Sony is a well-known electrical manufacturer whose name is associated with innovative products such as pocket-sized transistor radio, Walkman. At present’s days, radio and Walkman become so common that both young and old people can learn through this little box of information and relaxation. Sony’s secret for being so successful is to continually develop new products. Sony’s growing process can also be said as the process to invest continually in new technology and produce the most creative products around the world. Akio Morita was not only the co-founder of Sony but also the first one achieve the goal of “enterprise globalization” in Japanese business history, thus, he was on “Time” magazine’s cover in 1982. He led Sony into the top 500 companies in the world. He was Sony’s emperor and spiritual leader. What was the clue to successes of Akio Morita? And what kind of personality contributed to his success? In order to answer those questions, I will examine Akio Morita’s early life and his entrepreneurial path.
Akio Morita was born on January 26, 1921 in Nagoya. Morita’s family was most well known as the oldest and most famous production sake tradition family in the region. Akio Morita was the oldest brother among other four children: he was expected to inherit his family business.
Under the influences from Akio Morita’s mother’s love for classical music, young Akio Morita was fascinated by sound or anything that creates sounds. When Akio Morita’s father bought him the first electric gramophone, he was thrilled, the sound that was created by the friction was not only exciting but also confusing.
How did this electric gramophone work? Akio Morita started to read related books and studied on his own, at the end he was not only able to build an electric gramophone but also a radio receiver by himself. This was the time Akio Morita decided to dedicate himself to electronics and physics. The strong interest from electronics and physics helped young Morita to excel in high school and university and also helped the foundation of Sony in the future.
After Akio Morita graduated from University in 1944, he joined the Navy as a technical junior officer. Sooner, he met Masaru Ibuka who was at the time the electrical engineer working in the Navy. Although, Ibuka was 14 years older than Akio Morita, they formed a great friendship and established 40-year partnership with each other.
After the war ended in 1945, Akio Morita went home and worked as a teacher in a polytechnic university, in the physics department. When he happened to see his old friend Ibuka was trying to promote a telecommunication company, he contacted Ibuka immediately and showed the desire to be part of the new company. When he walked in the simple and crude office, he felt the great passion towards making the best electric products in the world.
In 1946, Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka established the former Sony, which...