William Hiroyuki Saito is a Japanese-American entrepreneur. A California native, Saito is a cybersecurity specialist, having achieved great success in the tech industry. Due to his sharp business acumen, he became known for his IT strategies in high-profile international environments, being able to infuse any project he is part of with experience and efficiency.
His impressive resume consists of many important positions held by Mr.Saito throughout the years, his most known role is that of the CEO of I/O Software. The company was founded by himself in 1991, while he was still in university, and evolved into being an important player on the tech market, being bought by Microsoft in 2004. The Company developed its own application suite and security platform, which were licensed to a large number of companies worldwide In 1998, William Saito was named Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
After selling his company to Microsoft, Saito returned to Japan where he took part in boards of foreign companies that try to make a name for themselves in the country, as well as landing different university teaching posts, in his attempt to teach the next generation about entrepreneurship.
Saito considers that out of dire circumstances a lot of entrepreneurs start coming out, giving the example that big companies like Sony and Honda got their start after the war. Similarly, he considers a financial crisis to be a key moment for startups to take place, as it forces entrepreneurs to be more fiscally responsible. In essence, if there is financial turmoil it forces startup companies to be more disciplined and take better care of their budgets since failure is not an option.
He noted that an important difference between the Western cultures and the Asian cultures are their perception of failure. In Asian cultures, failure means that there will be no second chance, while in Western cultures, failure tends to be seen only as a stepping stone.
At 47 years of age, William Saito managed to build an impressive career for himself, and while he is still active and holds an array of different positions, he considers Japan to be his retirement home, wanting to give back to the Japanese companies that helped get him started. While he mentions that there are still a few hurdles that are slowing down startup companies, Japan has made great progress over the years and is constantly expanding in the business area.