Iconic Product Designers
4. Nobutoshi Kihara
Although Andreas Pavel is technically the originator of the portable stereo, it was Sony’s Nobutoshi Kihara who first developed it as a commercial product. Kihara created the Walkman prototype in response to Sony chairman Akio Morita's desire for a device that would allow him to listen to operas on his frequent trans-pacific plane trips. Naturally, the Walkman was an instant commercial success, becoming a lucrative product for the company. Of course, the Walkman is only the most known of Kihara’s many inventions; he is also credited with creating magnetic tape recorders, music stereo systems, digital cameras, and various other devices. Reportedly, Kihara’s productivity was so amazing that Sony’s co-founder Masara Ibuka referred to his tendency to create prototypes within a day of conception as a “god-like” ability.