More than ten years before Quora and ZenDesk became famous, there was OKWave. Kaneto Kanemoto founded OKWave to address a massive problem that was unique to the Japanese internet in the mid-1990’s. Most of the country felt the situation was inevitable, even natural, but Kaneto knew it had to change.

You see, a strict code of conduct governs almost all aspects of business and social behavior in Japan, and as a result, most Japanese are exceptionally polite in day-to-day interactions. However, when the anonymity of the Internet was introduced into the mix, a very different aspect  of Japanese society came to the forefront. One that involved bullying, hostility and exclusion.

Kaneto founded OKWave to address these problems on the Internet in particular and in society in general, and has succeeded remarkably at both. The Internet is a far more helpful and much more welcoming place thanks to Kaneto and OKWave.

It’s a great interview and I think you’ll enjoy it.

Show Notes for Startups

  • What people ask when no one is watching
  • How to get Japan’s biggest companies to work together
  • Growing up Korean in Japan
  • Homelessness and waking up to what is possible
  • The most dangerous funding you can ever receive
  • What is the most important difference among the current generation of startup founders

Links from the Founder