Minindisc was awesome, it only failed outside Asia because in Europe and America, where generally cheaper products were the norm, people started ripping mp3s to CDR en-masse before MD players were cheap enough for mass market.
The Clie was good, if a little fiddly. I knew a few people with those. Where *that* failed was sony's protectionis hogging of the Palm OS and getting usurped by Symbian and then Microsoft on smartphones until Apple took over the world.
The e-reader was behind Amazon by far in terms of simplicity, wireless connectivity, and catalogue.
In each case it seems Sony's made a product which enjoyed limited success amongst geeks willing to pay a premium for a couple of unique features, but failed to grasp mass market with affordable and easy-to-use products.
Yup, you need a different brand. I'm thinking the same about Apple these days.