Sony, e-books et innovation

Article du consultant Scott Anthony trouvé via LinkedIn intitulé « The Fallacy of a ‘Kindle Killer’ » (27 août dernier).  Il y est question du modèle de livre électronique développé par Sony, bien sûr, mais – et ça me semble plus important – du rapport de Sony à l’innovation et de l’état général du nouveau marché du e-book.

The 2000s really have been a rough decade for Sony. There’s no reason it couldn’t have created the iPod, Wii, Flip Video Camera, and Kindle. Instead the company has always seemed to be a step behind.

That’s why Tuesday’s announcement [du Sony Reader Daily Edition] was so encouraging. Sony finally realized the importance of a simple business model. Its new device (called the « Sony Reader Digital Edition ») will access AT&T’s wireless network to simplify content delivery. Sony has formed partnerships with a number of content providers to help customers find great material. Its device features a touch screen (a feature missing in Amazon’s device).

If Sony delivers on the promised feature set, it has a chance of creating a nice e-reader business.

Will it « kill the Kindle? » Who cares. Remember, the e-reader category is still in its infancy. Analysts estimate that only three million devices will have been sold by the end of 2009. Other companies like Plastic Logic have plans to introduce devices; everyone expects that Apple will jump into the market as well. Amazon surely has more innovations up its sleeve.

Et pour finir, ces mots de sagesse…

Any company seeking to create new growth should build its business around the customer, not the competition. If you focus on the competition, you can lock yourself into replicating the competitor’s last innovation, leaving you gasping for air when they inevitably change the game on you.

C’est ce qui me fait penser que Seeing What’s Next: Using Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Changes, le livre qu’Anthony a co-écrit avec Clayton Christensen et Erik Roth, risque de se retrouver dans ma pile de bouquins à lire avant longtemps…

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