business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

In the movie "Other People's Money," the central argument is whether it makes sense to be the world's best buggy whip manufacturer in a world that no longer needs buddy whips. Or, for that matter, the world's only buggy whip manufacturer?

(The secondary question, one never answered to my satisfaction, is what kind of world do we live in where Danny DeVito gets billing over Gregory Peck? But I digress...)

The buggy whip discussion clearly has been going on at the headquarters of the Funai Corporation of Japan, and they've reached the only conclusion possible.

The Funai Corporation, you see, is the world's last manufacturer of video cassette recorders (VCRs), a device that revolutionized the home entertainment business. Supplanted by DVD players, and more recently by streaming technology, VCRs would appear to longer have a place at the technology table ... and so, according to the New York Times, Funai Corp. will stop manufacturing them at the end of the month.

It seems that while Funai actually sold 750,000 units "worldwide in 2015, down from millions decades earlier," it no longer can get the parts to keep making them.

And so, the VCR is going the way of the buggy whip. And now, it seems to me, we can start taking bets on how long it will be before the DVD player will go the way of the VCR.

Because it is going to happen. It always happens. And while we shouldn't be surprised, it'll be an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: