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Book Description

Practical advice for your personal journey, from a self-made billionaire

Business-Do is your personal handbook for achieving happiness by systematically turning your dreams into reality. Success looks different to everyone, but author Hiroshi Mikitani exemplifies its essential, universal qualities: as the founder and CEO of Rakuten, Mikitani is a self-made entrepreneur who became Japan's leader in the new global economy—a journey that made him a billionaire. In this book, he shows you how to achieve your own version of success in work and in life. Paying homage to Japan's ethos of quality and discipline, this book shares 89 principles Mikitani has gathered over the course of his remarkable career. These thought-provoking, action-oriented rules show you everything from how useful your dreams are, to the best way to harness the internet, to what management techniques work to the importance of self-improvement. The result: your own powerful, personal playbook straight from the mind of an inspirational trailblazer.

Mikitani guided Rakuten from its 1997 foundation to become one of the world's largest e-commerce platforms, with a still rapidly-expanding global footprint reaching industries including fintech, messaging, digital content, and even drones. This book describes the ideas, thoughts, actions, and philosophies that drove Mikitani to the top.

  • Discover the myriad ways in which the internet is fundamentally transforming the world
  • Learn from a blend of Japanese discipline and commitment to quality and the Silicon Valley approach to business, where collaboration and agility are essential and lucrative
  • Adopt data-driven management techniques that constantly question, constantly improve, and empower people to exceptional performance
  • Share in Mikitani's optimistic vision, and his industry-specific predictions

Happiness is something you live every day. It is both the result and the critical ingredient of success, and there is plenty to go around. Business-Do gives you the principles you need on your own journey to success.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Introduction
  4. 0 Clean Your Space
  5. 1 The 10 Core Principles
    1. 01 All concepts are relative
    2. 02 Believe in the power of the moonshot
    3. 03 Learn the difference between a group and a team
    4. 04 Think about your mindset, skills, and knowledge
    5. 05 Question yourself
    6. 06 A brand is a flag
    7. 07 The internet transformation continues
    8. 08 The internet will curate the world's knowledge and data, but the human touch will still be key
    9. 09 Taking action leads to deeper thinking
    10. 10 Continuously improve by a fraction. It's the key to what others call “good luck”
  6. 2 Personal Development
    1. 11 Push yourself like a professional (athlete) does
    2. 12 Play catch between your left and right brain
    3. 13 Plan forward from birth or backward from death
    4. 14 Create an objective personality when you're in the hot seat
    5. 15 Never stop learning. Ever
    6. 16 Build self‐confidence through small successes
    7. 17 Always be curious and ambitious
    8. 18 Find a partner to play intellectual “catch” with
    9. 19 Set clear goals for your actions
    10. 20 Remember that great information can come from surprising places
    11. 21 Don't rationalize your behavior as others do
    12. 22 Interrogate your intuition with hard numbers
    13. 23 Aim to understand the framework
    14. 24 Create solutions that break down barriers and reveal new challenges
    15. 25 Identify your weaknesses. Fix them or find workarounds
    16. 26 Never let your mental energy levels drop
  7. 3 The Value of Relationships
    1. 27 Offer value‐added services. Anything less is meaningless
    2. 28 Put yourself in their shoes
    3. 29 See the essence of things
    4. 30 Size up risk by quantifying it
    5. 31 Seek out best practices all around you
    6. 32 Listen especially closely to people you disagree with
    7. 33 Value the balance between cooperation and competition
    8. 34 Teaching others will help you grow
    9. 35 Develop win‐win relationships
    10. 36 Start with good footwork
    11. 37 Report, contact, and consult
    12. 38 Analyze the situation from all angles
    13. 39 Know who and what works, even in tight spots
    14. 40 Be courageous
  8. 4 Get Your Organization Moving
    1. 41 Numbers give clarity, so set KPIs
    2. 42 Pay close attention to resource allocation
    3. 43 Lead by teaching
    4. 44 Leverage the organization to move faster
    5. 45 Harness the power of competition
    6. 46 Share the sense of accomplishment
    7. 47 Find the bottlenecks
    8. 48 Create your own turning point
    9. 49 Meet and revive in the morning
    10. 50 Think like a manager
    11. 51 Create and share a template for success
    12. 52 Earn trust within your company
    13. 53 Establish symbolic rituals
    14. 54 Successful organizations combine pressure and excitement
    15. 55 Know that there are two types of speed: velocity and agility
    16. 56 Divide into small groups to improve transparency
  9. 5 Win Every Battle
    1. 57 Analyze and execute with an eye on the future
    2. 58 Hypothesize, then create shikumi
    3. 59 Get things done
    4. 60 Examine the facts from every angle
    5. 61 Keep your eyes on what's at your feet and what lies ahead
    6. 62 Factorize
    7. 63 Lean operations generate innovation and growth
    8. 64 Think about both vertical and horizontal competition
    9. 65 The Mikitani Curve: Quality depends on a 0.5 percent difference in effort
    10. 66 Identify what is core and what is mission‐critical
    11. 67 Deciding not to do something can be the most important thing to do
    12. 68 Companies are sumo rings. They need wrestlers
    13. 69 Master the timeline
    14. 70 The devil is in the details
    15. 71 Success is born of failure. Never hesitate to improve
    16. 72 Find trends in the numbers
    17. 73 Think about value chains
    18. 74 To win, close the gaps and add originality
    19. 75 No business is special
    20. 76 Boost profits by using assets in multiple ways
    21. 77 Strategy, execution, and operation
    22. 78 No single path leads to success
    23. 79 Generate the largest cost advantage to win
    24. 80 Create shikumi that will keep generating value
  10. 6 Nurture a Global Mindset
    1. 81 The essence of e-commerce is communication
    2. 82 Seek information beyond your borders
    3. 83 Your network is your best news source; media come second
    4. 84 The internet will eliminate national borders. Think global
    5. 85 Learn from the world's best practices
    6. 86 Thinking globally will make you stronger locally
    7. 87 Thoroughly and humbly analyze past successes
    8. 88 It's never too late
  11. Acknowledgments
  12. Index
  13. End User License Agreement