Mickey’s Voice

Insights from our CEO

  • Rakuten's new logo tells the story of what the company hopes to achieve in the coming year. Here's the meaning behind the Rakuten "slash."

    Our New Logo: Speed and Unity

    I flew into San Francisco Airport from Asia recently and had an experience that made me realize how important it is to tell Rakuten’s brand story. As I went through customs, the agent asked me what I did for a living. I said, “I work for Rakuten.” “Oh,” he responded. “I know Rakuten. Golden State Warriors sponsor! What do you do for Rakuten?” I answered, “I’m the CEO.” At this point, the cus…

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  • Japan requires immigration to prosper in the 21st century. Our old economic model based on manufacturing has reached its limits. In this digital century...

    Opening Japan’s doors for immigration

    Japan needs immigrants and it needs to start calling them by that name. An aging population means our population of 127 million looks set to shrink by 16 million by 2040. Faced with a 2.5% unemployment rate, hotels, farms and construction sites are struggling to fill positions.  An open-to-the world, internet-savvy, and service-oriented Japan requires workers with diverse skills from around the wo…

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  • Golden State’s remarkable championship season gives us reason to celebrate. It also gives us reason to consider the question: Why do sports inspire us?

    Golden State Warriors are NBA champions! Why we celebrate

    Dear Rakutenians, The Golden State Warriors’ remarkable championship season gives us reason to celebrate. It also gives us reason to consider the question: Why do sports inspire us? When we see a successful season played out like the one the Warriors just delivered, we are inspired by not only their success but also the way in which they represent the values we prize, like teamwork, innovati…

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  • in order to take your thinking to the next level—to really understand what needs to happen to make your idea successful—you must take action.

    Action is the best research

    Are you thinking about doing something innovative? If so, stop that. Stop thinking, and act. It is tempting to greet an idea with a call to “think things through”—to research, consider, and consult. And of course, some thinking at the start is important. But in order to take your thinking to the next level—to really understand what needs to happen to make your idea successful—you must act. A singl…

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  • FCB has won the prestigious Primera División, better known as La Liga, for the 25th time. Here's what we can learn from their remarkable season.

    FC Barcelona’s La Liga triumph a testament to teamwork: CEO to employees

    To the Rakuten Team, Success is no accident. It requires hard work, determination, adaptability, and most of all, a love for what you’re doing. This applies in both business and sport. This week, the professionalism and commitment to excellence demonstrated by our friends at FC Barcelona has yielded terrific results once again and I take great pleasure in sharing with you and celebrating the news…

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  • At a recent meeting, someone asked me: “Mickey, how do you come up with out-of-the-box ideas?” I answered: “I don’t have a box.”

    Why telling someone to “think outside of the box” never works

    At a recent meeting, someone asked me: “Mickey, how do you come up with out-of-the-box ideas?” I answered: “I don’t have a box.” Outside-the-box thinking is a mantra of innovation. It’s often what leaders tell their employees to do in order to come up with great new ideas. But I would argue that the key to innovation is not about thinking outside-the-box. It’s about rejecting the idea of boxes. “B…

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  • From Hiroshi Mikitani's new book, Business-Do: The first step in any big building project is the foundation. Lay your foundation with these core principles and see what you can build.

    Business-Do: Hiroshi Mikitani’s First Ten Principles for Success

    Without a solid foundation, even the most beautiful of buildings can collapse. The same goes for your dreams. In my new book, Business-Do, I give readers a detailed explanation of my business philosophy and show them how they can create blueprints to effectively achieve their dreams. The first step in the process? I have found that it begins with a set of core principles. Below are the first 10, w…

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  • Business-Do, is a detailed look at my guiding principles, offering specific instructions, stories, and techniques to help anyone realize dreams and achieve lasting success.

    Business-Do: A Blueprint for Success

    How can you realize your dreams? It takes more than passion. To realize your dreams, you need to pair passion with skills. This is the core theme of my new book, Business-Do, available now in eBook and from March 7 in hardcover. Business-Do is a detailed look at my guiding principles, offering specific instructions, stories and techniques to help anyone realise their dreams and achieve lasting suc…

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  • How a cold and rainy mountain climb made us a better team

    How a cold and rainy mountain climb made us a better team

    We were half way up Mount Tanigawa (local nickname: Mountain of Death) in the Japanese Alps when one of the members of our group faltered. The terrain was rocky and steep. The weather was cold and rainy. We stopped right there, as a group, to wait as he rested and recovered. Other groups in our party passed us and continued to the summit, but we waited until we could all move forward together. Why…

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  • Shoppers have embraced the internet but they have not abandoned the process of visiting physical retail stores.

    Why brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay

    Physical retail has a bright future. This may sound counterintuitive – especially coming from a company like Rakuten, which was founded as an e-commerce marketplace. But as Rakuten has grown and expanded its services to include banking, credit cards, communications, media and other services around the world, we are able to see the way in which physical retail will thrive going forward. It will do…

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