Episode 1 – Think in Terms of Social Issues

  • Release Date:June 10, 2022

Scenario by Hirobumi Hoshii
Drawing by Syuhei Kamo
Edited by Trend-pro Inc.


Creating Big Business Ventures: The Challenge Within Japan’s Major Corporations

In the first column, Mr. Hosono, Head of the New-Business Division at Takamatsu Manufacturing, addresses the problem of “lack of new businesses,” which is a widespread problem in large corporations across the globe. In Japan, this trend may be the result of historical factors contributing to a lack of management with experience in innovation. During the postwar 1950s, well-known founders led the movement to “catch up and surpass the West,” accumulating successful experiences and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among all as innovators. This resulted in the establishment of loyal execution units under these innovators, which in turn led to the creation of organizations dedicated to ensuring smooth routine operations. As time passed, individuals accustomed to routine-centered organizations ascended to management positions, shaping the current landscape of Japan’s major corporations. 

As we step into the 2020s amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Dream Incubator Inc. (DI) perceives a gradual evolution in the dynamic realm of new business ventures. Recent environmental shifts such as Carbon Neutrality, Digital Transformation (DX), and a focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) have compelled corporations to venture beyond their traditional business models for survival. The paramount importance of innovation is again taking center stage, manifesting in the rise of grooming future executives to pioneer new market expansions and service innovations in global arenas. Additionally, the recruitment and collaboration with individuals boasting external entrepreneurial acumen further accentuates the shift towards a more innovative landscape. This transitional period exudes a palpable sense of anticipation for the dawn of new business endeavors, signaling a promising shift as perceived by DI. 

From Societal Challenges to Creative Solutions: The Power of Imagination

The approach Natsukawa shared with the team, “Solving societal issues,” serves as a fertile ground for envisioning significant ventures. For example, Japan, often referred to as a nation facing widespread societal challenges such as energy, environment, and aging population issues, is well-known for its array of pressing social issues. Within DI, the belief is that the greater the focus on these societal issues, the larger the potential market size becomes, painting a picture of vast opportunities awaiting exploration.

However, naturally, societal issues, though widely recognized by all, remain unsolved challenges, making it difficult to transform them into viable business opportunities. While it’s crucial to build upon existing technologies and solutions to address significant societal challenges, focusing solely on this approach often leads to hitting a wall. This is where “imagination,” as Natsukawa emphasized, becomes crucial. Resolving societal issues involves envisioning the necessary technologies, the roles of various stakeholders, and the legal frameworks required to support them. It’s about painting an ideal picture and then reverse-engineering the necessary actions from there, serving as a potential breakthrough. However, it’s essential to note that this “imagination” should not be haphazard but backed by thorough research into the background of societal issues, meticulously uncovering structural problems to truly become meaningful. It begins with “imagination,” further evolving into “concept” through additional information gathering and discussions with external parties, logically connecting various facts.