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You need to Ignore the Worst Advice being given to Female Founders

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Everything about employment in Japan is changing. Lifetime employment is gone.  Skilled workers are discovering that they have job mobility and large Japanese companies are increasingly confused by the fact that many new graduates don't want to work for them. Wantedly has been one of the companies that has changed the way corporate recruiting works in Japan, and today we sit down and talk with the founder and CEO Akiko Naka. We first talked with Akiko a few years ago when Wantedly was starting to gain traction, but since then Wantedly has grown, IPOed and become of the most highly valued public companies in Japan. We talk about her journey, of course, but we also dive into how the nature of work is changing in Japan, the best way to promote yourself and your company in Japan, and the one terrible piece of advice that women founders need to stop listening to. It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it. Show Notes Why Japanese companies can’t hire creative employees How to deal with startup copycats The advantages and dangers of diversification The secret to making change happen in Japan  How to brag about yourself in Japan The best advice for companies wanting to expand outside Japan Unconventional advice for women entrepreneurs Why Japanese millennials really are different Links from the Founder Everything you wanted to know about Wantedly Checkout Akiko's blog Friend her on Facebook Follow Akiko on Twitter @acanocic 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. Today, we’re going to sit down with an old friend. Well, I mean, actually, she still a very young friend, but we’ve known her for years, so she’s – anyway, she’s Akiko: Today, we will be sitting down and catching up with Akiko Naka, CEO and founder of Wantedly. Of course, we will talk about Wantedly’s amazing growth and the IPO that has happened since the last time Akiko came on the show, but there is a much more important story here, and before we get to that, I should let you know at other than a brief overview of Wantedly’s business model, this show is all new content and conversations. If you want to understand the crazy ideas and questionable positions that led to Akiko creating Wantedly, and believe me, that’s a story you want to hear, I urge you to listen to the original episode at disruptingJapan.com/show008. I’ll have a link up at the site as well. But today, ah, today, we will be talking about the best way to sell genuinely new product to large Japanese companies, some practical advice for anyone trying to take their company into overseas markets, including into Japan, and why the most common advice given to aspiring female founders is actually terrible, terrible advice, but you know, Akiko tells that story much better than I, so let’s get right to the interview. Interview Tim: So, I’m sitting here with Akiko Naka, the fearless founder of Wantedly, so thanks for sitting down with me again. Akiko Naka: Thank you so much for coming. Tim: You know, it’s really great to have you back on again. So much has changed since we sat down over three years ago. Akiko: Yeah, I can’t believe it has been three years already. Tim: Well, listen, we have a lot to catch up on, but for my listeners who did not follow my advice during the intro and go back and listen to our old interview, why don’t you explain what Wantedly does. Akiko: Wantedly is a platform where we match users and companies based on vision and values, not only salary and benefits. When we compare our platform with traditional media, traditional job matching platform, traditional ones values more salary and benefits, but our platform focus on why the company do what they do, so more value and culture of each company. So, that way, we believe users and company can meet people casually,

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