William Saito has amassed the sort of experience that few other entrepreneurs can match. Because of these experiences, he is able to provide the sort of advice that few others can. As someone who has essentially spent his entire life working in the world of technology, he is in privileged position to provide key tips and pointers.
He got his start creating computer security programs and he eventually drew the attention of Microsoft for his efforts. They would eventually collaborate on a partnership that allowed Microsoft to use his authentication technology going forward. He would eventually sell off his assets to the company and become a trusted adviser to a number of governing bodies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought out his counsel and he was also hired to the 2020 Summer Olympics technical staff. The National Diet Committee asked for his assistance after the Fukushima Daiichi tragedy took place. The Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry have all relied on his advice in the past.
William Saito has gained a great deal of knowledge from all of this past experience. That is why so many observers look to him to find out more about what to do going forward. In his mind, startups are allowing themselves to succumb to turmoil because of their unwillingness to take any sort of risk.
Too many people are trying to pick nothing but winners but in reality? This sort of mindset tends to be rather limiting. He points to the fact that so few Japanese companies ever change hands from a leadership standpoint as another factor that plays a role in the financial turmoil. These companies do not thrive because there are no competitors who can give them the proper push.
Japanese companies are also famously failure averse and this stops a number of ideas from ever getting off the ground in the first place. Bankers have questioned William Saito and asked him how they can make the necessary changes to assist startups. What they do not realize is that they have allowed themselves to become a part of the problem.
Saito likes to refer to those venture arms that work in the world of VC as being “very conservative”. Instead of actually taking a risk and making an investment, these companies are asked to collateralize instead. Instead of picking a winner, they are taking out loans instead and this contributes to the turmoil.
In order to change this climate, Saito suggests that people should be more willing to take a look at companies that have experienced past failures as opposed to chasing the sure thing. Many of the biggest companies in Japan (such as Honda and Sony) were created by someone who went through a past failure. Everyone must fail once and this is a philosophy that William Saito lives by.