Mr. Tambourine Man
Andy Lack's first annual meeting at Sony was in April 2003, the same week that Apple launched the iTunes Store.
He had been made head of the music division four months earlier, and had spent much of that time negotiating with Jobs.
In fact he arrived in Tokyo directly from Cupertino, carrying the latest version of the iPod and a description of the iTunes Store.
In front of the two hundred managers gathered, he pulled the iPod out of his pocket.
"Here it is," he said as CEO Nobuyuki Idei and Sony's North America head Howard Stringer looked on.
"Here's the Walkman killer. There's no mystery meat.
The reason you bought a music company is so that you could be the one to make a device like this. You can do better."
But Sony couldn't. It had pioneered portable music with the Walkman,
it had a great record company, and it had a long history of making beautiful consumer devices.
It had all of the assets to compete with Jobs's strategy of integration of hardware, software, devices, and content sales.
Why did it fail? Partly because it was a company, like AOL Time Warner,
that was organized into divisions (that word itself was ominous) with their own bottom lines;
the goal of achieving synergy in such companies by prodding the divisions to work together was usually elusive.