'Doing a Sony' is enough of a thing that Tim Cook recently answered a question about the dangers of Apple doing the same.
It's to be king of electronics but then lose the throne by trying to conquer everything, thus neglecting the focus that brought success to begin with.
In gaming alone, Sony went from being a world beater with PS2 to finding its flagship PS3 neck-and-neck with Microsoft's Xbox 360.
The Verge put this sentiment to Sony's newish boss Kaz Hirai at CES - is Sony fighting back from a dark place?
"We need to really take a look at where we excel and make investments to make sure that we continue to excel in those areas that will manifest itself in exciting projects that will really wow our customers," Hirai said.
"...that creative DNA of wanting to really push the envelope and come up with some products that really wow customers: that DNA is still there..."
"I've spent a lot of time visiting a variety of different sites we have all around the world," he added, "and that creative DNA of wanting to really push the envelope and come up with some products that really wow customers: that DNA is still there, and that is the heart and soul of this company.
"It's my job to make sure that those great ideas really rise to the top and don't get mired down in bureaucracy."
Before, Hirai said, "a lot of the great ideas unfortunately just never rose to the top". They got lost "somewhere in bureaucracy".
"That's why I make it a personal mission of my own to really spend time with the R&D guys, the product development guys, and have them really come to me with some ideas that they have so that I can personally get involved, which I am doing with several projects."
And if Kaz Hirai likes something he'll be all like: "I don't really care what everyone else is saying, I find this particular product or idea very interesting, I'm going to see this through to an actual product in the market."
Gaming, thankfully, is one of Sony's three core businesses. Digital imaging, and mobile, are the others. Televisions etc. are still important, but they're not part of that core.
All of which bodes well for PlayStation 4, particularly as Kaz Hirai rose through the ranks of PlayStation. I expect he's been closely involved with Sony's new machine, which we expect see at E3 this summer if not before.