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Thanks Tina!! Yes, I think Softbank is really serious about robotics market. I also heard that CEO Masayoshi told employees that he would tolerate for 10 years of deficit for some of robotics related business because he thinks its more of a long term investment. This Pepper gives full robotics experience, although it needs improvement on communication level. I also hope fluent Robots come across the market in near future!!!

Thank you for you comments, Go! That’s a great question. There are many non-humanoid robots like Rumba, and Jibo. Those mainly takes up “functional” role of human activities and I think there will be more non-humanoid robots that will come out to the market, too. Softbank insisted on humanoid robot because it wanted to serve as a communication hub and relieve loneliness for elder people who lacks social interaction. However, the price is still a bit too expensive for elder whose income is lower than $30K – $40K / year range, and improvement on communication width and depth is another issue. As a wanna-be entrepreneur, I would like to start non-humanoid robot simply because its cheaper to invest on!!

Thanks for your comment Lucy!! Absolutely, subscription model made users easy to purchase, at least by minimizing initial purchase cost. Community is now growing and user generate contents is beneficial for Softbank Robotics that it does not have to prepare contents by themselves. Let’s keep in touch with this funny Pepper robot together : )

Thanks for your comments! I agree that there are lots of things to do for improving communication level of Pepper. Softbank has partnership agreement with IBM for use of Watson in Japanese market but communication in Japanese maybe the bottleneck compared to English. Hope this business model works outside of Japan as well.

On December 12, 2015, Satoshi commented on Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company: Milk for everyone :

‎Thank you for sharing VDP model! It seems like the company has enabled to establish large scale economic production aligned with country wide distribution. The company seems to have become competitive enough to avoid newcomers.

I am also interested to know what was the key success factor that the company has come to this point. ‎It seems to be the quality of the product, effective production design, and relationship building with distributors may be reasons for success, but I am not sure which one is the most important.

It seems that the company has effectively established it’s ‎position by properly groeing operational model and business model. Thanks again for sharing.

On December 9, 2015, Satoshi commented on NIKE: Inspiring Athletes around the World :

Thanks for sharing this post, Daniel!! Looks like Nike is performing outstandingly based on sports-oriented brand positioning, innovation led product focus and strong mass advertising. So far there seems to be no weakness for Nike, but I see one concern on the scandal associated with sports players – scandals of Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong seems to throw some negative perception to Nike brand in long-term. Do you think these scandals significantly impact the brand equity of Nike?


On December 9, 2015, Satoshi commented on Xiaomi – Mobile Disruptor from China :


Thank you so much for sharing very interesting story of Xiaomi!! I am totally convinced that economic manufacturing process and relatively high quality has led Xiaomi competitive in the fast growing mobile phone market. On the other hand, I wonder how Xiaomi tries to expand in the future after Xiaomi obtaining strong share in China. Is it going to challenge the world market with its price competitiveness and challenge Samsung model or be more creative and challenge Apple model, etc. Really interested in this company’s future growth strategy.


Thank you for your comments! I agree that R&D cost has not been covered yet, since M&A price of Aldebaran is estimated to be around 100Mil USD. This indicates there is lot more way to go until Softbank group covers R&D costs for purchasing Aldebaran. I believe that this model can be done only by Softbank because it has lots of risk capacity to take and already has steady revenue source from its lucrative mobile phone business. Still I wish the Pepper business to succeed and make breakthrough for the whole robotics industry.

Great insight about bringing in innovation in traditional ‎alcohol business!!! Gaining more than 10 times revenue in 15 years is amazing, and I wonder how this high quality sake penetrated over the alcohol market, for example, word of mouth or any particular advertising method, etc.

Moreover, I personally like to drink Dassai because the taste is much better than the other general sake. It is really easy to drink, and even if you are drunk, you will wake up feeling well the next morning. There is a significant and noticeable taste value for consumers as well.

Dassai is, however, really expensive compared to regular sake market price, and I wonder whether expertise or some of intellectual property for manufacturing Dassai can be transferred to other companies. If I had a chance to learn how to generate sake, I would definately start a new company!!

On December 7, 2015, Satoshi commented on Volkswagen: how to destroy 30 billion dollars in a week :

Thanks for sharing insightful post about this Volkswagen case. I think this is really serious but important case for all of us to discuss.

One thought I had was, aligned with what we have discussed in Toyota case, which also had some errors in Prius software, this cheating of emission was also software program issue.

This indicates that, compared to hardware parts and composition, software program could be more difficult to manage and control from traditional regulatiom. Maybe the root cause is simply because hardware requires physical manufacturing process and easy to visualize. As the core value driver tend to shift into software from hardware, software development process managememt seems to be critical to avoid similar issue in the future.

Although I do not have an answer to my question, it would be happy to know if there are any insights to my point. We could continue to discuss in further cases as well. Thanks again for your deep insights!!



Thanks for your comments and feedback! I am also interested whether this deferred revenue works well for Pepper and become next robotics version of Apple‎ iPhone : )

In terms of insurance scheme, I agree there are possibility that fix & repair cost may exceed that of insurance payment. Current ‎cost down through scale economics and standardization of robotics parts may also compensate for lowering repair costs. I assume they not actually fix the broken parts but simply substitute with the new one to save some time for field engineers.

‎Still, there is a risk that cost exceed the insurance revenue, as you mention. In that case, I assume Softbank Robotics will simply increase their monthly insurance charge.

I am also interested in how this model will turn into success or failure.‎ Regardless, AI or robot related business is expected to expand in near future and we shall dig into this area!!