To develop young entrepreneurs in Kansai region, we planned and provide a series of mindset sessions. For the first session, Ikuo Hiraishi, president and CEO of SunBridge Global Ventures Inc. gave a talk entitled “Success, failure and another try!” . A practical lecture based on the experience of “the real entrepreneur”.
Clayton Christensen is a professor specializing in innovation at Harvard Business School, and renowned for his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”. There is a lot to learn from him especially because he practically started his own business but had to experience failure due to Black Monday. “How Will You Measure Your Life?” is one of Christensen’s works. Hiraishi believes innovation is indispensable in life and challenges for entrepreneurship and innovation encourage many people, bringing hopes in future. We need society where we can challenge globally and try to challenge globally, without fear of taking risks. Hiraishi’s motto at the moment is to create the society embracing that kind of ecosystem.
At 28, when Hiraishi first started his own business in 1991, he used to feel resentment against being judged by company’s name you belong to and not by your talent or quality, rejected unless a member of so called major enterprise, and that you do not even have a chance to come up on the starting line without a degree of famous university, which led him to decide to become “a self-made man” as in the song of Eikichi Yazawa. In late 1990s, he had a chance to jump in on the last train of the Internet bubble, and he worked heavily. As a result, people from the big enterprises such as major companies and banks of the time you could hardly meet started to come to see Hiraishi.
He took entrepreneurship as means to triumph over the social system, but as Hiraishi earned certain capital gain and honor succeeding in management of 2 enterprises (Interscope sold to Yahoo! Japan, WebCrew Inc. listed on TSE Mothers）, he was misled to thinking that entrepreneurship itself was the purpose itself. If it was his purpose to be successful in his business, Hiraishi did achieve it, however, because he missed out setting his next aim properly, his third attempt to success ended in a big failure, due to his own devotion. In times of despair, Hiraishi accepted the reality as a punishment for pushing his luck too much.
Although Hiraishi was stunned by his business failure, he could finally have free time anyway which he missed for a long time, so he concentrated on reading books avidly without working, in different cafes, day by day. Hiraishi reflected on himself deeply, trying to work out why he failed, where he went wrong and what went wrong. After one year of reading and reflecting on himself come rain or shine, he reached a conclusion of his own which settled in his mind. Drucker writes about “obsolescence of business purpose” in his book, and that idea applies to purpose of life. Achieving your purpose means obsolescence of your initial purpose. That moment of his success was not for celebration but for a chance to set his next purpose, and in every corner, he had to be aware of his pursuit and its clear vision.
Successful entrepreneurs did not necessarily think about starting their current business from the beginning, but at the same time, it did not come out of nowhere. “Connecting the dots”, is one of Steve Jobs’ famous remarks which means that learning from the past and thinking what you can do with what you have now enable you to start your business. Moreover, people could become the great entrepreneur knowing the difference between “Given Means” and “Given Goals”.
Everybody has their own point of view. It is very important to have your definition of success, and really know your own values to “create future”. In addition, another important thing to go your way is to have and know your quality and make the most of it.
Host: City Planning Bureau, City of Osaka