Mogic thinks

With a combination of a small number of people + software + servers and robots.
We are promoting a new era of company management.
I hope to share some of the process in this section.

Representative Director Yoichi Yamane


Outside the box

There is an expression in English, "Outside the box" (use your imagination).

I'm not a native speaker, so I don't know the exact nuances, but I think it's an interesting expression and I'm open to interpretation.

When someone says, "I'm bored. When someone says, "I'm bored and I'm looking for something interesting to do," they are probably already in the box.

When I look around from inside the box, I see walls all around me, above, below, to the right and left.

And since it's a wall that I'm used to seeing all the time, I'm also tired of it.

Since you can't see beyond the wall, your thoughts can't reach outside the box.

But what if there was a magic pair of glasses that could see outside the walls?

In fact, you may find that the ocean is spreading out.

Then you can make a magic fishing rod and slip the line out of the box.

Even if you can't make a magic fishing rod, you can still have hope beyond the wall.

If we can "Outside the box" in that way, "new meanings" will be born, and we will have the energy to live.

The wall here is just one example, and the wall itself can be replaced by "future", "self", "partner", etc.

Boxes appear here and there in our daily lives, so it's good to be able to see through them a little bit.


Obon vacation and a rare look back

I rarely look back at past events, but since it was the Obon vacations, I was unusually looking back at events since the establishment of the company.

There are about 12 years of logs, so it took me about an hour just to look at them.

My impression after reading the book is that there were many more accidents, troubles and shocks than I expected.

If you include the ones that are not recorded, it seems that there are quite a few, so there is never a time when there is nothing at all in management.

Even if nothing happens today, something can suddenly become a problem tomorrow.

However, I think I was able to make it to this day because I had more fun and happy moments than shocking ones, so it is important to accumulate the years properly first.

Also, strangely enough, there are many things that shocked me at the time, but in hindsight, I think they were good things.

Of course, the opposite is also true, and there have been times when I had fun when I first started, but quit halfway through because it became too painful.

It seems that I won't know the overall meaning until about three years have passed, so I'm going to look back on it during the occasional long vacation.


Inconveniences that are likely to arise in the next five to ten years

Recently, I've been getting a lot of requests for advice on starting up a business, so I've been thinking back to the days when I created Mogic.

I think it would be much easier to start a business in this environment.

At that time, there were no shared offices, no coworking spaces, no crowdsourcing, no crowdfunding, and no back office cloud tools.

Of course, there were no blogs or communities for entrepreneurship as there are now.

Strangely enough, however, it is not so easy to develop a business now that the environment is better.

At the end of the day, solving inconvenience and dissatisfaction is at the core of business, so it can be said that a convenient environment is after the problem has already been solved.

And if there are others who want to go into the same field, they will be competing with the same increased speed.

What would you do if you were to start a new business in this more convenient environment?

As in the past, I feel that we can only anticipate the inconveniences and dissatisfactions that are likely to arise in five or ten years because of our convenient environment.


Publish products, nurture services.

Mogic has a project called MicroTech, where young people release a small product about once every six months.

Right now, we are struggling to come up with something perfect for the summer vacations. In the process of trial and error, we came to the conclusion that products and services are different.

As defined by Mogic, a product is something that peaks about a month after its release, and a service is something that continues to grow from its release.

The preparation time and thinking time are completely different, so we decide from the beginning that we will release this as a product and that we will create this as a service.

A product can be created from a single idea or technology, and since it only needs to be viewed from a single perspective, it is relatively easy to create.

In the case of services, we have to consider the appropriateness from all perspectives, including the idea, the technology to be combined, the direction of the design, the timing of the market, the movements of other companies, the analysis of statistical data, the estimation of the scalability of the service, the hiring of personnel, the training of the team, finances and cash flow, marketing and branding, etc. It's a painstaking process.

And if the timing is not right, no matter how good the plan is, it will eventually fail to grow, so I reject it.

Once you start a service, it is difficult to stop, so you have to be brave and stop first.

Furthermore, the biggest challenge is how to train personnel to nurture the service.

It would be easier if we could just hire people who can create services from outside, but that's not possible.

In the end, I'd like you to build up your strength for the service you'll provide someday, while creating a lot of your own products and giving feedback.


Combining branding and marketing

Branding and marketing are two business terms that we tend to casually mention.

Surprisingly, it's a peculiar thing that I can't really explain its definition or use.

It's not something you can hold in your hand, and it's not something you can see, so it's hard to convey, but here's how Mogic explains it

Branding: Showing what you want to show and not showing what you don't need to show

Marketing: something that is casually placed in the recipient's line of sight.

A clear example of branding is theme parks, which are designed so that no living apartments are visible in order to maintain the world view.

Marketing is the gum next to the cash register at the supermarket. It's the place where you get bored waiting for the cashier and think about buying some, come to think of it.

However, the two are not relative, and it would be nice if they were blended well.

In the case of a theme park, branding is used to create a world view, and marketing is required to place the merchandise section near the entrance and exit.

And since both terms are ongoing ing, we need to think about how to capture the fact that "the way we feel changes over time.


A story about not knowing what you want to do

In talking with many interns, I often encounter the concern that they have not yet found what they want to do in the future, or that they have too many things they want to do to decide.

I don't think there is any need to rush into anything, so I just comment that I hope it will be decided soon.

I once heard about this from someone who is famous for teaching job hunting.

I told him, "Based on my experience, 90% of people don't know what they want to do. That's normal," he said.

I felt that this situation was similar to something, and in retrospect, I found it to be similar to "people who want to start a business.

"I want to start a business, but I haven't found what I want to do yet.

The bottom line is that it is quite difficult to pick something and choose to focus on it when you have a lot of discretionary freedom.

If your only option is to get a job, and you have to choose between 10 companies, it might be simpler.

If you only have three business models and you have no choice but to start a business now, it may be easier to make a decision.

If you assume that you can freely choose the timing and direction, you will begin to struggle to focus in the next moment itself.

So if we dare to think that our choices in life are limited, we can naturally reduce the effort of focus.


Game-like UX

As I was working on the PS5 and Switch games, I remembered that the NES had two buttons.

It has a simple structure with a single cross key on the left and A and B buttons on the right.

The game screen is also flat, and the story is one-directional.

It's like a different era now, with high quality 3D polygons, no loading, an open world, and online collaboration.

The NES was released in 1983, the Super NES in 1990, and the PlayStation in 1994, so we are talking about 40 to 25 years ago, and whether you think this is a while ago or a long time ago depends on your perspective.

If we trace the same period of time in business, it seems like a blink of an eye since the introduction of computers in offices around the time of the bubble economy and the beginning of the Internet connection until today.

I didn't work during that period, though, and the reason it seems so short is probably because the changes don't seem as drastic as in the game.

The accelerated growth of semiconductors, exemplified by Moore's Law, has allowed us to express ourselves in games in a wide variety of ways.

You can choose your gender, age, and clothing, and there are plenty of non-human settings to begin with.

Not only can you tailor your comments and atmosphere to fit your character, but you can also freely search for people you like.

The company's operations are also not directly subject to Moore's Law, so they won't change as quickly as games, but I imagine that the UX (user experience) will be similar to games.

It's the same in that you can work alone or collaborate with someone else, and games are more advanced in terms of motivating you.

However, not all of them need the complicated controller operations of a console game, but will rely on the fun and continuity of the game as the occasion demands.


Inventing the New

I can see how things get old over time.

T-shirts start to fade, the water heater breaks down and stops working, and the toner in the printer starts to fade.

However, unlike objects, it is difficult to judge whether our way of thinking itself is getting old or new.

Whether the idea is old-fashioned or not will also depend on what you subjectively base it on.

In this section, we will measure oldness only in terms of "effectiveness".

An example that is easy for working people to understand is learning to speak English.

More than ten years ago, there were only a few ways to learn English.

Do you want to learn from books, listen to CDs or the radio, go to classes, watch DVDs, or make friends who speak English?

Nowadays, with the spread of technology, there are more options than ever before, including Youtube, foreign news sites, video services such as Netflix, online English conversation, pronunciation evaluation applications, and automatic translation for online meetings.

If the same person invested the same amount of time in learning, he or she would learn more "effectively" with a combination of current options than a decade ago.

In that respect, there is room for new ways of thinking about learning English.

Things seem to be continuously connected from new to old, but in my way of thinking, I feel that we need to invent newness itself.