Ep 03: The digitalization of music sheets – with Hiroyuki Koike

hiroyuki koikeI am happy to kick off 2015 with Hiroyuki Koike, my first Japanese guest on the show! Hiroyuki is an artist, both in business and private life. He put together his passion for music and his coding skills to create an application that has changed the way musicians read and interact with music sheets.

His application called PiaScore enables musicians, amateurs and professional alike to not only read music but also buy scores, take notes, record themselves, turn pages with a single head move as well as many other features.

In the same way Amazon has been disrupting the book industry, Hiroyuki hopes that the digitalization of music sheets industry will offer millions a new way to consume music scores and play instruments.

We discuss his long-term passion for entrepreneurship and desire to create a product that would solve music players’ problems. Today, if PiaScore has been able to reach over a million downloads, it’s because of his focus on building a great product (not agressive marketing) according to Hiroyuki. But as he confesses, the fast growth has reached its limit and he’s now looking for the next step to reach a wider audience. In particular, he explains to us his 2015 ambition to conquer the US market.

The episode was a lot of fun! I’ve myself learnt a lot: how the manga character Kōsaku Shima was a strong influence for Hiroyuki to become entrepreneur, as well as Hiroyuki’s wish to take Elon Musk eat some ramen 🙂

Lots of Nuggets in this episodes. I hope you’ll have fun listening!

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Show notes

  • (1:23) Presentation of PiaScore application
  • (6:21) Business model
  • (10:26) How the idea originated
  • (12:42) The future of paper vs. digital
  • (15:28) Transition from a day time job to independent entrepreneur
  • (20:27) Quitting your job and the importance of people around you
  • (23:45) Work-style and the importance of face to face communication
  • (28:55) Dealing with user feedback
  • (32:59) Business expansion outside Japan
  • (35:52) Japanese business environment for a single entrepreneur
  • (37:33) How to reach 1 million downloads?
  • (39:04) Quick-fire questions


Thanks for listening!

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