AWSI: SoftBank’s Son Shifts Right…


This week we had time to circle back to an article we had set aside from The Wall Street Journal (SoftBank’s Futuristic Vision Is Up Against Problems of Today).

An ordinary “Heard on the Street” business piece, it was not. Rather, what caught our eye was SoftBank chairman (and Japan’s richest man) Masayoshi Son’s frank admission to having a left brain – right brain conflict.

The main focus of the piece was how SoftBank, a Japanese telecoms and Internet multinational (and owner of Sprint), is positioning itself to benefit from the “biggest opportunity in humankind”—namely singularity, the futurists’ term for an era of runaway technological growth kicked off by artificial superintelligence.

So about four paragraphs into the article it was mentioned that Mr. Son regrets spending too much time on mundane operational tasks in the past, which took up 90% of his time and used the less creative hemisphere of his brain.

[Note: the words in bold come from us not the article.]

Specifically, he said:

From now on, right brain, the investment decision, management will be bigger focus.

Great news, especially since the company has formed a fund, which they announced last month, with up to $100 billion to invest in technology companies. Any future investments over hundreds of millions dollars will be made through this fund in the future.

Big bucks for sure.

But let’s drill down on this left brain – right brain thing.

About Left-Brain / Right Brain…


  • Right brain is non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words.
  • Left brain thinking is verbal and analytical.

Drilling down further, the left side of the brain tends to control many aspects of language and logic, while the right side tends to handle spatial information and visual comprehension.

AWSI, Mr. Son is going to move in the direction of what makes intuitive sense and step away from over-analyzing / over thinking and the consequential delays that tend to accompany left-brained decision making.

He’ll be proactive in his pursuit of the future most likely knowing that even if he isn’t 100% sure, he’s sure enough to keep the momentum going and adapt / adjust as need be.

We like this approach!

Also, we really dig how he has a goal, perhaps his Grail, that keeps him inspired.

“ Warren Buffett in the technology industry, that is what I would like to become.“ want to become Berkshire Hathaway in the technology industry. I would like you to see SoftBank like that.

Like? We totally heart this guy!


—The Gang

Bonus Content:

Fast Facts: Mr. Son left home at 16 to study in the U.S., where his entrepreneurial streak emerged. While at the University of California at Berkeley, he invented a voice-operated multilingual translator that he sold to Sharp Corp., making his first $1 million.

If you are indeed curious, check out this piece (Japanese-Style Entrepreneurship: An Interview with Softbank’S CEO, Masayoshi Son) we discovered at Harvard Business Review’s website. It’s from 24 years ago.


We downloaded it as a PDF file (25 pages!). We expect to learn a lot about him. Stay tuned for our thoughts.

For something a bit shorter, check out The Verge’s post (Meet Masayoshi Son, the fascinating Japanese CEO who just bet $20 billion on Sprint
The ‘Japanese Bill Gates’ has a reputation for thinking big), by Jeff Blagdon and Sam Byford.

Also, for reference purposes, check out some of his “moves”:

Mr. Son talks about why he studies abroad (Hint: Broaden his experience and way of thinking). Great #SCMF!


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