By Loïc Morel
We had the opportunity to hear Jon Sparks in person. He's a seasoned businessperson from Australia who built 4 companies over the last 20 years in Japan. Most impressive of all is the fact that he landed in Japan without network nor knowledge of the language.
With all the glamour that surrounds entrepreneurship nowadays, Jon gave us with a straightforward and no-nonsense speech. He showed us a very insightful and pragmatic reality about the difficulties and very low success rate for setting up a successful company.
Identify the right co-founder is the mandatory step of a successful collaboration. If no rule is set at the beginning, things can go from extremely well to extremely badly. The involvement our life in this huge project is always underestimated. Our friends, families and fools that lend us money to setup the first stage of the development shall be aware of it.
The cross-countries regulations analysis and the company structure are also part of the job. Jon explained to us with a smile that it is the kind of homework you take care during your free time, because during the day, you have a company to run. On things that keep him up at night, Jon mentioned the thought of feeding 1,000 employees and their family. He was especially insightful in the sense that he described it as an ethical duty to take care of those who work for you.
All in all, Jon Sparks shared with us on what all the steps that need to be taken care of to transform a part-time side job to a successful multi-national company. Luck will also be a critical factor.