Home Startup & Entrepreneurship Q&A with Kei Shimada, Founder of Infinita (Tokyo)

Q&A with Kei Shimada, Founder of Infinita (Tokyo)


In the lead-up to X Media Lab on 10 June, we spoke with a few of the distinguished entrepreneurs from around the world who are slated to appear. In this Q&A email interview, guest speaker Kei Shimada explains why creativity always comes first, and how mobile is integrated into our lives.

Kei is the Founder and CEO of Infinita Inc, a multinational mobile research, consulting and development firm located in the heart of Tokyo. His company is one of the very few companies in Japan that covers the three business areas all under one roof, consists of a multinational team and possesses in-depth working knowledge of the world’s most advanced mobile market. Their goal is to help clients across the globe create world-class services on connected devices.

Kei was born in New York and moved to Japan in the late 80s. After graduation, he worked for Panasonic, Lucent Technologies and Cybird, all leading companies in their respective industries. Kei is fully bilingual in Japanese and English, and is a regular keynote at industry events such as the Mobile Marketing Forum (New York, Singapore), Ad:Tech (Tokyo), CommunicAsia (Singapore), Mobile 2.0 (Silicon Valley), Telecom Asia (Singapore) and has spoken in over a dozen countries around the globe.

1. What is the one standout characteristic you think makes an entrepreneur successful in the digital media space?


I would like to add “boldness” but if I were to mention only one, it would be creativity.

The reason behind this is, with all media, creativity allows people to  mash things together to create new value. If the value is compelling, people are drawn to whatever digital media that conveys the value.

The goal of digital media is to draw people’s attention. That is why creativity always comes first.

2. What is one mistake from which every entrepreneur should learn?

Business has to be both exciting and sustainable, not either.

3. How would you describe some of the similarities and differences in the evolution of digital media compared with that of ‘traditional’ media?

Similarities: Both are meant to excite people.

Differences: The digital media evolution is much faster than that of traditional media and is driven by a younger generation.

4. What will you want people to take away from your session at Global Media Ideas?

The whole “Mobile in Japan” experience. How mobile is integrated into people’s lives, and not just a data and voice device.

People use NFC integrated mobile devices to pay for a Coke at a vending machine, board a train or a plane.

Companies use NFC for CRM.

People use digital TV broadcast in designated areas to watch commercials for products.

Mobile phones for seniors are waterproof so that elders don’t have to worry about dropping their phones into puddles of mud when they garden outside. They also have pedometers so they can monitor their walking activities. Some even have apps that monitor your dad’s golf swing.

5. Other than Japan, where else are there big opportunities in the mobile space, and why?

South East Asia. Fast growing mobile population, growing ARPU.

X Media Lab: Global Media Ideas will take place 10-12 June 2011 at the Sydney Opera House. Learn more about how to participate here.