Maid cafe’s are so common and well known in Japan that even the most sheltered tourists are not surprised by them, but Hiroshi Asaeda actually launched a small chain of maid-themed hair salons before starting off on what he considered more serious entrepreneurship.
In fact, starting and growing companies is nothing new to Hiro. He’s been doing it his whole adult life. In his younger days, he always felt caught somewhere between Japanese and American culture, never really belonging to either. Hiro ended up finding inspiration in an unlikely place; Nintendo games.
Hiro realized that these games were uniquely Japanese, but universally loved and intuitively understood. This became a blueprint for cross-cultural creative acceptance. His journey so far has involved maid-themed hair salons, social music sharing, a project partnership with Linkin Park, and working with the largest concert promoter in Japan. And he’s just getting started.
We talk about startup, strategies, failures, success and what’s coming next for Beatrobo, startups in Japan and Japanese founders in general.
For more podcasts about the startup scene in Japan, check out Disrupting Japan.