Tell me about Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, in a simple and easy-to-understand way! What was “Konosuke Matsushita” amazing? “How did you grow the company?”
I will answer such questions.
Learn Panasonic easily from the history museum that paved the way for Konosuke Matsushita
Learn from the history museum of Japanese great Konosuke Matsushita
Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, is known as the god of management.
When I was working at the company, whenever I went on a business trip to Osaka, I always went to the Panasonic museum in Kadoma City, Osaka, to learn about Konosuke Matsushita.
In this article, I tried to summarize what was amazing about Konosuke Matsushita and how the company grew.
- The first step is bicycle sales
- Changing jobs in anticipation of the age of electricity
- Manipulated electronics (Matsushita Electric)
- Impact of Panasonic on Society
The first step is bicycle sales
Konosuke Matsushita, 4th grade elementary school student, at the age of 10, his first job as an apprentice was selling bicycles at Godai Bicycle Co. in Osaka.
By working for about six years, he learned the business rules of customer service.
People who make things tend to be too picky and have a craftsmanship that doesn’t think much about the feelings of customers, but gaining experience in sales will be of great help in later product development.
There is an episode that makes you feel the sense of a merchant.
At the store, a customer asked me to pick up some cigarettes. Feeling inconvenient, Mr. Matsushita came up with the idea of stocking up on cigarettes with his own money.
By stocking up, you can immediately hand it over, save the trouble of going to buy it, and if you buy 20 at a time, you will get one extra, so you can make a profit.
It was a clever idea, but I gave up on it because I was dissatisfied with the same bicycle mate.
Aside from the environment in the early Showa era where even underage junior high school students could easily buy cigarettes, this is a witty episode.
Related article: The dragon god of Konosuke Matsushita is Hakuryu Daimyojin, a god that has been passed down from generation to generation
Changing jobs in anticipation of the age of electricity
When Konosuke Matsushita saw the streetcars running in Osaka, he became convinced that the age of electricity would come, and changed jobs to Osaka Dentosha (now Kansai Electric Power Company). The time when Konosuke Matsushita was born was an era when the spread of electricity gradually spread.
Intuitively, I predicted that the future would be an electric age. Unlike today, there was no internet or television, and since I was an apprentice, my sources of information must have been quite limited.
If I had seen a train that I had never seen at the time, I would have definitely stopped thinking, “Oh, I want to ride it.”
Finding a way out by making parts for electric fans
The reason for this is that the improved socket that I made is not recognized by Osaka Dentosha, and that if I take time off from work, my income will decrease.
Konosuke Matsushita will retire.
At first, he worked with his wife’s younger brother Toshio Iue (later the founder of Sanyo Electric) and two of his friends to make improved sockets, but the sockets did not sell and the funds were running out.
At that time, he receives an order to make parts for an electric fan. As a result, we delivered 1,000 pieces and succeeded in surviving the pinch of bankruptcy.
Everyone starts with a “small start” from a small scale. This order put Konosuke Matsushita on track.
invention is recognized
Eight years after entering the electrical industry, Konosuke Matsushita established Matsushita Electric Appliance Manufacturing.
The improved sockets and plugs for two lamps, which were researched by picking up pieces of raw materials around the kneading factory, became popular products. One of the reasons that Konosuke Matsushita was not just an inventor was his ingenuity in sales.
It is free distribution and actual advertising.
At the time, when bullet-shaped battery-powered lamps for bicycles were being sold, they were rarely sold because battery-powered lamps often broke down.
New things are always hard to accept at first.
Therefore, we will implement a sales strategy that allows customers to check the performance of the product by placing it at the sales store free of charge.
As a result, the publicity was successful, and it became an opportunity to expand nationwide.
Don’t force yourself to sell. Don’t sell what the customer likes. Sell things that benefit customers.
— Konosuke Matsushita
(@Matsushita_K) April 4, 2022
Manipulated electronics (Matsushita Electric)
While Konosuke Matsushita is an inventor, he is also known for his strategy of referencing the hit products of other companies.
He is the reason why Matsushita Electric was ridiculed as “the electric appliance that imitated”.
It is also written in the article below, as well as in an article written by a former Panasonic vice president.
Some people have an aversion to being imitated or to be imitated, but working in a genre that is in demand and has room for improvement is a common pattern of behavior for successful greats.
I believe that imitation within the limits of the law is essential to great success.
Konosuke Matsushita shifts to a strategy with certainty, rather than creating products with no prospect of demand or commercialization.
Impact of Panasonic on Society
At the Konosuke Matsushita History Museum, there are two buildings: the building about the achievements of Konosuke Matsushita and Panasonic, and the transition of products. If you are looking for a place where parents and children can enjoy themselves, I think it is a place you should definitely visit. Children may be inspired to invent.
Introduced five-day workweek system for the first time in Japan
Matsushita Electric is said to be the first company in Japan to introduce a five-day work week.
In 1965 (Showa 40), we introduced a complete two-day weekend.
The fact that it was the first time in Japan meant that in those days there was only one day off a week.
It’s wonderful that you have the determination to change things that are commonplace today but were unthinkable at the time.
Foundation of PHP Institute Publisher
PHP Institute, a publishing company that sells paperback books at bookstores, such as “The Road Opens”.
Actually, it is an organization launched by Konosuke Matsushita.
It was founded with the hope that “peace and happiness will be realized through both material and spiritual prosperity.”
Developed the world’s first mirrorless camera
When you stop by the camera corner, there is almost always a mirrorless camera.
Originally, by eliminating the mirror inside the single-lens reflex camera, the camera became lighter, more compact, and more reasonably priced. The GH5 single-lens reflex camera used by popular YouTubers is also made by Panasonic.
In addition, many episodes and achievements left by Konosuke Matsushita are on display. It is also a recommended place for people who are interested in Panasonic products.
Ordinary efforts cannot see chances as chances. Enthusiasm over enthusiasm opens the eyes of discerning.
— Konosuke Matsushita
(@Matsushita_K) April 3, 2022
Related article “Common points of successful people”