Weekly Review (2019–10–27)
It’s been a while since I last spent the entire week in Tokyo…. I don’t remember when was the last time.
I spent the week mainly for the preparation for the next presentation, thinking about our corporate strategy, and meeting old friends.
Whenever I update my presentation, I start with a pen and a note. I never open the PPT file first. I have to think about what would be the concept of the presentation, then think about the storyline, and then draw the rough sketch of the presentation slides. Only after that, I open my presentation file and start editing it. We will enter an interim round, so this time the update has been minor.
We Gojo team spent 7 hours to think about our next corporate strategy. Thanks to the great team efforts, the discussions have been quite smooth. I think our opinion will eventually converge to the right direction.
I met 6 old friends this week. It is always great to catch up with my friends.
I found that many of my friends who used to run startups or who used to run their own projects (artist, non-profit, etc.) have mental issues. Mental health of entrepreneurs is getting to be a big topic, and one article said that half of the entrepreneurs would face the problem in their careers. I thought about whether I would also have depression. Granted, the last 5 years have been tough, but the 5 years from 18–24 years old were actually tougher. I don’t picture the depression situation right now.
All hardships make us genuine entrepreneurs, so we can’t escape from them. Life is suffering, indeed, as Buddha said. It’s ok. I’m still happy. Getting depressed is not a failure. Failure is not to stand up again.
I also encountered a situation which makes me believe that “As long as we are alive, our relationship can be fixed to the extent that we can say hello to each other.” This kind of experience is one of the best delights I experience in my life.
A thought about differentiation or USP in finance business
I believe that in finance business there won’t be any USP at product/business level, because anything can be easily replicated. It’s the case in wall street as is in the fields of developing nations.
Therefore, the organizational capability should be the USP. More specifically, the capability means talent, structure, and system. IBD of Goldman Sachs was the best because there was a culture not to give up until the last moment. I felt the same in HF and PE.
A thought about ideology
I was reading a book in a hot spring, and suddenly an idea came to me.
Whenever the world sees significant changes, there exist 3 things. 1. story of the future (or ideology). 2. Founder who exemplifies its spirit. 3. Leaders of the followers. All the great changes in history, e.g., beginning of Christianity, have met the three conditions. Tesla seems to be doing the same thing.
The necessary condition is that the founder has his/her solid ideology, exemplifies the values, and tries to find the best colleagues. The sufficient condition is that the ideology comes to the society at the best timing and there are great leaders of the followers. The founder has to be lucky in that sense.
To an entrepreneur, keeping consistency and finding out the best colleagues are day-to-day matter, but developing one’s own ideology is not. I feel that I have to sit down and deeply think about what would be the future of the world history that we are going to make.