In times of crisis, there always seem to be a select few of individuals who hope to pass on the knowledge of their endeavors, offering their advice to those who struggle with the hardships of today. Times like these can be increasingly difficult for businesses to make a name for themselves.
William Saito isn’t new to building his career from the ground up. Since grade school, namely the 5th grade, Saito began programming software all the way until he reached high school, where he started his own company. This, as well as being recognized as one of the worlds top leading authorities on cybersecurity, it wasn’t difficult for financial big names to catch wind of him. Back in 1998, Ernst & Young, NASDAQ, and USA Today named him Entrepreneur of the Year.
He eventually went on to become special advisor of the Cabinet Office and Prime Minister for the Government of Japan. Aside from this, he is Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum, currently advising several national governments around the globe. His autobiography, ‘An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur’, goes on to discuss the events of the extraordinary child prodigy and how he became the successful adult he is today.
So, when Saito talks about the progress that’s looking up for start-ups during rough times, he has the credentials to back up those claims. But what exactly does this mean for businesses interested in making a name for themselves? According to William Saito, now’s the perfect time to get into the game.
It can look like murky waters in these times of uncertainty, which can intimidate smaller names from trying to compete bigger waves. But when asked in an interview at the St Gallen Symposium what his view was on the last financial turmoil and the difficulty that may be ahead for start-ups, Saito said, “All the famous companies you know about today were formed in times of crisis, so from an opportunity perspective, to create a sustaining start-up company, now is the time.”
That’s certainly good news for the little guy. William Saito compares other start-ups hardships to the ones we currently have today, giving credit to everyone who persevered, showing that it’s definitely not impossible to rise from the ashes. That doesn’t mean those start-ups won’t have hurtles to go through. Saito goes on to say, “In times like these you’re put under normal constraints of real-world issues. Access to money isn’t as prevalent. Therefore your fiscal responsibilities, your budgetary management, are honed and tuned much better during times like this.”
Though businesses may have a similar battleground to compete in when it comes to growth, their perception of risk may vary on their culture. William Saito believes that Western Culture views failure as a sort of stepping stone, something to learn from rather than an expression of weakness, and that a lot of the cultures in Asia don’t accept failure as willingly, making it harder to bounce back.
William Saito does offer some sound advice when it comes to businesses looking to grow in an ever-changing environment. It’s about adaptation, and learning from others who continue to prosper today. Regardless on how tough things may seem, nothing is impossible.