Sony truly was the company that all others aspired to be. However, the success of the brand led to a sort of hubris that had Sony believing it could do no wrong. The 90s into the early 00s saw them trying time and time again to establish Sony specific media formats, like the memory stick, and their own specific music compression formats. Had they not been so hardheaded and greedy in trying to get every penny from the consumer, they might still be putting out interesting and lust worthy goods.
That's an astute summary. I'm still a fan, and hope they can wrest their number one position back from Samsung.