Mickey's Voice

  • Blog
    Rakuten has become almost notorious in Japan for its bold commitment to unifying its language of communications through "Englishnization."

    Englishnization: Embracing a global vision

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group People in Japan often ask, “Do Rakuten employees really all speak English at work?” Through the years, our company has become almost notorious for our bold commitment to unifying the language of communications to one: One that happens not to be Japanese. More than a decade ago, I stood on stage in front of a room full of Rakuten employees and made a…

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  • Blog
    If you’re not sure what to do next, ask “why?” - Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani shares inside insights on the importance of staying curious, from Business-Do.

    Always be curious and ambitious: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group If you’re not sure what to do next, ask “why?” “Why” questions are the genesis of innovation. Why does it take me so long to do my job? Why is this new website so popular? Why do some country’s economies grow while others stall? Personally, I have a long history of asking why. I’m not really a computer scientist, an engineer or a web designer. About…

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  • Blog
    Setting goals creates a framework for success. A systematic spreadsheet approach ensures goals can be tracked and will be achieved.

    Set clear goals for your actions: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten Group, Inc. Hopes and goals are not the same thing.  Both may inspire you. But goals are what will ensure your success.  When you set goals, you create a framework for your forward progress. I call the process “getting to the spreadsheet.” This doesn’t mean you need to click open a file every time you take an action, but it’s the concept o…

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  • Blog
    Playing catch between your left and right brain is a critical skill when it comes to innovation; each force needs the pull of the other to be successful.

    Play catch with your left and right brain: Inside insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. There is something that all successful entrepreneurs have in common but that anyone can try out. You see it at work especially in those “crazy” entrepreneurs – the ones who attempt outrageous innovations that everyone says can’t be done. Entrepreneurs like myself, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. Innovation accelerator and innovation brake This…

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  • Blog
    How international education changed the lives of Mickey Mikitani and his father, Ryoichi Mikitani: Diversity drives innovation.

    How an international education changed my life: Diversity drives innovation

    Above image: My father, Ryoichi Mikitani (far left) during his time as a Fulbright Scholar. Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. It was a Fulbright scholarship that led to my father, Ryoichi Mikitani, becoming one of the first generation of Japanese scholars to travel to the United States after World War II to study. Thanks to the program and to the warm hospitality of his hosts, he su…

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  • Blog
    Mickey Mikitani on why the Hypothesize – Practice – Validate – Shikumika cycle is critical to the successful launch of a new idea.

    Taking Action Leads to Deeper Thinking: Inside Insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. You’ve got an idea for something new. What should you do? Should you hold back and plan or get started and learn on the fly? The answer is: yes. Both those things are critical to the successful launch of a new idea. While they seem to be in conflict, in fact, they represent the natural tension that exists in any new endeavor. This topic is especiall…

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  • Blog
    Mickey Mikitani highlights the Rakuten Ecosystem, mobile network and sustainability as strengths going forward in New Year 2021 greeting.

    A new year, a new decade: Rakuten looks ahead

    Above image: A handwritten prayer for the New Year at Atago Shrine in Tokyo: “To the world winning against COVID-19 and an economic recovery, Mickey Mikitani.” Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. As we say goodbye to 2020, I am looking ahead — not just into 2021 but to the coming decade as well. We are on the cusp of great things. Of course, the year we have all just endur…

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  • Blog
    Many of us are physically separated from our colleagues: We need an open mindset to hear suggestions and criticisms and make the best possible decisions.

    Mindset, skills and knowledge: Inside Insights on Business-Do

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. At Rakuten, we are deliberately reconnecting to our core principles. Every week, we are holding a reading and Q&A session to explore a principle from Business-Do, the book I wrote to capture these core principles for success. This grew out of our efforts to welcome new recruits during the early stages of the pandemic. To ensure they could connec…

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  • Blog
    Speed is one of Rakuten's core values, but even as society and business continue to advance, patience remains an essential tool.

    Balancing patience and speed

    Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO, Rakuten, Inc. We live in an era of instant gratification. We want everything to be fast — shipping, profits, communication, fashion, food — everything. So when something doesn’t happen swiftly, we are quick to criticize, even if that experience is far faster than it used to be. We are conditioned to value speed. Of course, I’m no different. In fact, you cou…

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