Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Hi Howard,

Congratulations. I have great respect for Mr. Idei and wish he could have completed his mission, but I'm sure the decision for him to resign was something that was thoroughly thought through. Personally, I'm glad that they chose you to run the company. I think you understand Sony and have many of the things that Sony needs to become the global company that Mr. Idei wanted it to be. My main concern is that you are quite immersed in the entertainment side of the business and I really believe that Hollywood is taking an unreasonably strong position on the copyright issue and is impinging on the rights of users and amateur creators. In your new role as the head of Sony, I urge you to try to take a more balanced and long-term view on the copyright issues. I suggest you at least listen to the rhetoric of the "other side" and maybe start by reading "The Future of Ideas" by Lawrence Lessig.

I hope you will still do the Sony Open Forum in Hawaii and let me continue to challenge you and your executives. (I promise to practice my golf too.)

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you again and hope your new job doesn't take away your sense of humor. ;-)

- Joi


I was in hopes that when Ken Kutaragi was promoted to CEO, he would make full use of Sony's media holdings to give an edge to its product offerings. The PSP, for instance, should be a portal to a very inexpensive, broad and deep selection of Sony owned media.

I guess we'll never know now whether he would have done that. It will be interesting to see what Stringer does, but I doubt his elevation to CEO will result in the company full capitalizing on its media vault in such a bold way. Hope I'm wrong. Dan Gillmor has an interesting entry on this, here.

I wonder if Carlos Ghosn exerted, as a director, some powerful conscious and unconscious influence on Sony's board's thinking: let a foreigner implement the turnaround measures that would be too painful / drastic for a Japanese manager to propose...

Also, Stringer's clout with the content side of the business might actually be an opportunity for Sony's electronics manufacturing side to try to push for more hardware/software synergy — e.g. enhanced availability of music or video content for Sony's gizmos. It took a conservative president like Nixon to make possible a policy of constructive engagement with communist China...

As for Kutaragi, I suppose he's young enough that, if he delivers good results with the game business, he'll still be in the running for the CEO post after Stringer's tenure...

Brilliant. Why sell razor blades when you can give them away free just to get people to buy razors?

AOL's new terms of service for AIM are another example of a company grabbing crazy power over users and the content they generate.

They actually claim ownership of all content typed through the AIM client. Hopefully this is one of those last gasps for air kind of things. I have no idea how AOL expect to compete, let alone impress users with this kind of policy decision being made.,1759,1775649,00.asp

I boycott Sony. I do not condone installing viruses/trojans on consumer's computers to protect "copyright". Read the following articles on Sony's new DRM methods (spread the word):


Sir Howard
I have an invention that I believe will be a phenonemen in the 21st century. It is easily within your reach. I am one year and one month into US patent pending and have applied to file internationally. The invention is for use for Information Technology heathcare solutions. As an aging theatre nurse, I have taken twenty years to put it in place. It is loaded with sensors which will allow care to be delivered in the absence of professionals who are diminishing in our ranks at a rapid pace. I believe that my device could be your magic bullet, as well as hope for my profession to progress well into the future, and not become an exist species burdened down by cumbersome methods of care delivery that have not changed in the forty six years of my career. I have a very broad patent pending on this device, I do not see any company having the ability to break into my invention without infringing copyright.
My sole purpose in life is to create a tool that will provide accuracy of care with, or without a professional to man the device. Your company is in a perfect position to take on the license of my invention and add it to your repertoire of goods you offer the public. It is not an invention designed for entertainment, but to take the health of mankind to a higher level and put more technology in the hands of the end users, providing alternative solutions for healthcare institutions to intervene and reduce the need for the costly healthcare outcomes of today. I look forward to receiving a response from you. I enjoyed your interview on US television recently, and believe that Sony made an excellent choice of leadership in choosing someone outside the genre we have come to accept as CEOs of major companies in America .Which is why I chose to tell you about my invention.
Yours Sincerely
Pamela Nye President PULSA INC

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ネオテニーの代表取締役の伊藤 穰一氏、以前にもとりあげたがなんだかすごい。日本語版にある彼の日程もえぐいが、本家のこちらのエントリーは先ほどSONYの舵取りを任され、世界中 Read More

Joi published an open letter to Howard Stringer, the new head of Sony. Let me add a codicil to that. I was just giving some thought to Sony the other day when ... Read More

Sir Howard Stringer is Sony's new CEO. So now we have a Japanese compnay, run by a New York-based Briton who speaks no Japanese. Joi Ito posts an open letter to Sir Howard:I think you understand Sony and have... Read More