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How to Succeed at Failure Without Even Trying

A successful startup becomes successful by innovating -- by creating new products or services which simply didn't exist before. Or by inventing new techniques to produce existing products at prices the incumbents can't match. Successful startups oftentimes go on to become behemoths by using their wits (and newly-acquired capital) to push their way into markets beyond the company's original scope. Senile behemoths waste what little ingenuity they have left trying to squeeze every last dime out of stable (or shrinking) markets.

Guess which stage Sony is in:

A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an "electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus" describes a system "that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets."

Killing off the secondary market millions of your customers rely upon to help finance future purchases? Not smart.