William Saito Discusses His Career and “Design Thinking” Philosophy
William Saito thinks of himself as an “incurable entrepreneur.” To be sure, his enthusiasm for technology and curiosity are contagious. A former member of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, Saito is a world-renowned expert on cybersecurity, encryption, and biometric authentication technologies. The Japanese-American technologist and businessman began his journey while still in elementary school. The young Saito taught himself to code at a young age and started his first business in high school. By 1998, he had reached the highest echelons of the tech world, having been named Entrepreneur of the Year by three leading publications. Following a buy-out from Microsoft, Saito relocated to Japan and founded the venture capital firm InTecur in 2012.
Saito was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Japan by Nikkei. He also serves as an advisor to several agencies of the Japanese government as well as to governments and organizations around the world. He is also sought after by media as an expert commentator. William Saito is the author of two books: The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan and An Unprogrammed Life.
Saito recently sat down with IdeaMensch for an interview during which he talked about his leadership philosophy and creative process. One theme that came up more than once was the idea of failure as a positive. All too often, people are afraid to fail and so they end up not learning from their mistakes. Saito refers to this as “Design Thinking,” and it guides his business and investing decisions. Since his early forays into business based in his dorm room at the University of California Riverside, Saito has been a part of over 25 businesses.
When asked what business and technology trends excited him the most, William Saito pointed out it was the fact that an array of technologies are maturing and fusing. He is fascinated with the way that diverse fields such as AI, blockchain, and robotics are all converging. Despite all the accomplishments, Saito shows no signs of slowing down.