Er, what? Do you have some kind of evidence for that?
The economic rebuild of Japan after the Second World War by American economists. It's in the history books. Look it up. (It's probably also on Wikipedia.)
That is an extremely broad stroke
there. What evidence do you have that America's assistance in rebuilding Japan had a direct impact on the behavior of Canon
as a business? From what I remember, America's help with Japan, at least regarding their economy, occurred more at a governmental level. It was tax breaks and incentives that helped spur economic growth. I don't think that really has anything to do with a fundamental underpinning of how the Japanese people behave, though. That careful, precise, intentional pursuance of perfection has been a trait of the Japanese people for millennia. That's in the history books as well.
Supply side economics, the same kind of economics that spurred growth in the 80's, is pretty much guaranteed to spur growth in any economy. If you give people more money to spend, they are going to spend more money...especially if that money's expenditure has the potential to mean they have even MORE money in the future. THAT is what American's gave to Japan in the 60's.
Conservative companies are actually kind of a hallmark of Japan.
And yet in 1987 Canon bet the whole farm on the EOS system, instead of sticking to the FD system. And that was after they had spent all that money on promoting the FD system at the 1984 Olympics, only three years previous. Sounds kind of reckless to me. Oh, and wasn't the 1980's also a time of great uncertainty in the economy, with all those major American companies nearly going belly-up?
Actually, the 80's were a major boom in the economy. Reagan created some 25 million jobs, by doing the same thing the Japanese did after WWII: Incentivised business by reducing their taxes. By enacting supply side economic practices. That came after the economic slump of the 70's. We actually have a term for all that: Reaganomics
Canon had no option but to create EOS. The FD mount, as much loved as it was by their customers at the time, was preventing them from making the kind of progress they really NEEDED to make in order to grow their photography division. Electronic focus was the primary driver. Canon tried AF with FD, and it didn't pan out. As I said (which you did not quote), the Japanese have long been known for their ability to take risk, big or small, when it is most essential
. Canon took a risk with EOS, but they knew it was an essential
risk. And look at the result? It gave them dominance over the SLR and DSLR markets for decades. That dominance still holds.
Risk taking for the sake of risk taking, and risk taking because it is truly essential with potential returns orders of magnitude more than without taking the risk, are different things. Nikon and the Df? That's a risk just to take a risk. It's actually something Nikon is known for. Remember the 24k gold plated SLR with real lizard skin grip? Those puppies sold for about $12,000 each! Was THAT a worthwhile risk? I mean, it's certainly an interesting novelty piece, but even at $12,000 each, it was a drag on their resources to manufacture. Similarly, the Df has a long-term DRAG potential on Nikon's bottom line, because there is no question it's a niche product, which means they are expending manufacturing capacity building it, capacity that has to be taken away from building other more lucrative bodies that more people want more often, such as the D800 and D600. The Df is a small thing, but it is still a thing that affects the companies operation as a whole. It affects their bottom line. It took resources to design, and it will continue taking resources into the foreseeable future to manufacture and ship.
Canon EOS, on the other hand, was the moments turning point for Canon that made it possible for them to be the massive, dominant photography force they are in the world today. Canon made the wise decision with EOS, and it wasn't a random or il-considered decision. The fact that Canon made EOS doesn't change the fact that they are a conservative company. You still don't seem to understand what that means, even though I gave you an explicit meaning before: Canon is a wise
business. Being wise
does not mean taking no risks whatsoever. It means taking the risks that have a meaningful payback over the extended long term. It means taking the BIG risks at the RIGHT moment that are GAME CHANGING for DECADES. That's what I'm talking about. The Nikon Df? That's a risk that has no long term beneficial potential. Not only that, it was a risk that was increased because the product was rushed...it clearly has a botched control design, and that will mean it sells fewer models to that niche crowd than it might have if they didn't botch the controls.
Anyway. This is the debate I get into over and over with people who don't understand business. There are wise risks, and there are stupid risks. Canon, being conservative, generally only takes the wiser risks. They won't take risks, or they will scale back risky projects, if the potential return is low. Nikon, on the other hand, seems to take a while range of risks, some of them have the potential to be greatly beneficial, but they squander that potential with stupid risks. Nikon is a more reckless company than Canon, as they don't seem to know how to balance risk with long term return.