To succeed in business it is necessary to continually generate ideas. However, no matter how great the idea, if someone else has already thought of it, it is meaningless. Even if someone beats you to it by a day, or an hour, the idea can't be claimed as one's own. Speed is a part of competition.
In the ever-advancing field of science and technology in particular, speed is the competition. No matter how groundbreaking an idea is, with time, it will become commonplace, and if Sony hadn't developed the products it did, at some time someone else would have made them. The point is that Sony's success over other companies was not only due to its groundbreaking ideas, but also to its greater speed. However, Akio feared that with a new generation, the importance of "wisdom" and "speed" would be forgotten.
"Up to now "ideas" have been generated and "speed" used to create an excellent products ahead of the competition. With these keywords we have worked hard to compete in all fields. When you are overflowing with ideas, it is possible to neglect the obvious, and as a result, lose speed. "(Sony Family, November 1993)
So what should be done to generate "wisdom" and "speed"? Akio said that flexibility was important. Protect the basics, but break away from old customs and adopt a flexible mind-set. As for speed, he emphasized always looking to the future.
"Our situation changes from minute to minute. We shouldn't think that everything we've done or are doing is right. It's important to imagine the demands of each generation and accordingly, to work looking 10 ten years into the future. You have to face the future and think what will be important or necessary at that time." (Sony Family, May 1993)
In order to keep succeeding in competition, always look to the future and try hard to never forget the need for "wisdom" and "speed". That was Akio's way of thinking.
From:The Sayings of Akio Morita, published by Sony Magazines.