It's been tough times for Sony, and it's very much aware of it. While we hear all about the company cutting loose unsuccessful parts (whether it's PCs or e-readers), the other side of the coin is ensuring Sony can make another hit. Nikkei has done a deep dive (in Japanese and paywalled, unfortunately) on the electronics manufacturers' bid to drum up new business ideas. The next Walkman or the next PlayStation could well come from the New Business Creation department, first suggested by employee Shinji Odajima last April.
He was then appointed head of it. "There's still plenty of employees in Sony looking for a challenge." An initial meeting for new business idea 'auditions' was set to house 300 employees in June: over 800 turned up. Odajima has now received over 200 ideas -- though he's not sharing those with anyone just yet.