NTT DoCoMo, the largest mobile carrier in Japan, recorded the net loss in subscriber number in November, negative 40800, first time since August 2007 and the largest loss in its history. Many explanations have been made. The easiest to understand is that they don't have iPhone in their line up while their competitors do, and some also suspect that the string of large network troubles in recent months disappointed customers who believed that DoCoMo provides the best service despite their higher price.
And Mr. Kaoru Kato, President and CEO of DoCoMo, is saying that their currently strategy is to become Amazon, according to this Sankei Biz article from last week.
Well, to be sure, DoCoMo has acquired Tower Records several years ago. Earlier this year, they acquired Radish Boya, an online organic vegetable delivery service. So... they want to become a company that sells radish? In the industry that is dominated by this largest and smartest company? What the xxxx is their competitive advantage as a new entrant??
It is totally impossible to understand if you look at the situation from outside, in management language. As a former NTT employee, I can sense where it comes from. NTT often behaves like a family, not a for-profit company or group where people gather to achieve a common goal. NTT's purpose is often to earn living for the existing employees (=family members), so if the day job is not enough to make ends meet, they have to get double or triple jobs to put food on the table, rather than lay off employees. In that world, family members are often more important than customers.
I hope it is not the case - that Mr. Kato actually knows what he is doing. Uggh....