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William Saito Fails to Disappoint


William H. Saito started software programming in Elementary School and started his own company in high school. In 1998, he became Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2005, he sold his business to Microsoft before moving to Tokyo. He then founded the venture capital firm InTecur, which helps entrepreneurs.

Starting in 2011, he was the Chief Technology Officer of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. He was an advisor to national governments, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, as well as many other organizations. He teaches, writes, and sits on various company boards.

Interview Recap

 

William Saito has helped over 25 businesses get started. He believes failure leads to innovation and progress. His philosophy revolves around seeing what works and what doesn’t. He was the Chief Technology Officer after Japan’s 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. From 2013 to 2017, he advised the Japanese Cabinet Office on cybersecurity. In 2015, he was a strategic advisor for Japan Airlines. He was given the Medal of Honor for his service to Japan.

His investment strategy is influenced by technological advancements in the global market. In a typical day, he figures out people’s problems and finds an appropriate solution. His primary methodology is Design Thinking which involves failing until a new idea works. He is excited by AI, AR/VR, blockchain, cloud, cybersecurity, machine learning, and robotics in general. He says innovation requires failure and teamwork.

He would tell his younger self to follow his passion but not rush things. He believes cybersecurity and information security are advantageous to companies. He says to be persistent until you become an expert and sell products to obtain repeat customers. To him, failure is education. He says business models can expand by becoming mobile-centric. Being in good health is very important to him. He uses Various Software As A Service, WorkDay, SalesForce, Amazon, and Office265. He recently read “Life 3.0” by Max Tegmark, a book that shows the importance of AI and how it will change the world.

https://www.ft.com/content/1f92e6da-37b7-11e2-a97e-00144feabdc0

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