In an era when companies are getting focused, trimmer, leaner, Panasonic has unapologetically taken the stance that more is more. Thousands of products? Try a million. This is old school everythingism, and I kind of love it.
There are plenty of arguments against being a company that makes 152-inch televisions and facial steamers and everything in between: just ask Sony. But so what if Panasonic makes four types of nosehair trimmers? As long as they're making them well.
As the New York Times reports, Panasonic's financial performance has taken a hit recently, but the company has remained undeterred:
"It's true our business spans a wide area," Fumio Ohtsubo, the president, said in a recent interview at the Tokyo offices of Panasonic, which is based in Osaka. "But it's not as difficult as you might think." In fact, the new drive by Panasonic to sell to its wares in poorer countries like India and Indonesia has yielded early successes. So has its push into 3-D technology, billed as the next revolution in home entertainment in rich countries like the United States and Japan.
There may come a day when companies like Panasonic will have to sell off some of the business units that weigh them down—like GE did over the last several decades. But until then, keep on keeping on, Panasonic. Bigger might not always be better, but it's certainly more fun. [NY Times]