Lessons from across the Pacific | AspenTimes.com

Lessons from across the Pacific

The Japanese are not innovators. What they are is master copiers. The Japanese take a process invented elsewhere, copy it, and improve on it.

For example, just about all the major innovations in steelmaking have come from Germany and this country. The Japanese took those processes, improved on them, and dominated the steel industry for a while.

They did the same in the automobile industry. However, one ploy the Japanese didn’t copy was built-in obsolescence. That’s where a vehicle is designed to wear out in three or four years so the customer (poor sap) has to buy another.

I have a 15-year-old Subaru that runs like a top, has a rust-free body,and everything works on it. Before that, I drove my father’s Subaru until it finally gave up the ghost at 20 years old.

Now I hear Apple is making sure their iPhones poop out in a few years and you have to get an upgrade. I’m not getting that $1,000 job, I’ll tell ya.

The Japanese are just as capitalistic as we are. Why do their capitalistic principles include marketing a quality product?

Fred Malo Jr.


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