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文章标题: 转贴:一根 (1042 reads)      时间: 2003-4-26 周六, 02:00   

作者:狼协海归商务 发贴, 来自【海归网】 http://www.haiguinet.com

日本的玩具制造商Takara曾经差点就破产了,最后它在"香蕉"型电话上孤注一掷,并点燃了员工的激情。

How a Banana Saved a Company
Japanese toymaker Takara was almost bankrupt. Then it made a bold bet on a piece of fruit -- and its employees' passion.
By Andy Raskin, March 2003 Issue

You might think the moral of this story is that you can save your company simply by taking a risk on something silly. But that's not the moral of this story.

A few months ago, I read that a company was selling a dog-to-human translator. The manufacturer, Japan's No. 2 toymaker, Takara, claimed that Bowlingual could decipher the barks of 50 breeds. CBS News even had its Tokyo correspondent "talk" to a cocker spaniel named Ruby.


Having studied in Japan, I knew that Takara mostly made dolls. But when I visited its website, I found that Dr. Dolittle devices were the leading edge of a somewhat wacky corporate shift. The company had just launched a subsidiary, CQ Motors, to make real, roadworthy cars -- with a twist: They were modeled after Takara's cute and popular toy vehicles. The product line also included a collection of robot jellyfish, a talking tissue holder, and an alarm clock shaped like an angry old man who, when it's time to wake up, descends from the ceiling and screams at you.


Intrigued, I dug deeper. At San Francisco's Japan Center, I found a new book about Takara written by a Japanese journalist. The subhead read A Venerable Toy Maker's Road to Recovery. The book told of Takara's recent financial performance, which was phenomenal by any standard and downright unbelievable in zero-growth 21st-century Japan. Just four years ago, the company was almost bankrupt, but since then its sales nearly doubled, profits returned, and the share price more than tripled -- all while the Japanese stock market lost more than half its value.


Takara was not only thriving in a terrible economy -- it was having a blast doing it. It had been more than a decade since I'd heard of anything in corporate Japan worth emulating, but a stock price that tripled? I hadn't seen that in a while in any market.


So I decided to fly to Japan.


From the airport it was a short train ride to Takara's Tokyo headquarters, an aging concrete structure topped by a sign that said, "Play Is Culture." The first person I met was Yoko Watanabe, head of public relations, who was giddy with the news that Japan's prime minister was going to cite Bowlingual in a speech about innovation. She ushered me to a cubicle in the guest reception area, next to a table where men in suits were playing with robot dolls. I questioned her about Takara. How is it, I asked, that the company could go from barely surviving to being the nation's hottest business? What was the secret to its success?


She excused herself for a minute, and when she returned, she placed a plastic banana on the table in front of me.


"Don't worry," she said, smiling at my confusion. "None of us believed that something so ridiculous could change the fortunes of an entire company either."


"Takara" means "treasure," and it's also the name of the Tokyo neighborhood where founder Yasuta Satoh began manufacturing beach balls in 1955. Satoh was so good at delighting children with new products that people called him omocha no kamisama -- "god of toys." Among his most famous kid-pleasers were Licca, a wider-eyed, flatter-chested version of Barbie, which has sold 49 million units since 1967 and is still Japan's best-selling fashion doll, and the robots Microman and Diacron, which became a worldwide megahit in 1984 when Hasbro (HAS) sold them in the United States as the Transformers.



作者:狼协海归商务 发贴, 来自【海归网】 http://www.haiguinet.com






上一次由狼协于2008-2-12 周二, 14:14修改,总共修改了1次





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