A lack of safety nets designed for risk takers, and a push by many Japanese parents — who expect their children to secure cushy, well-paying jobs in Japan Inc — has hindered innovation culture in the world's third largest economy, according to serial entrepreneur and investor Taizo Son.
Son has been at the forefront of Japan's internet industry for years. He previously founded GungHo Online Entertainment, a publicly-listed Japanese gaming company. His latest project is Mistletoe — a company he set up in 2013 with his own funds. Mistletoe is a combination of a venture firm but is also partly an accelerator and incubator. Recently, Son moved to Singapore and plans to invest in startups around Southeast Asia.
His older brother, Masayoshi, founded what is arguably one of Japan's most prominent tech names today — SoftBank.