Constant Flow of Water
“Contributing to the constructive development of the industry” has been the corporate motto of our company since its founding, and it is the standard that we faithfully observe and put into practice in our work.
Naturally, in my younger days I thought that I understood this motto, and I think that in the process of having it drilled into me by my predecessor, I did indeed get closer to its essence. However, it was the writing of Konosuke Matsushita that really gave me a decisive understanding of the principle.
Matsushita wrote, “Your own company will not develop unless the industry as a whole develops. It must be a wonderful industry that is the envy of others.”
I asked myself, “What is an industry?” And I also asked myself, “What is the core of an industry?” And I understood that the answer to this question was products. As I reached the conclusion that the constructive development of industry means market creation through product development, I came to harbor my own recognition of industry.
I realized that an industry consists not of “makers and distributors” but of “users, makers, and distributors.” In other words, my concept fully embraces users as an essential factor in the industry and sees people as the basis of market creation. My idea also places emphasis on the time sequence in market creation.
Another expression that stems from this concept is “tomorrow’s today, yesterday’s today.” The idea that “thinking from tomorrow is the only way to success” is a pet theory of mine and also the starting point for my action. This idea, which recognizes the importance of the time sequence, means drawing a conclusion by forecasting the future and thoroughly examining that forecast.
If I am asked whether I can make a forecast for 100 years ahead, I answer rather vainly, “Yes, I can.” The reason is that in 100 years’ time people will still exist, and emotions and daily behavior are unchangeable.
Today we hear a lot about the baby-boom generation or whatever, and our business as a whole, and indeed industry as a whole, is moving to create markets in a time sequence in order to draw them in. I think that the industries that have this idea of “tomorrow’s today,” which is right on the mark, will be the ones that are successful, and our industry must achieve success, too.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “Water is the fluid of life in arid land. Water flows from the bottom of the sea into caves, which are the internal organs of the land, gushes forth from the cracks in the branching veins, and returns to the lowland. It is the same as blood rising from the sea to the brain. Through ceaseless destiny, water circulates constantly.”
Water moves nature. Da Vinci says that the movement of water and its energy make up the center of the cosmological system. I think that the same can be said today for an industry and market creation. The water is the products that users want. These products must be vibrant. Furthermore, the makers are the heart that turns out these products, the water, and retail stores must deliver them, as the water of life, to the arid land of the users.
I believe that recognizing and observing this wise providence of nature as a fundamental element in the process of market creation and business development is extremely important for the idea of “tomorrow’s today.”
Ultimately, I think that a wonderful industry that is envied by others is one that, as the first rule of market creation, does not leave users on arid land but lures them to land that is always well lubricated.
For that purpose, it is important for people in the industry to act on the basis of fairness and universal principles.