For the past 2 1/2 years I have been travelling back and forth between Japan and foreign countries for work. Usually when a person reaches 35, it's said that unless they forcibly change their environment they stop growing. When you reach that age where you have grown into your career, changes to your environment gradually decrease, and the amount of chances to encounter different systems of values also become fewer.
This does not mean that I changed to that environment to grow, it's rather that I felt a certain sense of boredom inside of me that was reaching breaking point. Of course I also felt it necessary on the work side of things.
Naturally, the people I met at work and the places I went to also changed.
I made many new discoveries and encountered lots of new issues, and as a result of this the subjects of my interest also expanded exponentially.
In the midst of experiencing and studying the many areas that I was interested in, there was something that I realized. It was that things that at a glance may seem to have no relation, become connected somewhere eventually. This isn't said from a spiritual viewpoint at all and in fact is all of these connections can be explained logically, eventually taking the form of business.
This modern era is one in which industries suddenly die and disappear.
Japanese-style cell phones are decimated by smartphones in a split second, social games played and paid for on smartphone platforms have snatched up market shares cultivated over decades and held by home games consoles in mere years.
In Japan, there is a very real possibility that even the car industry, said to be the most expansive in the country, will face a serious crisis within the next 10 years due to the rise of electric cars.
I think that the reason for this is because the speed of technological advances has exceeded the speed in which the frame for industry is created. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
To further elaborate, the technology "Uber" has increased work opportunities for cab drivers as well as increasing their overall incomes. It's a handy service, which, provided the user has a cell phone, can be easily used in any country, and for an additional fee can even allow the user to jump the lines at peak times. They're trying to make a new kind of order by having a set up where both driver and user rate each other. Just by looking at these points alone, it looks as if there is nothing but advantages for both the driver and consumer. However, if you look at the taxi industry as a whole, Uber is a threat and its existence is difficult to accept.
The reason for this is that this structure negates the necessity for the existence of a taxi industry at all. We also witnessed this situation play out with the music industry 10 years ago and will probably see the same thing happen time and time again in the future as well.
Drivers and users are both individuals and technological advances are things that provide these individuals with benefits. In other words, technological advancements are something that individuals should be happy about. The individuals that I am talking about here refer to both consumers and producers. The one getting the short end of the stick is the industry which cannot keep up with advancements in technology.
People saying that there is no interesting media is an age old story and I also feel the same way. However, the number of interesting things themselves is increasing day by day. People are having more and more encounters with surprising technology and as new technologies begin to increase, people's potential is also expanding along with it.
So, why is the media so dull? Isn't it because the media is made not for individuals but for industry? And because media itself is made by an industry called the media? It's already old news that thanks to technological advances individuals can now have a media platform. However, there is still only few media geared towards individuals like this.
For those kinds of individuals, picking up various themes through a technological standpoint may help them to discover many new connections. If our media Catalyst can become a catalyst for that then that makes me very happy.
Editorial Supervisor Kentaro Watanabe
Translated by Carley Radford