Issei was a special lecturer at a class called “Entrepreneur Dojo” at the University of Tokyo (Todai), where students could learn more about entrepreneurship and startups. The lecture was done online due to COVID-19.
Based on the experience of running his own company, Issei talked to more than 400 students about the history of starting a business and how to make a strategy.
The importance of company management
1. A sense of stability
There are always risks associated with new businesses. A common cause of a venture’s failure is the failure of the relationships between founders. When Issei agreed to start a business together with Rosen, the co-founder of Mujin, instead of thinking “Rosen will succeed”, Issei was confident that “If Rosen fails, he is strong enough to start from the beginning” (Mujin Story: Meet Mujin founders).
Although they sometimes fight, the two founders of Mujin can proceed business without worry as they have to trust each other.
2. Business risks
Starting a business has never been more exciting, but it is also fraught with high-stakes risks. Venture companies could take those risks compare to big corporations, and it should be a new area of business.
3. Human resources
Even if you take a risk too much and get into a difficult situation, it will be manageable as long as you have excellent people. According to Issei “Our employees are our most important asset”. Thanks to all our employees that Mujin has been so successful.
4. Believe in your mission
It is important to continue to believe in your first mission. In 2012, Rosen said that he would realize “fully automation”. No one thought it’s realizable back then, there wasn’t such a technology. Issei felt embarrassed when he heard feedback about Rosen’s technology from potential customers (Mujin Story #2: first customer and first funding). However, in 2018, we realized JD’s fully automated warehouse (Robotics is the future).
What’s good about starting a business?
The question from a student “What’s good about starting a business?”, Issei replied, “I can work with the best members from all around the globe.”
“I wouldn’t have met such great people in my life if I worked for a company. They are from top Universities, famous companies, and they have the first-class experience. Working with such awesome people every day has raised the bar of “standard” way high. I learn from them every day. “
During the lecture, Issei answered many questions from students, and it was a good opportunity for him to look back.