It is a STORY, not a FACT, that can move people to act.
We set out to become a big data platformer by having an interview.
- 1.15 years since I found a company. And I restarted a new business which I want to “bet my life on”
- 2.In both business and personal affairs, there are concepts that can be difficult to communicate effectively
- 3.Making stories equals to generating “sympathy”
15 years since I found a company. And I restarted a new business which I want to “bet my life on”
“I decided to transfer the business that I have continued for 15 years”
It was the end of 2015 when Mitsuya Kakihata made this decision.
Since the foundation of company, the main business was marketing support specialized in the insurance field. As it targeted a niche market, the number of clients has reached about 250; 50 of insurance companies and 200 of insurance agents and some clients even requested him to support their start-up business. Thanks to strong earnings, the company’s owned media was established and he succeeded in building a substantial business.
However, he thought it’s worth to release such a solid business and its assets and to bet the rest of his life on a new business.
In April of 2016, Mr. Kakihata changed the company’s name to “Listeners,Inc.” and declared that he would completely move to a new business.
The company’s name, “Listeners”, means literally “those who listen”. The concept underneath is that they listen to clients’ thoughts and vision and reveal their strengths and charms in order to make each of their own story. And it encourages an interactive communication by making the story in sharable format.
To be more precise, what “Listeners” do is to come in for an interview with various clients from company presidents and their employees to specialists and make a story being specially designed for each according to their purpose, such as purpose of recruitment, IR, customers development, internal communication. Their service is not only making a story but also transmitting the story via both online (web-based media) and offline (printed media) channels.
So, it has been shifted out of Insurance Business to Platform Business that will connect every companies and people. However, there was a chain of coincidences until he reached such a big turning point.
It’s not like he has been thinking of founding a company from the beginning. After graduation from university, he went into a foreign life insurance company. Since then, he has been involved in insurance marketing and satisfied with its responsible work and high-income that was beyond his potential.
It was 10 years after joining the company when he had a significant change in life. He admitted himself to hospital for a long time due to a traffic accident. At that point, it put the brakes on both his car and his life while he took pride in taking the lead in insurance business though he was being swamped with lots of work. This experience led him to look back his own career and reconsider his future.
“I recognized that I had no goals and ideals which I would dedicate myself to accomplish. I wanted to be the one that can walk independently. I wanted to build a life on my own as it’s my life.”
It was the moment when his “venture spirit” was brought out.
In the following year, he left the insurance company. After starting a business as a sole proprietor, in 2001, he started the marketing company mentioned in the opening sentences. From the beginning, he experienced strong sales as its service was being much in demand thanks to the direct marketing know-how he learnt from his 10 years of marketing experience. It resulted in development of business model that generated high revenue by a few staff.
However, it was never like he had a problem-free life in the 15 years to follow. In 7 years after the company’s foundation, he tried to develop a new business model aiming for further growth, but he faced increased competition due to lots of other companies imitating the same model. In the end, it forced him to withdraw in as few as 3 years and he lost almost all the employees.
He experienced a tough situation and committed himself to make a comeback, but then, he faced the biggest turning point.