Why Haven't Japanese Companies Learned From The Likes Of Apple?

Started Feb 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
shigzeo Senior Member • Posts: 1,784
Re: Why Haven't Japanese Companies Learned From The Likes Of Apple?

seukel wrote:

Davidgilmour wrote:

That's not racism. It is a fact. japanese don't like failure, admitting failure will lead to public hari kiri. a firmware update means that something wasn't good enough and someone made a mistake....

OK, but why does he bring the same theme (the Japanese can't do this, the Japanes can't do that) up in every thread he starts? What's the purpose?

Come to Japan, you'll see. While Japan has given the modern world many innovations, they've also given us a lot of short cuts, and direct, anti-consumer blocks.

Things are made in Japan to be replaced, not to last. Why because Japan is a country of natural disasters. Every effort is made to cheapen things in order that they can be replaced easily. Thus, there are few if any studies made in proper, easy-to-understand design. Most stuff is designed to be read about, then used.

Case in point the modern toilet, which now actually needs electrical power. There is no manual flush button. You have to be able to decipher a remote control with up to 10 buttons on it in order to flush.

(I'm extrapolating in this next part, but bear with me.) Because earthquakes happen daily, metal pipes would probably bend or break. Thus, PVC is in everything. It's cheap, easy to manufacture, and doesn't require much money to replace. So, we get easy-to-clog sinks. I've had a clogged bathroom sink in Canada once, and only because of hair. In Japan, it clogs all the time.

But the biggest reason that Japanese corporations can't stand toe to toe with the likes of great Western corporations like Apple (love or hate them) is that Japanese corporations grew up from a war-damaged nation whose only prerogative was to make money and do it quickly. Very few if any consumer protections were implemented; very few human safety measures were implemented. Some of that is changing now. But, typically, we 'enjoy' shorter to no product guarantees, relying instead on the ingeniousness of Japanese engineering (a fact that is reinforced on TV, newspapers, and internet daily) that simply doesn't break. It won't. No one makes things as well... yada yada yada.

No one is being racist here. What they are being is realistic. In order for Japanese companies to make products that are in and of themselves, design working its way into function, they will need to: be dismantled, a new Japanese government, to lose another war.

They are so entrenched in corporateness that they don't understand the working of anything aside from marketing lines anymore. And it makes sense. There is hardly any government presence here. Corporations have only one thing to listen to: the voice of other corporations.

It's the tyranny that comes about from lack of opposite competition. Since no one sticks up for the people, corporations rise to breed a deaf wall of gadgetry and money. By and large, American and European countries grew up with migrant populations who built things together, tore things down together, warred together; most of all however, they cooperated in one way or another. Japan never has had to do that. It is an island. Less than a half of one percent of its population comes from abroad. Ethnically, it is as close to a monolith than any Western country.

Americans get panned for only speaking American, but the Japanese speak only Japanese. And, since there are almost no immigrants, it is only about 1 in 100 people that can speak another language, possible less than that.

So why would anyone expect great design and engineering from a country like this? Sure, you get good tooling, interesting traditions, a deep linguistic culture, and an eye for perfection, but none of it is moderated by anything from abroad. This isn't a country that takes ideas from abroad, unless to directly copy. Innovation and cleverness escaped Japan several decades ago. It is now a duelling feudal mess.

And the Japanese are no wiser to it than they were 80 years ago.

As soon as Japan opens up to the world again, it will start to compete with the and possibly surpass the eye for the human element that certainly the West has. Until then, just get used to overly complicated, large, kitschy and fiddly.

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