The corporate culture at SONY is second to none, with one of the most brilliant engineering teams and some of the most capable researchers and analysts in the world, I value every minute of my Internship and the time I got to spend researching and advising on technology at SONY.

Internship

Working at SONY was certainly an eye-opening experience. No only did it open my eyes to the magnitude of opportunities, problems and solutions presented such a large company on a daily basis, but it also exposed me to the corporate culture of secrecy and privacy required of such a largescale company with hundreds of thousands of employees. SONY is (quite literally) an institution in Japan, and I am extremely proud of being given the chance to be part of the CTO team as a Resarch Consultant. My Internship came to an end and given the situation, I opted not to pursue a position further at the time (which I still can't decide whether I regret or not; but also thought that some day I might return and do something great, I know they sure have the research, engineering, marketing, legal and EVERYTHING teams to bring just about any product idea to life).

Research Consulting

Performance Under Pressure

My chief research study focused on ways to combine the three biggest technologies in IT into viable products and services. It also had some side-work to analyze which companies might be purchased for large amounts and by which companies, which was a fun bit of guesswork as well (and sure enough, as of July 2010, my picks have held up REALLY well with almost every company bought off or still going strong and none folded).

About all I can say about the technologes I used/focused on during this time, is that, aside from my main duties of researching the 3-IT innovations, I also worked briefly on a side-project with one of the AI Engineers developing a prototype for a sytem that uses Freebase instead of a traditional RDBMS. This was purely a personal interest side-project done after-hours, and not related to my core duties at all; it was also the first opportunity I had to work with the Freebase datasets, and, I immediately realized it could be the source of some great social media content-driven mashups (sure enough it too - through its parent company Metaweb - was recently bought up by Google). I'd like to get a chance to work on something like that again in my next position, because I've gotten quite alot better at integrating Freebase data and Web Service mashups in general, since then, and can surely avoid some of the newbie mistakes I made the first time around.

Some of the non-specific highlights of the SONY project itself included:

  • We made a site visit to Sony-Ericsson during the academic portion of the study, in order to witness SONY's creative and engineering processes' first-hand
  • Shared lead research duties on a multi-cultural New Product Development team working on the Sony 3 IT project with:
    1. Sirilak Manawongcharoen (Thailand)
    2. Yuichi Kaneko (Japan)
    3. Sarah Lee (Malaysia)
    4. Benjamin Pekaric (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
    5. myself (Canada)
  • Three SONY upper-level managers from separate departments travelled to Niigata to see our final presentation
  • Met or Exceeded expectations, wanted to conduct further research (helped boost positive relationship for SONY-IUJ)
  • Personally offered an exclusive Internship position, despite there not being an official intern program for E-Business Management students at that time (due to 13-month duration of Visitor VISA, compared to 24 months for MBA... since then, this has changed to max stay of 15 months for E-Biz)
  • Obtained clearance to live & work in Tokyo for Sony for a 2 month period following graduation

Projects

  1. 3-IT Product Opportunities for SONY (2007-2012)
  2. Record of Interviews with SONY employees on Relevance of 3-IT
  3. 3-IT Compared to SONY's Past, Present & Future Product Line
NDA

Organizations

  1. Grabaka

    Grabaka is a popular MMA school in Tokyo, which I became a member of during my short two-month stay in Tokyo. It taught me about hard work and discipline, and, was one of those great experiences that you can look back at for life and always remind yourself how hard you can push yourself when the going gets tough. I met some great teachers and made great friends at Grabaka!

  2. MobileMonday Tokyo

    MoMo is more than just a small group of technology enthusiasts, but a platform for connecting to everyone, from business leaders and fellow researchers, to job recruiters and brilliant developers. It was through participation in a MobileMonday that I was invited to come back to Japan for the Business Plan Competition at MobileMonday Tokyo Peer Awards 2008.

Publications

  1. 3-IT: Top Three IT Innovations for SONY Research & Design Team Roadmap
  2. 10-IT: Top Ten IT Innovations of Relevance to SONY Products/Services
  3. 100-IT: The Hundred Innovations that changed IT
NDA

Conferences/Events

  1. SONY - Tokyo Technology Exhibition

    Date: July 27th, 2007
    Location: Sony Design building - Ginza
    My personal favourite was the Folding TV Screen.