Sony Corporation, an eminent Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronics products.
The name Sony can be seen everywhere, everyday in films, music, and financial services, among other ventures.
The founders of Sony are Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita. Masaru Ibuka was a member of the Imperial Navy Wartime Research Committee but he left the navy after World War II had ended and founded a radio repair shop in Nihonbashi, Tokyo around September 1945.
The following year, Akio Morita joined Masaru Ibuka. Akio Morita was Masaru Ibuka wartime research colleague.
Morita saw a newspaper article about Ibuka’s new venture and decided to join him in Tokyo a year later.
The Start Of Sony.
Sony was founded on 7 May 1946. But before this, Sony was called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. The company had eight employees only and their capital was ¥190,000.
Their shop was in a department store building in Tokyo. After Akio Morita joined, his father gave funding for the company.
Sony went public in 1955, after launching Japan’s first transistor radio.
The Name Sony
Before the name Sony was chosen, they considered using their initials, ‘TTK’ as before Sony, their company was called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo.
But they could not use ‘TTK’ because of the railway company ‘Tokyo Kyuko’ was known as ‘TTK’
Therefore, the company used the acronym ‘Totsuko’ in Japan but when Morita was in America, he realised that the Americans had a hard time pronouncing ‘Totsuko’.
They tried another name which was ‘Tokyo Teletech’ until Morita found out that an American company already has Teletech as a brand name.
In 1950s Japan, “sonny boys” was a loan word in Japanese which meant ‘smart and presentable young men’.
The founders considered themselves to be young men of those. Therefore, the name ‘Sony’ was born. They changed their company’s name in 1958.
The First Product
In the late 1940s, Sony produced their first product which was an electric rice cooker. But the rice cooker produced mostly undercooked or overcooked rice. Therefore it was never launched.
After some time with some research, Sony developed and marketed Japan’s first ever tape recorder, it was called Type-G.
But Type-G didn’t sell well as it was too bulky and could not record long conversations and could not capture certain pitch.
Around August 1955, Sony’s first branded product the TR-55 was sold successfully in Japan.
In December of the same year, Sony released the TR-72. It was released globally including Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany.
Since Morita’s visit to Philips in 1953, the company has shifted its focus from domestic to the international market. He directed Sony to begin producing exports for the international market.
He was motivated by Philips as they had succeeded in the international market, so he figured that there was no reason why Sony wouldn’t succeed.
The sales of their transistor radios, such as the TR-55 and TR-72 and the consistent marketing efforts of the staff made it possible for them to build up overseas markets which would yield 50% of their gross sales within 7 years.
After that, they set up offices in New York, Hong Kong and Zurich and a radio factory in Ireland.
Sony wants to close the gap between hardware and software, their motive was to become the first global company that builds both the boxes and what comes out of them. They believed The US is where the future of the company unfolds.