Japan’s Tech Decline

The decline of so much of Japan’s tech industry would have come as no surprise to Fairchild and Intel co-founder and chip co-inventor Bob Noyce.

35 years ago he told Tom Wolfe in the best profile of a great scientist ever written ‘The Tinkerings of Robert Noyce’: “If you look at any of the Japanese successes, with the possible exception of the tape recorder, you see that they’re copies of American ideas.”

Noyce believed that the Japanese culture breeds creative inferiority.

“The Japanese climb into a uniform at four years old and stay in uniform  until they retire, ” he said.



  1. Very good point Duncan, I was thinking of the Sharps, Toshibas and Japan Displays of this world. A couple of years ago that would have included Renesas and Sony but, thankfully, they seem to have rebounded back to health.

  2. I don’t think that the Japanese can be accused of copying Total Quality Management, even though it was invented by an American. For decades they were the only people who took any notice of it.

    Having just looked at the top selling cars in the USA and found that the top six are all from Japanese brands I think rumours of their Tech Decline might be slightly exaggerated (although I do realise that Fords Monster Pick Up Trucks outsell them all).

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