Is SoftBank ready for global domination?

SoftBank Group Operating Results 2012–2016
Masayoshi Son —

Vision Fund strategy

SoftBank Group Corp. Consolidated Financial Report For the six-month period ended September 30, 2017 (IFRS)

The scaffold

Basic human needs

Plenty Vertical Farming. SoftBank investment July 2017.

Human enablers

LIDAR generated point cloud for 3D mapping — Techcrunch

Future user interaction

Worlds Adrift screenshot — SpatialOS from Improbable, SoftBank investment May 2017

Expected investments

Key lessons from SoftBank

  • Plan for the long-term. Focusing on a 3–5 year horizon isn’t enough. The strategy should be set for the next 10–20 years at least. (Tweet this)
  • Think in systems. Don’t limit your strategy to one part of the value chain, but all pieces. Identify the point of integration, make it your business and invest in the supporting parts of the chain. (Tweet this)
  • Be prepared to pivot. The market moves fast. Don’t get attached to legacy technology. Invest current profits into the next evolution and don’t be shy about killing or selling prior investments. (Tweet this)
  • Take risks and know you’ll fail. Son knows he’s taking a massive risk. That has never been an issue for him. He’ll make huge profits, but he’ll also lose. Be ready to fail. (Tweet this)
  • Leverage your competition. Turn your competitors into allies. Don’t compete with your partners and collaborators. Look for opportunities where everyone can win big. (Tweet this)
  • Look for synergies between your portfolio companies and invest accordingly. Son is always pursuing partnerships, not only with outsiders but between his portfolio companies. (Tweet this)
  • Look for future vision in your investments, not the current state of affairs. Son doesn’t invest in the technology per se but on the ultimate vision of the companies. (Tweet this)

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Alex Barrera

Alex Barrera

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.