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Revolutionaries at Sony: The Making of the Sony Playstation and the Visionaries Who Conquered the World of Video Games Hardcover – Jul 1 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill (July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071355871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071355872
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,470,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 13 2001
Format: Hardcover
Revolutionaries at Sony is the authorized case history of how Sony came to enter and become a leader in the video game business in the 1990s. Many people despair about the potential for large companies to produce entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial results from within major corporations. Even more people would despair about that occurring with fast-changing technologies in the slow-moving, consensus-driven cultures of Japanese companies. The latest look at this general subject is found in the well-done book, The Innovator's Dilemma.
This book is an important case history on the subject, because it both confirms and challenges many common beliefs about intrapreneurship (being an entrepreneur inside a company, a term coined by Gifford Pinchot).
First, Japanese companies have a reputation for being not very innovative. The Sony entry into computer games is just the opposite, an important innovation based on a well-considered bet on advanced technology and how a market could be developed. In describing this case, the potential advantages of a large company because obvious in terms of creating access to and the ability to use more types of advanced technology.
Second, the case history is especially noteworthy because the Sony team took the unusual perspective (but one that I subscribe to in The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise) that ordinary people can approach perfection routinely. And the Sony team did just that.
Third, Ken Kutaragi, the key entrepreneur in the story, shows how being a contructive rebel can pay off. Shades of skunk works at Lockheed! He clearly must be familiar with the literature that suggests that you need to get the team away from everyone else, yet access top talent.
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Format: Hardcover
Revolutionaries at Sony does a good job of detailing an insider's perspective of the rise of the Playstation. It gives a good account of how the platform came to be, and a thorough discussion of the hardware. Sony's business plans, particularly its marketing strategy is also detailed for the reader, and gives some insight into the marketing of the PS2.
Unfortunately, the story of Ken Katarugi, the "hero" of the book (p. xi), reads more like "The Life and Times of Montgomery Burns, as told by Waylon Smithers" rather than even a semi-objective attempt at accurate history. Indeed, after reading Revolutionaries at Sony, I was left wondering what is this book exactly? A history? A fan book? By its cover, it's supposed to be a business case-study book. As a case study book, I'd expect a wider range of perspectives. Who heard of a case study of a business that quotes the senior executives almost exclusively? Where are the attempts to build alternative explanations, or refute alternative hypothesis. If it is a business case study, then I'd also expect to see a more thorough description of the business environment Nintendo's business model, which Asakura seems to have missed almost completely, is scantly mentioned. Given that Sheff's excellent history of Nintendo is now several years old, this oversite is more than a little disturbing.
But, if you're looking for a good one sided (Officially sancioned) account of the rise of the PlayStation, and a few of the facts behind the Rise of the Playstation, then Revolutionaries at Sony will do.
You can read the full review at Joystick101.org
[...]
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Format: Hardcover
A good look at the PlayStation's technology and business development process. Not really great as a venture or entrepreneur analysis (more of an intra-preneur story that worked). Gives something to compare the PS2 saga with.
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Format: Hardcover
Your virtually guranteed to walk away with 1 or 2 good ideas about how to develop and market products. This is like reading the play book for the New York Yankees. You won't find anything shocking, it's just a great story about how to break into a very competitve computer games market. You'll read how superior technology, relentless attention to detail and design, love for the customer, cost superiority and a vision to be the best in the world lead to great success. This is the closest thing the business world has to a royal straight flush! It's a quick read, so stop reading this and start reading this book.
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By A Customer on Oct. 17 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book presents Ken Kutaragi as the genius who single-handedly created the successful Playstation. It is just not a realistic picture of how a business runs or how a product becomes a success. It needs to include more information about other people who contributed to the product and the cultural environment in which it originated.
The translation from the Japanese also creates a style of grammar that is just not quite right to the English reader.
Half-way through the book I decided that my time was more valuable than this book and I needed to move on to something more rewarding (and more entertaining).
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