I came back from the United State, Silicon Valley, in last year. In Silicon Valley, I worked for a venture capital firm, and also being in charge of developing business in Japan in a start-up company which we are investing in.
Does everyone know the meaning of a start-up company? A start-up company means a young and still small company. The employees are less than 100, but it has brilliant new technologies or new business models. For instance, Yahoo!, Google or YouTube used to be a start-up company in the United States.
Today, I would like to introduce my experience with some questions for you.
First question, please raise your hand if you like to study English. Actually, I did not like to study English during my school days. I can say that I hated learning English at that time. Of course, my parents and teachers told me that you should learn English more seriously because today’s world has a global standard. However, I did not understand the exact meaning of the global standard which they said I thought “what is a global standard?” and “where do I need English in my daily life?”. So my grade of the English classes was always C grade.
Second question, please raise your hand if you have a dream or your future vision. As I told before, I did not like to study English very much, but I have had a dream since I was a child. Does anyone know a Japanese famous comic, Dr. Slump Arare-chan? When I was a child, I wanted to be Dr. Senbei Norimaki who was one of the main characters in this comic. He can invent a lot of new things including a lady robot, Arare-chan or time slipper which is a time machine. So, when I was 16 years old, I decided to major in electrical engineering in my university. When I was 23 years old, I had to think about my job more seriously. I considered again what I exactly want to do. Of course, I wanted to utilize my expertise, electrical engineering, but I finally chose more business side as my job, because I wanted to be Dr. Senbei Norimaki. He creates a whole thing, not just a part of technologies. That is why I chose more business side rather than technical development side. After joining our company, I realized the employees are so talented in English and our company mandates us to get the specific score of English for working abroad and even for a business trip. I really wanted to go to Silicon Valley because I knew there are a lot of new vision and new technologies in this area, but my English capability was not enough to do it. At that time, I really thought I have to study English for the first time and started to go to a language school after work every week. Then I finally achieved to get the score which my company requires.
Today, I do not want to say that “”you should study English”, but I want to say “please have a dream, your future vision, or thinking what you want to do” If you think about it carefully, I believe it brings more values for you because it generates more energy for you to overcome your new trials.
Third question, please raise your hand if you have ever thought what you want to do in the near feature. I recommend that you should think about your own vision. You should talk with yourself. According to my experience, most of my friends in the United States can explain their own future carrier. And these people surely achieved their goals step by step. On the other hand, I have sometimes seen that some Japanese students think just entering a university or a company is very important, If you do not have a future vision yet, it is not too late, but please try to talk with yourself.
I believe thinking yourself has another advantage.
Fourth question, please raise your hand if you have ever thought about the reason why you think so. I had never thought about the reason why I think so, or where my idea comes from, however, when I worked in the United States, I really have to think about it because people always give me logical questions in business scenes as several expressions. For example, why do you think so? What kind of value can you provide for us? What is a reason for us to work with you? Through these questions, I realized my ideas are always based on my origin including my family, school days, friends and Japanese culture. Even for me, I do not understand Japanese culture like history or religious very much, but I suppose a lot of foreign people can explain their own culture or history rather than Japanese. I believe understanding your origin is important for a global standard. Speaking English or going abroad to study might be beneficial, but it is not big element for your life.
In conclusion, I want to say today that please have a dream, think about it, and do it. Sometimes you might fail, but never mind. You can do it.
I would like to thank you all for your attention today.