With a combination of a small number of people + software + servers and robots
We are moving forward with a new era of company management.
I hope to share some of that process with you in this section.
August 17, 2021
I rarely look back on past events, but since it was the Bon vacation, I was unusually looking back at the events that have taken place since the company was established.
There are about 12 years worth 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 we include those that are not recorded, the number is likely to be quite large, so there is never a time when management is completely uneventful.
Even if nothing happens today, something could suddenly become a problem tomorrow.
However, I believe that I have been able to make it to this day because I have had more joys and happinesses than shocks, so it is important to accumulate the years properly first.
Strangely enough, there are also many things that happened that were shocking at the time, but in hindsight seem like good things.
Of course, the opposite is also true: I enjoyed it when I started, but I had to stop halfway through because it became too painful.
I'm going to look back on it during the occasional long vacation, as I don't seem to understand the overall implications until about three years have passed.
August 10, 2021
Recently, I have often been asked for advice on starting up a business, so I was thinking back to the time when I created Mogic.
I think it would definitely be easier now as an environment to start a business.
At that time, there were no shared offices, no coworking spaces, no crowdsourcing, no crowdfunding, no back-office crowd tools.
Of course, there were no blogs or communities for entrepreneurship as there are now.
Strangely enough, however, it is not as if it is easier to develop a business now that the environment is more conducive.
After all, "solving inconvenience and dissatisfaction" is at the core of business, so it can be said that the convenient environment has already been solved.
And if people are aiming for the same field, they will be competing with the same increased speed.
If you were to start a new business in this more convenient environment, what would you do?
As in the past, I feel that we can only anticipate the inconveniences and dissatisfactions that may arise in the next 5 or 10 years due to our convenient environment.
Mogic has a project called MicroTech, in which young people release a small product every six months or so.
Right now we are struggling to come up with something perfect for the summer holidays. In the process of trial and error, we came to the conclusion that products and services are different.
Mogic defines a product as something that reaches its peak in about one month after release, and a service as something that continues to grow from the time of release.
Since the preparation time and thinking time are completely different, we decide from the beginning that we will release this as a product and that we will create this as a service.
Products are created starting from a single idea or technology, and since you only need to look at it from one perspective, it is rather easy to create.
In the case of a service, we examine the appropriateness from all perspectives, including the idea, technologies to be combined, design direction, market timing, other companies' movements, statistical data analysis, service scalability estimation, personnel hiring, team development, finance and cash flow, marketing and branding, etc. It is a painstaking process.
And if the timing is not right, even the best plan will eventually fail to grow, so we reject it.
Once a service is started, it is difficult to stop, so we have to be brave and stop first.
Furthermore, the biggest challenge is how to develop the personnel to nurture the service.
It would be easier if we could just hire someone from the outside to create the service, but that is not possible.
In the end, I hope that while building a lot of our own products, we will be able to give them feedback and save our strength for the service we will provide someday.
July 27, 2021
Branding and marketing are two business terms that are often casually uttered.
Surprisingly, it is a peculiar thing whose definition and use cannot be explained well.
It is hard to convey because it is not something you can pick up or see, but Mogic explains it as follows.
Branding: showing what you want to show and not showing what you don't need to show
Marketing: something that is placed casually in the recipient's lead line.
A clear example of branding is a theme park, which is designed so that the apartments and other living spaces are not visible in order to preserve the world view.
Marketing is the gum next to the checkout counter at the supermarket. It's the part that you hold onto while waiting for the cashier and think, well, I'll buy it.
That said, the two are not relative and should be blended well.
In the case of a theme park, the marketing should use branding to create a world view, and the merchandise section should be located near the entrance and exit.
And since both terms are ongoing ing, we need to think about how to capture the "changing feeling over time".
July 20, 2021
In talking with many interns, I often encounter the problem of "I haven't found what I want to do in the future yet" or "There are too many things I want to do and I can't decide what I want to do.
I don't think there is any need to rush into anything, so I just commented that I hope it will be decided soon.
I was once asked about this by a well-known job-hunting instructor.
Then he said, "From my experience, 90% of people don't know what they want to do. That is normal," he said.
I felt like this situation was similar to something that, in retrospect, could also be related to "people who want to start a business".
I want to start a business but haven't found what I want to do," "There are too many businesses I want to do and I can't decide," "I want to start a business someday but I don't know when.
The bottom line is that it is quite difficult to pick something and choose to focus on it when there is a high degree of discretionary freedom.
If the only way out is to find a job, and if you have to choose between 10 different companies, it may be simpler.
If you only have three business models and the only way to start a business now is to start a business, it may be easier to make a decision.
If we assume that we are free to choose both timing and direction, the next moment we begin to struggle with the focus itself.
Therefore, if we dare to think that our life choices are limited, we may be able to naturally reduce the effort of focusing.
July 12, 2021
As I was going through 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 flat and the story is in one direction.
It's like a different era now, with 3D polygonal high-definition images that go without loading, open worlds, and online collaboration at our fingertips.
The NES was launched in 1983, the Super NES in 1990, and the PlayStation in 1994, so it was 40 to 25 years ago, depending on your perspective whether you think this was a while ago or a long time ago.
If we follow the same period in business, it seems like a blink of an eye, since it was around the time of the bubble economy that computers were introduced in offices and people began to be connected to the Internet, until today.
I didn't work during that period, though, and the reason it seems short is probably because I don't feel the change is as dramatic as the game.
The accelerated growth of semiconductors, exemplified by Moore's Law, has allowed us to express ourselves in the game in a 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 create a speech and atmosphere that matches your character, but you can also freely search for people who are like-minded.
The company's operations will not change as quickly as games because they are not directly subject to Moore's Law, but I imagine it will be a game-like UX (user experience).
It is the same in that you work alone or collaborate with someone else, and games are more advanced in terms of motivation.
However, I am thinking that we will not all need the complex controller controls of a console, but will rely on the fun and continuity that the game has to offer from time to time.
July 06, 2021
I understand how things get old over time.
T-shirts are fading, water heaters are malfunctioning and no longer working, printer toner is grazing.
Unlike objects, however, it is difficult to determine whether our ideas themselves are old or new.
Whether the idea is old-fashioned or not will depend on what you base it on subjectively.
Here we measure antiquity only in terms of "effectiveness".
Let's take learning English conversation as an example that is easy for working people to understand.
Until more than a decade ago, there were only a few ways to learn to speak English.
Learning from books, listening to CDs or the radio, attending classes, watching DVDs, or making friends who speak English?
Today, with the spread of technology, there are more options than ever before, including Youtube, foreign news sites, Netflix and other video services, online English conversation services, pronunciation assessment apps, automatic translation of online meetings, and more.
If the same person were to invest the same amount of time in learning, he or she would learn more "effectively" from a combination of current options than a decade ago.
In this respect, there is now room to think about English conversation learning in a new way.
Things seem to be continuously connected from newness to oldness, but in the way of thinking, I feel that newness itself must be invented.
June 30, 2021
As for Mogic's appearance, it may be surprising because it is easy to show looseness and creativity, but I am quite fond of data.
Our motto is "We don't have target numbers or plans, but we will certainly accumulate data on the results.
One reason may be the large number of engineers with strong database skills.
There are dashboards of logs for the various tools in the company (sales, marketing, projects, HR, finance, etc.), as well as regular meetings, mistakes, problems, and future projections normalized in spreadsheets and kept for years.
PowerPoint, Word, and e-mail take a lot of time and effort to look back and see what you were doing the same month last year, so the key is to format the information so that it can be skewered and analyzed.
We also log and see what happens with home-made games that are played in conjunction with the company's online chat.
I'm wondering if it would be more responsive to post real-time activity to the chat, or if an event with prizes would have increased the response by 170%.
There are also many analog-like data, such as photo galleries of every year since the company was founded, records of monthly events, articles on lectures held in the past, records of sweets ordered, and so on.
Isn't it tedious? I know you might say, "It's a hassle," but I continue to do it without getting tired of it.
Perhaps it is because I like to try new things and not do what I have done once in the past.