On 100th Birthday, Sharp Seeks Salvation in Talking Vacuums
It's probably fair to ask why Japanese electronics maker Sharp -- deep in debt and red ink, cutting workers and salaries, awash in excess inventory in the brutal LCD market -- is actively promoting a line of talking vacuum cleaners.
But the company, which marked 100 years in business on Saturday, has always been willing to bet its future on unproven ideas.
Sharp was founded by a self-taught engineer, Tokuji Hayakawa, whose first invention was a clasping belt buckle in 1912. He lost the company once and after rebuilding it came close to losing it again several more times, and his ...