Japanese Version

Taizo Son is now known mainly as an investor, but in his 20s, he hit both the height of glory and rock bottom as an entrepreneur and manager.
Photo by Aiko Suzuki

 After hearing about Jerry Yang (refer to the previous entry) and starting a company, I spent my days working frantically.

 My company mainly focused on handling IT-related assignments. Thinking back on it now, the projects I did were mostly quite ridiculous.

 I was in my early 20s, and I could stay awake for about 3 days at a time. I would stay on the Internet for close to 20 hours a day, get into a sleeping bag, and continue working afterwards. Life continued like that for a while. That said, I did what I did because I wanted to, and it was an enjoyable and fulfilling period.

 The number of employees began to grow, and my company eventually had close to 100 people. Yearly turnover also grew to almost one billion yen. There were some difficulties, but the company grew smoothly.

 Around the year 2000, the IT (internet) bubble was at its peak. It was an emerging market full of activity, and companies such as Hiroshi Mikitani's Rakuten and Takafumi Horie's On the Edge (Livedoor) managed to get listed on the stock market, one after another.

 Our company, riding the wave at the time, was also preparing for a public listing. Just as the listing was about to happen, I made the decision to abandon the listing. It was a sudden decision, and the people around me must have been shocked.