Archive for 2017

  • 大きなビジョンの一部であることを心に感じながら、仕事に打ち込めているか?

    April 26, 2017

    Image credit: peshkova / 123RF 先日、私が賞賛していて、時々連絡をとるテック CEO が、実に心に響く発言をした。彼は素晴らしい起業家で、私が知る中でも最も素晴らしい起業家の一人で、その業界では優れた先見の明の持ち主だ。成長の速いテクノロジー企業の多くの CEO と同様、彼はしばしば旅に出かけてはビジネスの話を決め、世界中に会社のことを知らしめている。 彼の行動で特筆すべきは、予定を伸ばして長く旅を続けることで、きつい職務へ戻る気力を取り戻すために、リフレッシュしているのだろうと言う社員もいた。 私は、この話に全く驚くことはない。彼の会社の従業員たちが、日々仕事の説明が無い状態で働けないような、自発的に仕事しない人ではないわけではない。それとは対照的に、あるスタートアップの従業員たちは——一般的なスタートアップの例にもれず——優秀で野心に満ち溢れていた。彼らは、創業者がもたらす方法のみによって、この根本的にイノベーティブな会社に、自分たちをどう適応させるかを知らされないままでいることに禁断症状を覚えた。 ある種の特性を持った候補者だけが、スタートアップで働くことに魅力を感じることは事実だ。安定性、予測可能性、満足のいく額の給料は彼らの目に魅力としては映らない。むしろ、実績を上げることこそがチャンスとして捉えられる。 人は、大きなものの一部だと感じていたい これは人間の本性だ。(心理学者アブラハム・マズローが提唱した)欲求5段階説の最上層にあるもの(=自己実現の欲求)である。この感覚なくしては、我々は魂を失う。空が失われた場所で何も考えない会社キャリアのゾンビとなり、やがて、自らを守るために戦うシステムに依存してしまうことになる。 職場でのモチベーションがいつも最適な状態ではなかったり、キャリアがぐらついていると感じたりする場合は、根本的な問題について考えてほしい。職場環境を見渡してほしい。自己裁量は与えられているだろうか? 奮起させてくれるリーダーのために仕事しているだろうか? 熱意あふれる同僚に囲まれているだろうか? 毎日のように、成功や失敗を繰り返せる機会があるだろうか? 自分が、大きなビジョンの重要な要素であると感じられているだろうか? スタートアップで仕事をする上で、大きなものの一部だと感じることは、最も心を満たしてくれる理由になり得るだろう。

  • Panel discussion on hardware investing

    April 20, 2017

    The other day Yohei Sawayama (500 Startups) and I gave a panel discussion on hardware investing at the DMM.Make hardware incubator in Tokyo. Some people requested a recap of our points, so here are some of the key takeaways. I’ll post the video when I get it. Thoughts for hardware entrepreneurs IoT is not the […]

  • So you want a job in Venture Capital?

    April 13, 2017

    There seem to be an abundance of blog posts lately advising on how to get a job in venture capital. Or perhaps more have just come across my desk. One of the recent themes centers on the concept of drafting sample investment memos of potential startups to gain the attention of a VC fund by […]

  • Emerging sectors in Japan: interview with FrenchWeb

    April 7, 2017

    France’s tech media site FrenchWeb visited Slush Tokyo last week. Here’s an interview I gave them about Japanese innovation in IoT, AI, Fintech, and Agtech (in French). Also joining were: Benjamin Joffe of HAX, Jean-Dominique François of LaFrenchTech Japan, Vincent Bruneau and Steve Furukubo of Magency, Yan Fan of Code Chrysalis, and a demo with […]

  • ‘Empathy’ is jumping the shark

    March 31, 2017

    One of the most powerful yet understated human emotions is under threat. Empathy is the capacity for understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another. In contrast with its close cousin sympathy, empathy approaches a truer shared experience. It is more credible because the empathizer has […]

  • Sumo in Osaka: Time for Spring Renewal

    March 26, 2017

    Since I’ve started the habit of posting on sumo championship days, I figure why not keep the momentum. This Osaka basho was especially significant for a few reaons: First, it was Kisenato’s first tournament as a newly-minted grand champion Yokozuna. The first Japanese native Yokozuna in 19 years, “Kise” set out to prove to the […]

  • You can’t manage what you can’t measure (or, How to enter the multiverse)

    March 15, 2017

    I just read a sci-fi thriller about parallel universes that may be a candidate for this year’s summer reading list. Part of the plot invokes the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. In the past I’ve reflected on the impact of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in journalism, but this novel in combination with this excellent interview with Chris […]

  • Back by popular demand: Buy, Sell, or Hold

    March 9, 2017

    A year ago I played Buy, Sell, or Hold on a trip home to Silicon Valley (the logic being that not all but many global trends start in California). The post proved so popular that I decided to play the game again last week. (For those not familiar with the game: Buy, Sell, or Hold? […]

  • This week’s conferences on Mobile and Gaming trigger a nostalgic trip down memory lane

    March 3, 2017

    [Note: this is the English version of yesterday’s piece I wrote for Japan’s publication, The Bridge. The Japanese version can be found here.] This week we have the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Both major technology conferences; both happening at the same time. So difficult to choose… […]

  • One of the most basic errors in pitching a VC rears its head again

    February 27, 2017

    A lot has been written on why entrepreneurs who are pitching for VC funding should aim for endorsed introductions rather than sending unsolicited emails as strangers. I’ve even crafted some guidelines for entrepreneurs in How To Pitch Me (connect via one of my portfolio companies, engage with me on my blog, approach me at a […]

  • The disruption in mobile gaming monetization that few are talking about

    February 21, 2017

    With GDC approaching next week, mobile gaming is on my mind. Truth be told, I was never much of a gamer myself, yet the industry has always fascinated me from an investment perspective. In 2016 we witnessed numerous noteworthy events in mobile gaming: the record-breaking success of Pokémon Go, the critically debated walking start to […]

  • 12 employee incentives for your startup which hardly cost a cent

    February 13, 2017

    I like to preach that Silicon Valley no longer has a monopoly on tech innovation. Startup ecosystems around the world have emerged and have produced many game-changing innovations over the past couple decades. Yet in one area several of these communities (not all, but many) remain in the dark ages relative to North America: employee […]

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