Uncertainty is the key. No market segment exists when it comes to innovation.


Toru Takasuka | CEO SevenDays Corp.
Mr. Toru Takasuka is the founder of Cybozu Incorporated, one of the best Japanese groupware product companies. Prior to starting Cybozu Incorporated, he worked as a network engineer with Panasonic Corporation. He started Seven Days Incorporated in January 2013, and is dedicated to creating a service for the next generation. The basic concept of the service is “connecting people with others through both onsite and online communication.”

The American companies have changed my life.

I have been working as a network engineer with Panasonic Corporation. I think that I was a dyed-in-the-wool engineer. Then, I had had the opportunity to get involved in a variety of business fields such as marketing and sales. That certainly has broadened my horizons to get things done. In the end, I started my own business. Taking into account all the things that came up in these years, Amazon, Google, and Apple have had a good impact on what I am supposed to do in the future. Interestingly enough, they were all American companies. Their products and services have changed people’s lives. I thought that is great. That is about neither concept nor policy. That is about an actual product or service. An actual product is what the consumer holds in his or her hand when the product is purchased. I strongly feel that this is innovation. It sounds to me like most innovations take place in America. What about Japan? The number of entrepreneurs in America is as ten times as high as in Japan. When I made a speech for students in Silicon Valley, I asked if they are willing to start their own business. So was all. What do the Japanese students think?

Feel something and take a dive into a new venture. Innovation is totally different from doing business.

First, I would like all of you to understand clearly the difference between innovation and business. If you concentrate your efforts on market research when you try to make innovation happen, you will never reach the goal that you decided to achieve. No market segment exists for products that can make innovation happen. It is no use worrying about that too much. Uncertainty is the key. The first thing is to feel something about what you are trying to do. The second is to dive into that. This is the first thing to know; however, you had better not do that recklessly. If you believe in yourself, you ought to think more carefully, describe what you will, and dive in. I think that an innovator is someone who can do this.

I am working on another innovation. I have things to do.

Information will play an important role in connecting people with others. I anticipate that many people agree with that. What do we mean when we say “connecting us with others?” Does it mean we know someone’s name? Or, does it mean we post to someone’s blogs? We can find someone’s profile information and comments made on someone’s ideas to see at geographically dispersed servers with the Internet. Someone may empathize with whole or part of information that was there. Others may start posting what they think. What’s more, meeting and thinking about others may give us much more to be discussed. If someone can empathize with others’ identity in a connection, he or she also can share future goals with others. It typically would be seen in the following human attitude: If he or she conducted a face-to-face communication with someone, he or she would hold his or her esteem. I would like to create a service through which people can be connected no matter where they go, no matter when it is as if they were conducting a face-to-face communication. I wish that, seven years later, 4 billion people, about half of the  world’s population, will have joined the service. This is my plan for now. Folks, what is your plan?