Ep 18: How to find your business idea and get started? – with Shinichi Tatebayashi

Shinichi TatebayashiWhat’s the recipe to finding great business ideas? I’m not sure there is an answer to that question. But when my guest told me the story behind his company, I felt I was on the track to uncover part of the solution.

In this episode, I’m interviewing Shinichi Tatebayashi, founder CEO of Squeeze. With his team, they are making a rental online support service which helps individuals rent out their vacant homes. He explained to me that he first started by helping his parents to rent out a property they own. He set them up by creating an account on Airbnb and arranged all the communication part with the foreign customers. After only two months, he had been able to multiply the property revenue by 3 or 4. Following that success, he was asked by some of his friends to provide them with similar services. This is when he realised that this could become a viable business.

Based on that experience we discuss about how entrepreneurs come up with business ideas. We also debate about what makes an idea, a good business idea. Is there really a way to know? Or is it just something to figure out along the way?

But more than coming up with great ideas, Shinichi is a believer in the power of execution. His favorite motto is: “You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.” And so he’s taking his chances executing and implementing his ideas rather than planning and mitigating risks. We discuss about the importance of being bold and setting high goals, and how this helps achieving more than we believe we can.

I’m also very interested in his experience as a young manager. At just 25 years-old, he’s leading a team of some twenty people. And so I’m asking him about the biggest management lessons that he’s learned. He put a great emphasis on diversity. With ten different nationalities in his team, he believes that differences of backgrounds is what makes a great team and ultimately creates value.

Questions: What are the best way to generate ideas? Can you start a great business without a killer idea? (reply in the comments)

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Show notes

  • (2:14) Introduction of Mister Suite 1.44
  • (9:32) From helping family to making a business
  • (16:34) High home vacancy rate combined with hotel shortage
  • (20:44) From building a product to scaling
  • (22:52) #1 challenge
  • (26:04) Long term vision
  • (27:42) Killer idea vs. execution
  • (31:05) How to generate ideas
  • (35:47) What is a good business idea
  • (39:11) Diversity and building strengths
  • (45:54) Making Japan more international
  • (48:09) Management lessons
  • (50:14) Be bold and set high goals
  • (53:14) Quick-fire questions

Thanks for listening!

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