Apr 4, 2016 Katsushi Minami
There is less understanding for losses (akaji) in Japan. I think Japanese founders are more unwilling to take risks and rather do things that are almost 100 % guaranteed to succeed, which results in companies that don’t grow very fast. The R&D budgets are smaller compared to competitors in the US.
My approach to jokes (netas) has been similar to developing a startup. I get a minimum viable “neta” out, and then try it to see what the reaction is and what needs to be adjusted, and then I iterate it. It’s exactly the same as in startups. It’s just a matter of getting it in front of people, measuring the response, and fixing it.
I just did a lot of things, and I’ve always done two things at once. For example, when I was working at GE, I also got my Master’s degree. I’ll do whatever I want, and if I like it, I’ll do more of it. So just be flexible, try whatever you want, and see what happens. There’s no reason not to.
Now, mostly younger people approach me with a lot of questions on Twitter. By broadcasting alternative ways of thinking to a large number of people, I have been able to influence the mindsets of some followers. And if this viruses out in a larger scale, I think there is an opportunity to make a real impact on the Japanese youth. And as that generation comes into power, takes more risks and has more opportunities, it can impact the whole Japanese economy.
I am looking forward to the educational startups. I’m interested in how the Japanese education system is going to change for a number of reasons. My older daughter is just starting kindergarten. Through that experience, I already see things that I don’t agree with. For example, my daughter had a class where they made paper airplanes. When I asked about it, she said that she made the plane exactly how her teacher told her to. I thought that well, maybe you can make one that would fly better than hers, but she said no, I don’t want to get yelled at, so I don’t even want to try. She’s four. So I am very eager to see how we could develop our education system.
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