Takuma Iwasa｜President of Cerevo Incorporated
Mr. Iwasa has left Panasonic Corporation and started his own manufacturing business in 2007. His motto is to develop consumer electronic product that has not been seen before. While lots of ICT companies in Japan provide clients with services, he started a manufacturing business and now is someone special, fascinating those who engage in a variety of different industries.
I was a stake that stuck out when I was working with Panasonic Corporation. A Japanese proverb says that the stake which sticks out gets hammered down; however, I did not feel that I got hammered down when I was there. Rather, I appreciate the company providing me with lots of opportunities for challenge. Since I left the company, I don’t get hammered down. There are a few companies running a fabless manufacturing business of consumer electronic products. Consumer electronic product companies have a long history in Osaka City. There are lots of processing companies in there as well. My fundamental thought is that if there is already something that I need, I am willing to employ that, not to start doing something from scratch. Osaka City has spawned by lots of small- and medium-sized technology-oriented companies; however, there are few people who proactively join and try to do something for startups. This is the best part that I would like to point out and ask for changing and actually doing something. We are running a fabless manufacturing business. We manufacture products in Southeast Asia. The most important thing is to ask ourselves what we should create. In this regard, there is no room to argue that Japan is a strong candidate to enter into global marketplaces.
I think I would like to talk about “Mono-App-Hackathon (see http://www.innovation-osaka.jp/events/000003/),” an event that was held in Osaka City recently, a new challenge for manufacturing business. Search “IT Benkyo-kai Calendar” with Google to find out about it. You also will be able to find lots of ICT-related seminars that are planned to be held all over the country. However, to the best of my knowledge, Mono-App-Hackathon is the first-ever event for both hardware and software development. I even could find an idea for mass production in this event. Through use of 3D printers, all the processes, including product packaging, may be able to finish much faster than do other consumer electronic product companies. It may take 14 months at least for large-sized companies in the same trade to commercialize products. The difference in speed gives rise to a power.
For example, a new product has been manufactured and has been advertised through social media tools. Even if it has specific product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, it is highly likely to become a large-sized market segment from a geographic marketing standpoint. We also may be able to see sales grow explosively.
Let’s take an example of that. iRobot, the manufacturer of Roomba that concentrates on cleaning in the dirtiest areas, has launched iRobot Scooba that cleans tight and hard-to-reach spaces in bathrooms, including around the toilet. Almost all people may say: “Who is going to pay for this?” The truth is that there are a certain amount of people who would like to get this product somewhere around the globe. Social media tools must have been the key to increase the demand in this case. The same thing is happening with another example, gutter cleaning robot. This robot has gained market share because its primary focus was on going global despite that it was niche product. I believe that a true innovator is the person who first gave a particular shape to an idea.
※ iRobot Scooba®