TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Tokyo's Internet Jesus Uses Secret Creed to Command 101 CEOs

Masatoshi Kumagai was a high school dropout whose conglomerate now dominates cloud computing in Japan - and he has an unusual approach to management.

Beside Tokyo's bustling Shibuya train station lies a sprawling set of offices, where a high school dropout watches over his many disciples. Over three decades, Masatoshi Kumagai has built his internet business into a vast empire. Today he presides over 102 companies, led by himself and 101 different chief executive officers.

To keep his people focused on the same goals, the founder, chairman, and president of GMO Internet Inc. uses a private creed he calls GMO-ism. It's a set of values and philosophies he's been crafting since 1995. "It's like a religion," Kumagai says in a Zoom interview. Clad in a white GMO-branded T-shirt, the 57-year-old looks at least a decade younger. "The heads of each business are the priests. And in that example, I guess I'm Jesus Christ."

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

How to Blow a Presentation to the C-Suite

Divya, a director who leads a large engineering team, was invited to a two-day retreat with the CEO and senior executives of her Fortune 50 company. She and 30 of her high-potential peers were excited to rub shoulders with the leadership team.

The purpose of the retreat was to expose up-and-coming leaders to broader challenges, expand their network across silos, and, of course, give them an opportunity to connect personally with C-suite executives.

The session kicked off with participants dividing into small teams to tackle company-wide strategic challenges. This was a rare opportunity to present directly in front of the CEO, so Divya and her teammates worked hard to research their assigned topic, frame the specific challenge, and debate different ideas and solutions. Instead of hanging out at the bar after dinner, they worked far into the night finalizing their presentation. Divya was selected as the spokesperson for her group, and the next morning, she made their pitch.

The team's idea was met with a lukewarm reaction and what, at best, could be called a polite round of applause. Naturally, they were disappointed in the tepid response.

Divya and her team are all smart, do great work in their current jobs, and have promising careers ahead of them. So, what went wrong?

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TradeBriefs Editorial

From the Editor's Desk

Naval Ravikant on Happiness, Reducing Anxiety, Crypto Stablecoins, and Crypto Strategy

The Tim Ferriss Show:

"Proper examination should ruin the life that you're currently living. It should cause you to leave relationships. It should cause you to reestablish boundaries with family members and with colleagues. It should cause you to quit your job..... If it doesn't do that, it's not real examination. If it doesn't come attached with destruction of your current life, then you can't create the new life in which you will not have the anxiety."

Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the co-founder and chairman of AngelList. He is an angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including many mega-successes, such as Twitter, Uber, Notion, Opendoor, Postmates, and Wish.

Listen to the podcast here


Please enjoy!

TradeBriefs: What's important, not just what's popular!

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