation what Japanese publication Nikkei calls the “lost 20 years” by hiring about 200 young employees to hear about their business and product ideas – and to better tap into the younger market.

“We were mired in an innovation dilemma,” Shinji Odajima, head of the New Business Creation department told Nikkei, about the last 20 years of products. The company also set out a call for innovative ideas from its current employees, and has received over 200 so far.

“There [are] still plenty of employees in Sony looking for a challenge. Renewal is supremely important for Sony. If we don’t challenge, engage with our youngest…” Odajima said.

In a bid to rejuvenate the Sony business, it recently sold its VAIO PC business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), spun its television arm into a separate company, and announced the closure of its own eReader store. This was all done in recoup costs and cut of divisions that didn’t produce solid revenue.

As an example of where Sony fell a bit off the technology innovation wagon, Engadget details that Sony was late to produce flat-panel televisions, and was beaten by Apple to flash-storage music players. The company also announced that they are working on a virtual reality headset, a long time after Oculus V.R made their Rift model popular.

But Odajima isn’t too concerned about the possible bad reputation Sony has: “People might have negative things to say about us, but I don’t take much notice of that.”

From the 200 ideas that have been received by the New Business Creation department, Sony will be screening the final suggestions at the end of the month, which could possibly go into production at a later date.

[Source – Engadget]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.