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Japan's gadget failures: One man refuses to forget

16 Comments

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© 2012 AFP

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16 Comments
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Ah. Very interesting!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For Masuda, these companies lost their nimbleness and their playful sense of adventure when they got too large.

Happens to the best of them. That's the story of free market capitalism.

Company has great idea.

Company makes money.

Company gets bit.

Company gets sluggish.

Company is overcome by smaller companies with great ideas.

That's the story of progress. Nothing wrong with Japanese companies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm very ambivalent about 1960-1980s Japan. On the one hand I do admire their explosive growth, which was full of idealism (like the article correctly pointed). On the other hand this all led to a crash of monumental proportions in the '80-'90s.

I do love Japanese movies from the 70's-80's depicting salary men's and office ladies life (set inside a medium sized company). It is quite different from what we do have now, and in a way I do understand the old guys, complaining that things were better years ago...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cool stuff, but didn't Japan or Tokyo make a law the electronics over 10 years are illegal to use?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nice article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if glasses with no lenses, which are apparently popular nowadays, will enter his collection right along with the radio TV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if glasses with no lenses, which are apparently popular nowadays, will enter his collection right along with the radio TV.

I certainly hope so, tho they aren't really in the same category. I love old crazy stuff like he collects. And sometimes they do the job better than newer stuff, they just couldn't sell because of cost, size or bad luck.

I think the era of Japanese innovation will come again. Yes, JP companies lost a lot of maneuvering room when they got too big, but look at phone makers. The best phones in the world were all made by JP companies until the iPhone came along and toppled a stagnant market. And at the moment all the phones are dominated by android or iOS, but the JP companies are starting to make good handsets again. Japan will come around in other areas, too, especially as big companies shave off the fat. Or if they don't they go under as they should.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The phone I really don't get. Was it designed for married people having an affair, the way some folk carry two cellphones around these days?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OMG!! i still own the same MD walkman, same make, design, model!!! should still be in one of my boxes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I love Japanese chindogu! The pointless stuff that is just cool because it is. These things are kind of early versions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"a device that can warm milk while toasting a slice of bread and frying an egg"

Heck, I can that!

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"a device that can warm milk while toasting a slice of bread and frying an egg"

is usually called a "wife" isn't it?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is classic. Don't forget the lap pillow or the bicycle bell handle bars (a device you use to clear crowds while walking, despite not being on a bicycle). Japan is amazing when it comes to invention -- they have both the best and the worst, with nothing in between.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Harry -

"a device that can warm milk while toasting a slice of bread and frying an egg" is usually called a "wife" isn't it?

Har!

Not that you'll ever know, of course.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I used to see similar stuff at the Salvation Army bazaar about 15 years ago. I kick myself now for not buying anything.

The best phones in the world were all made by JP companies until the iPhone came along

Correction: until the Blackberry came along. Anyway, I recall that top-of-the line Nokias, like what I had from Vodaphone around 2000, were better than the JP handsets, which is why Nokia was the No. 1 handset maker in the world back in the day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not that you'll ever know, of course.

ZING! LOL. I was thinking the same thing. (Although truth be told, Harry's comment was the mindset worldwide when that product was developed. It probably was part of the reason the product didn't sell.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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