On the Autobiography of Akio Morita

I finished Made in Japan, the autobiography of Akio Morita and the story of Sony a few weeks ago and never posted about it. I’m really trying to get out of the habit of reading corporate autobiographies, but this one popped out at me at a used book store in Julian (don’t remember its name). It’s a very interesting book since Akio Morita was in his early 20s during the end of WWII working in a physics research lab, thus the first quarter of the book follows a nifty and personal historical perspective on the fall out of the atomic bombs as well as the reconstruction of Japan. Sony’s beginnings were quite humble it seems, starting work in a fallen out building trying to make televisions. The other 3/4ths of the book are less interesting than the first quarter, as Morita goes on about how great his life is and the general obligitory things one must write in their autobiography. The other few gems in the book are largely based around how to motivate and excite people in an engineering firm, how to be innovative in a technolgy industry (a very refreshing “can-do” attitude) and the status and evolution of global trade in the 70s and 80s (something, it seems, that we take quite for granted these days).

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