Friday, July 8, 2011

Challenge for Working in Silicon Valley

It's been a while, my dear blog readers! I have long been away from this blog site. Why? I was just busy to update my Japanese version of blog and to tweet in Japanese. But now I feel like returning to English speaking world...

Whenever I feel this way, it is usually because I am fed up with the Japanese speaking world. Japan saw a terrible disaster this year. On March 11th of 2011, a massive earthquake hit the northeastern part of Japan. A tremendous tsunami followed it. To make the situation more miserable, a nuclear power plant exploded in Fukushima. As many as 3 reactors and 1 used fuel pool blew up. This sequence of events have changed Japan forever in a profound way. We will never be the same after 3/11.

However, the Establishment (elites in politics and economy) of Japan still behave as if nothing had happened on March 11th and nothing had changed. They are in a state of denial. They seem to pay more attention to their own interest rather than recovering and reconstructing Japan. Even before 3/11, I never like them. Now I am just sick and tired of them. I wish I wouldn't have to see and hear about them. Unfortunately, they are the leaders of Japan.

I came back from Vietnam to my mother's house in Yokohama in February 2011. I was heartbroken then. I really wanted to build my own business in this rapid growing young country. But widespread political corruption prevented my business paperwork from proceeding without bribing and it knocked me down. You might ridicule me, but I just couldn't stand helping those corrupt officials build their filthy wealth any longer. Anyway, I had to come back with a broken heart and much reduced amount in my bank account.

In the first few days back in Japan, I thought about settling down in Japan. Get a job, make money, find a girlfriend and maybe get married...well, these things did not excite me that much, but anyway I was back in my home country, what else could I do? I was standing at a loss with a diminished dream then. I was just sad. More accurately, I was really depressed. My body didn't function properly, either.

I got a small project in Japan. I worked with a team of a Japanese customer. The outcome was another disaster. The customer demanded me work in the morning and at night without a proper planning. I found it ridiculous but it was just a norm in Japan. It is how the business works here no matter how absurd it looks.

Then 3/11. Reactions of the government and business communities were disappointing enough to me. They were totally confused. They could not think properly. They could not come out with an appropriate plan. Post-3/11 consequences of Japan were so hopeless. I was forced to recognize the fact that Japan is not a kind of country that I could live with. OK, let's get out of Japan...AGAIN! (how many times have I attempted...I simply can't remember!)

You might say I am stupid. Maybe I am. 12 years ago, I went to Canada and lived there 4 years. And I came back to Japan. 3 years ago, I went to Vietnam. And I came back to Japan, again. In the both cases, I abandoned Japan when I left it. I swore to myself I would never ever come back to live in Japan. But I could not keep my promise to myself. I am embarrassed.

However, I am too young to retire. Life goes matter how many times I make mistakes! The rest of life is too long to cry over the spilt milk. So...let's move on. Let's give it a try! I am thinking of going to the United States of America...more specifically Silicon Valley. Working and living in Silicon Valley has been my dream for a long time. There is no place more innovative in terms of new industries...especially information technology. I do know it will be a difficult challenge. But it is worth challenging.


Andy M. said...

Eiji-san, you may be “Tundere” about Japan (you may say “It’s.. It’s not like I love Japan or anything.”).
Moving to Silicon Valley sounds exciting. Now, there is a mini bubble in IT industry in the US. I hope you get an opportunity to work there and write about your experiences.

Andy M.

Eiji Sakai a.k.a. elm200 said...

Ha ha ha, yes, Andy, I might be a "tundere". I am not sure how much I potentially love Japan, but at least I must admit that I am obsessed with Japan.

Perhaps, I am like infuriated anti-Castro Cuban immigrants who love and hate their motherland ambivalently.

I will try my best to get a good opportunity in Silicon Valley. Thank you for your comment.