I was not originally planning on becoming an entrepreneur. Of course, I had entrepreneurs for a brother (Masayoshi Son) and father. But even so, after watching my father and brother giving it their all doing backbreaking work, I assumed that it just wasn't for me and that there was no way I could handle that line of work.
In those days a lot of companies had these grand missions about finding prosperity and contributing to mankind, but this was much too abstract for me and it wasn't something that I could relate with. I felt the same way about my father and brother's insistence about the "importance of ambition."
My way of thinking on this, however, had a drastic change after I met Jerry Yang, one of the founders of Yahoo! USA.
When I first met Jerry he was just another guy with a backpack, a worn-out shirt, and glasses. He gave off the exact impression of what you might expect from an "otaku" in Tokyo's geeky Akihabara district.
However, this was also the same Jerry who said he was going "to drop apples in front of the Newtons of the future." He boldly declared that he was going to drop apples in front of the Newtons of the future and hasten the innovations of humanity.
It was riveting to hear something like that. I had never heard anything like that before and I was so excited that I couldn't sleep that night.
At that point Yahoo! was still a small company going from country to country to embark on different business ventures. The company went around Japan and Korea, as well as France and beyond. They called it the "Yahoo! World Tour."
Quite unexpectedly this tour invoked sheer enthusiasm among younger people all over the world, and it went on to become a movement of sorts. The company came off like a famous rock band. It even got me thinking about how all of this could change the world.