Can capitalism ever allow us a good night’s sleep?
By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator
There is something odd about the way we treat sleep. We understand that it is essential for good health, but we are almost ashamed when we admit that we get enough of it. We are rightfully proud when we keep our resolutions to go to the gym more or to eat a more healthy diet, but if we get a good night's sleep, we tend to keep it to ourselves. In fact, when we talk about sleep at all, it's usually to brag about how little sleep we are getting. We seem to consider getting a healthy amount of sleep to be some kind of luxury, or worse, as evidence of laziness. Today we are going to talk with Taka Kobayashi, the founder, and CEO of NeuroSpace, and he's going to explain how things got so bad, and what he plans to do about it. Taka is is building a business around that idea that companies should not only encourage employees to get more sleep but that they should pay NeuroSpace a helthy sum to do so. Most sleep-based startups have failed in the past, but Taka explains how NeuroSpace is doing things differently and how he his building on his initial successes. It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it. Show Notes Why sleep is really a skill The reason we ignore the importance of sleep How to fall asleep more quickly What your iWatch isn’t telling you about sleep The right way to track your sleep A way to overcome jet lag The real challenge facing all sleep startups The good and bad sides of Japanese govement startup grants Links from the Founder Everything you wanted to know about NeuroSpace Check out Taka's blog Follow him on Twitter @kobat_jp Friend him on Facebook The ANA jet-lag project Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Let’s talk about sleep. Are you feeling tired? If you’re like most workers in Japan, the US, or Europe, the answer is yes, and oddly, even if you’re not feeling particularly tired, you probably won’t admit to be well-rested to your coworkers. We, and by we, I mean all of the developed world, we have this funny relationship with sleep. We all know, we all acknowledge how important sleep is. Science and personal experience have proven conclusively that our own health and performance depend on it, but for some reason, we all like to brag about how little sleep we’re getting. Normally, I’d call this macho bullshit, but women seem to be every bit as bad about this as men are. We seem to consider getting a healthy amount of sleep to be some kind of luxury or worse, as evidence of laziness. Now, there are a lot of reasons for this and we are going to talk about them with Taka Kobayashi, the founder and CEO of NeuroSpace. NeuroSpace is doing something important but something very difficult. Taka is building a business model based on convincing companies that not only should they encourage their employees to get more sleep but that they should pay NeuroSpace to help them do so. Taka is fighting some deeply ingrained culture here, but he is making progress, and today, we will talk about some of the unlikely partners and bedfellows he finds himself with, why so many other startups in the space have failed to achieve product market fit, and most important, what NeuroSpace is doing different. But you know, Taka tells that story much better than I can, so let’s get right to the interview. [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1411" info_text="Sponsored by" font_color="grey" ] Interview Tim: I’m sitting here with Taka Kobayashi of NeuroSpace who is a startup specializing in sleep. So, thanks for sitting down with me. Taka: Thank you. Tim: What NeuroSpace is doing is really fascinating but I think you can explain it better than me,