When being asked for the most charismatic Japanese business man, most observers name either Fast Retailing’s Yanai, Rakuten’s Mikitani or SoftBank’s Son. If it is about which firm has invested and expanded most aggressively into new areas far away from its core business and overseas, the accolade clearly goes to SoftBank.
There is no need to repeat some of the superlatives. Just the recently announced 100 billion dollar innovation fund (jointly with Saudi Arabia) goes far beyond what other companies – and often even countries – aspire for.
If you want to catch up with the developments around SoftBank check an installment of five articles in Nikkei Asian Review, which started on March 21. It gives a great overview of Masayoshi Son’s thinking, which perfectly merges the seizing of the moment with a 300 year investment philosophy.
Not sure where Japan will stand in 300 years (actually not even in 30 years). But Son is preparing his firm in the best way possible for the future – except for finding a successor for himself. He still has to tackle and solve this challenge.