No one does her homework like Thom Hogan. Thom asked readers to answer the simple question: send me the biggest problem you need solving.
Thom summarised and commented on the responses to his question. It is a great read.
I think he nailed it in the below comment:
Japanese companies are not able to design and implement human-friendly software or interfaces. They are great at designing and implementing reliable electronics. That work needs to be offloaded to companies/regions that are proficient in design.
I say this whilst charging yet another dead battery without which I am unable to turn on my fan, air conditioner, thermostat, etc.