Son lost more money in the recent quarter than nearly anyone else. Despite the loss, he continues to stay aggressive by meeting Indian PM Modi and staying vested in India. He has big bets in China and South Korea, too.
The world is heading into a new age. America and Europe remain in the hands of the past —- whether it’s in politics, business, or even religion. I believe the future will come from Asia, South America, and Africa. TikTok from China changed the world. Many leading tech CEOs hail from India. South Korea extends its dominance in electronics and cars. Japan remains steady if not on the edge of something new —- as always. South American and African cultures influence youth everywhere. Music from all parts of the world gets as much airtime as American music. The East, the South, and Africa have family culture embedded in them where there’s less American-style Darwinism. This contributes to youth growing up more connected to their culture and possessing a healthier outlook on life, especially in Asia.
America’s culture of entrepreneurship has already been exported. America is at its best when Americans make money. When they lose money, America becomes fragmented and dangerous, where the almighty dollar can’t sustain its cultural cohesion. Europeans tend to get along better but draw their closeness mainly from ancient commercial and religious roots.
Masayoshi Son, like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, maintains a future orientation. These entrepreneurs failed often and lost billions, but kept seeking the future to find fortune. Like Son, I believe the future lies in globally-oriented youth leaders experiencing freedom beyond borders, not merely through an internet connection.
How do I learn about the future? There’s the concept of reverse mentoring where I spend substantial time working alongside the leaders of tomorrow. What they see, what they consume, and where they travel portends where the world is heading. What they create becomes the new age. The world is a scary place if we think it’s only controlled by gerontocracies and senior statesmen. It gets much better once the path forward gets re-imagined by brilliant youth empowered to do something new. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last couple of years is to invest in and empower them while simply staying out of their way. I take notes and try to pivot in new directions.