My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

It is that time of the year again when people start making promises to themselves. Promises about what they want to do, change, or accomplish.

In 2016, the major changes I made were:

  • Keeping to a strict morning regimen (gym at 5:30am, make breakfast, then start working at 7:00am sharp)
  • Significantly reducing my carb intake and transitioning to a mainly protein and salad diet (I was getting a little chubby!)
  • Switching from “toriaezu beer” to “toriaezu high ball” at nomikais. The beer was making me chubby. (For those that don’t know Japanese, “toriaezu” basically means “for now.” “I’ll have a beer for now”).

I plan to stick to the above changes this year, but there are a few additions I would like to make.

Continue Reading

How To Not Go Insane As a Startup CEO

A lot of people say that running a startup is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down. They say that because it is true! There is a reason that statement is cliche. Millions of things need to get done within a very limited amount of time, and it is literally a matter of life or death (for your startup).

Under that level of pressure, it is hard for anyone to keep it together and not go insane. But staying level-headed is critical to the success of your startup. Digesting information and evaluating your options while you’re stressed out is a recipe for making poor decisions. Stress will also make you irritable, and that irritability is contagious. Your team is affected by you way more than you can imagine, so you better get it together and be a leader for them.

Of course, as with most things in life, that is easier said than done. I think stress management is one of the most underrated aspects of running a startup. Most of us assume that startups are hard. VERY HARD. But we tend not to talk about how to actually manage the resulting stress.

The three pieces of advice I can give are…

Continue Reading

We Care About Facts, Not Forecasts

Sometimes we encounter seed-stage founders in Japan that pitch us with detailed projections about their business. They’ll show us a slide or a spreadsheet presenting that they’ll make X amount of money within X years, sometimes even forecasting as far out as 5 years. Most seem ambitious, few seem conservative, but they all have one thing in common. They are made up!

Continue Reading

Trump Was Always A Politician

The night before the U.S. election, I stood in front of a Japanese audience at a 500 Startups event and said, “if Trump is elected, on behalf of all Americans, I sincerely apologize.” I said it half-jokingly. But little did I know, my words would foreshadow one of the biggest upsets in U.S. history.

A lot of people, including myself, are trying to make sense of what happened. How could someone like Donald Trump get elected? This must be a dream. Or a nightmare. Because it can’t possibly be reality…

Continue Reading

No more posts.