One of the directors of OKWave Corp., Sugiura-san kindly introduced me to Shinoda-san, Chairman & CEO of Headwaters Co., Ltd . Sugiura-san and I went to his company to have the meeting with him.
* About the company name
First of all, do you know the meaning of “headwaters?” I didn’t know it. Now, let me quote from the CEO’s message (in Japanese) :
Headwaters mean “the origin of a river or the uppermost point.”
This name of our company has been named to declare that we Headwaters Co., Ltd. begin as a drip of water, gather our force as a huge raging torrent, or raging current of mass water then prevail in IT industry to make a revolution in IT industry.
Also the company name demonstrates our stance to be key persons to take the responsibility for starting new businesses at the uppermost point.
It is often said that system development stages are like the flow of a river from the upper reaches to the lower reaches. The upper stage is business analysis while middle and lower stages are program design and development. Usually, system engineers start their career as programmers up to business analysts to provide their client with higher values. That’s why the term “upper stage” means high values and one of the goals to system engineers.
Even more, “headwaters” are the uppermost stage on top of the upper stage. What a wonderful name! “Headwaters” remind system engineers of the highest goal they should reach. At the same time, the company name directly links to the company stance that it “begins as a drip of water, gathers our force as a huge raging torrent” to revolutionize IT industry.
Shinoda-san himself named this one. At first, he came up with an idea “the origin of a river," or GEN-RYU in Japanese. When he looked into a dictionary, he found “headwaters.” It is not unnecessarily outstanding, but natural and simple. By instinct, he found it must be a good name. It is not just luck, but the result of his thinking over what is the essence of the company. His resolution has been crystallized into the name. It is such a wonderful name that people cannot find so easily.
Indeed, the above quote may make you feel it is too fictitious and not so realistic. But I realized that it can be happening for Shinoda-san after reading his blog. It is not only me who think in that way. Please take a try to read his “Chairman Blog” (in Japanese.)
* About Chairman Blog
When I first heard about conditions to be top management, I found them somewhat too technical. It seems not management itself but something else that attracts me to follow Shinoda-san.
Then, he said, “I am 40% top management and 60% an educator.” That clicks to me. I heard that Matsushita Kounosuke, the founder of Matsushita Corp. said that what his company is manufacturing is not a product but a person. After all, such technical part as making business model, establishing an organization or making profit is not enough for me to decide following one person.
It is a compassion to others and passion to educate them that attract people. Without them, no matter what management techniques and what business talent he/she has, I don’t want to share or invest my precious time for such top management.
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However, I do not guarantee the result of your own deed referring to this blog.
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