disrupt the disruptor

Clayton Christensen has an engaging piece in Forbes around how Nintendo’s Wii has run circles around Sony and their PS3.

Christensen believes that there are 3 possible approaches for Sony to take vs. Nintendo:

  1. “The seemingly simplest option is to just come up with a copy-cat version of Nintendo’s controller that works with one of Sony’s existing consoles.”
  2. “repurpose Sony’s “legacy” product (PlayStation 2) into a me-too version of the Wii.”
  3. “The final option is for Sony to try to ‘disrupt the disruptor.’ Instead of following a me-too strategy, Sony could seek to truly develop a category-changing project. While this approach would take more time and require greater investment, it has the most long-term potential—if Sony can figure out a different measure of performance on which to compete in the video game market.”

The article is long and is worth reading if you are interested in this fascinating business case study that is unfolding in front of all of us. If we go back to the news pre-launch of these new consoles, the media was busy lapping up the PR from Kutaragi and everyone thought that Nintendo was on their way out. Fascinating how situations can shift in a few months. Amazing to see Nintendo’s market cap pass Sony’s.

While these options are all open for debate, Roger Ehrenberg brings up the reality of corporate change:

So before I would begin even thinking about answering the question “What should Sony do next with respect to its gaming strategy?”, I’d want to answer the question “How can Sony re-shape its organization, culture and product development approach in order to be more flexible, customer-centric and innovative in a rapidly-shifting market?” Because without a good answer to the latter, you might as well take the former, write it on a piece of paper, crumple it into a ball and toss it in the garbage can. Because that is all the value good strategy is worth in the absence of good culture.



I’m with Ehrenberg, if it’s not already clear.

One comment on “disrupt the disruptor
  1. chang says:

    Can’t agree with more with Ehrenberg