Mickey's Voice

Mickey's Voice

Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani is the founder and CEO of Rakuten. He understood early on that the Internet would revolutionise commerce and set out to build a business that would empower people to pursue and fulfil their business dreams online. In 1997, along with a small team, Mickey launched Rakuten Ichiba and its pioneering marketplace business model in a small Tokyo office. Since then, Rakuten has built one of the world’s most comprehensive service ecosystems and, while lesser-known outside Japan, become a global leader in internet services.

Empowering people and business through the Internet continues to be Mickey’s passion. “Mickey’s Voice” serves as just one window into the world of Rakuten, global business, entrepreneurship and innovation today.

Although our partnership with KonMari Media is new, we have been in sync with her philosophical outlook since the inception of Rakuten.

Why we’re partnering with Marie Kondo

A global company like Rakuten has many partnerships — from sports to tech and beyond — but few are more personally resonant to me than the ...
A successful company is one that has shikumi, or strong strong frameworks for execution that can be applied to all manner of initiatives.

Shikumi: The power of frameworks

The best companies are not powered by their products and services alone. A successful company is one that has strong frameworks ⁠— structur...
I believe in the potential of technology to boost economic growth and improve our lives in real, tangible ways. Forget fear. Embrace optimism.

Why choose optimism

These days, there is much discussion about the rise of AI and machine learning, the use of data and the influence of technology on our dail...
Despite the many important choices any CEO makes each day, it’s rare that they spend the time to actually reflect on the way they make decisions.

How to make decisions like a CEO

I like to think of myself as a founder and entrepreneur. But my job is also to be the CEO of Rakuten. And perhaps my greatest responsibilit...
How do you take a collection of disparate parts & form them into a robust ecosystem that supports your customers' needs? Here are some essential ingredients

Building a consumer-focused ecosystem

Global conglomerates are everywhere; large companies that offer a wide range of products and services, seeking out efficiencies of scale an...
A simple concept may work well for a time, but it may act as a hurdle to future innovation and evolution. Unchecked, simplicity can become a trap.

Simplicity: It’s Complicated

Many experts argue the case for business simplicity. A simple product or service is appealing to customers, popular with investors and can ...