Lessons Learned by Starting a Startup in Japan

Being an Entrepreneur in Japan

In Japan, like 4-5 years ago.  Many fresh graduates, they typically tend to get hired by big companies rather than launching a startup in Japan.  This is because of the fear of failure.  Now it is changing and improving in some ways.  The one main reason is probably that now we have a community of entrepreneurs.  If you join that community you will meet other entrepreneurs who have the same sympathy for the fear of failure.  Being in a community of entrepreneurs is probably important in order to help the people get over the fear of failure.

In Asian countries, people tend to keep running the same business regardless of whether or not they are profitable.  However, if you look at how the American entrepreneur runs a business it is easy to see that they change a lot.  Not only very frequently but also very quickly.

Running a Media Company

The media business is very labor based.  This is something I learned when starting The Bridge.  I realized just how much labor goes into running a company because every single article is usually written by a human.  So when we get AI into media in relation to creating new articles, the human will need to have a new role.  Their new role will be finding ways to make the media business profitable.

Regardless of whether our business is profitable or not profitable, the main reason we are running our company is that we feel we have a mission.  A kind of social mission.  I realize that my community and society needs us.  Since we are media we need to keep publishing and we need to let the people know what is happening in the ecosystem.  So if you run your company and feel that you have some kind of fan base.  Use this to help you keep running the company regardless of whether your business is profitable or not.

Masaru Ikeda
Masaru Ikeda

Masaru Ikeda currently acts as co-founder of The Bridge, one of Japan's leading online media outlets covering the startup scene in Japan and the rest of the world. He started his career as a programmer/engineer, and previously co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms. He's been traveling around Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia exploring the IT industry and prominent startups.

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