Noriyuki Morimoto's Blog
What’s missing in Japanese entrepreneurship
Jan 28, 2019
Starting a business is like an adventure. Addressing danger is possible only under the belief that dangers are under control as risks, and therefore there is no danger. This belief is justifiable only when it is backed by essential resources, such as technology, to manage dangers as risks.
In that sense, a startup requires a combination of different experts. By placing experts in the right places to conduct effective risk management, the entrepreneur can concentrate on work without taking excessive risks.
Belief in entrepreneurship should not be blind faith. It can be established as a belief only when it is backed by solid technology and experience, and is supported by the proper composition of human and other resources. In this kind of belief, the risk is not recognized as mere danger, but is calculated as a possibility and controlled by expertise. A startup is a community of beliefs in which risks are not taken.
On the other hand, a startup whose risk is not controlled, a startup which exists by taking risks, cannot avoid accidentalities. In this case, since danger is not calculated as risk, and therefore not managed beforehand, belief is just the blind faith of the entrepreneur, and in many cases, unfounded confidence, fantasy, or a delusion based on dreams.
Under such blind faith, it is impossible to create a community with common belief, so the startup cannot procure human resources, funds, or other management resources necessary for risk management. It cannot establish a system that can scientifically control hazards. Therefore, in this case, the entrepreneur has to risk dander. In risking danger, success becomes mere coincidence.
In order for a startup to be successful, danger must be controlled as risks, and the structure of human and other resources has to be established to control them. And only when funding such a startup is considered as the last factor can venture investment be considered in the scientific realm.
One of the important elements in the success of startups is indeed the entrepreneur's human strength as a nucleus of the centripetal force of the community of beliefs. That is why we can discuss entrepreneurial qualities. But the more important factor is the composition of resources that make up community with common belief, that is, the precise preparation based on the scientific calculations under a rational project concept, and procurement of resources.
Many commentaries have been made on startups in Japan, such as the absence of entrepreneurial spirit, the small number of people with the spirit to boldly take challenges, and the difficulty of financing. But in reality, many of the Japanese startups are merely taking danger, that is, going on adventures.
Chief Executive Officer, HC Asset Management Co.,Ltd.
Noriyuki Morimoto founded HC Asset Management in November 2002. As a pioneer investment consultant in Japan, he established the investment consulting business of Watson Wyatt K.K. (now Willis Towers Watson) in 1990, where he was Director & Consultant for 13 years. His responsibilities also included Benefit consulting and Financial Services consulting. Prior to joining Watson Wyatt, he was responsible for foreign fixed income investment, asset allocation and investment strategy at Mitsui Life Insurance Co., (now Taiju Life Insurance Company Limited) where he managed assets for the company’s variable life products and group annuities as a fund manager. He spent 2 and half years in London managing fixed income assets. He started his investment career as Japanese equity analyst at Mitsui Life in 1983. Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), University of Tokyo (1981)