Rei Inamoto has seen failure from the perspective of three different countries. He was born in Japan. "In general, it's a stricter culture, Japanese education taught me how not to fail." He spent his adolescence in a Swiss boarding school. "We were 250 students from 70 different countries, the ability to respect diversity and the variety of opinions made me more tolerant of failure." He expanded his professional career in the United States. "There they are more open to failure because they put more emphasis on how to succeed."
He has also experienced it in his flesh. After completing his studies in Fine Arts and Computer Science, he set out to enter the labor market through the front door. The nineties were running, the dotcom bubble was still swelling, its partners were finding jobs under the stones. "I was seven months without getting a job, at a time when the unemployment rate was very low and the economy was doing well, mentally it was very difficult, it was a challenge for my confidence".
Outside of the professional, he flirted with another failure that could have cost him his career. A balonazo during a football game caused him to lose the vision of an eye. First challenge The second was the surgeries to which he underwent to recover it: four in six months, and with an insufferable postoperative period. "After the operation, I had to keep my head down 24 hours a day for two weeks." And so the four times: almost two months looking at the ground. "My eyesight did not fully recover, but I can do everything, if I compare myself with the rest of the world, especially with the underprivileged people, I feel very lucky." When things get rough at work, I think of that accident He taught me the importance of optimism. "
From these first defeats and all subsequent ones he learned that failure is more than a possibility, it is a certainty. Now he runs Inamoto & Co, his own signature of "business invention and incubation study", and shares his experience in presentations throughout the world. A San Sebastián (Basque Country) has brought you the latest edition of the C festival of C 2019.
Does the impact of failure change as the professional career progresses?
It is different. At 21 you can be tremendously successful, like a lot of people in Silicon Valley. Some of them could be geniuses. Maybe others are workers, or talented, or smart enough to achieve some success at a younger age. But what can not be accelerated is wisdom.
That comes with the experience, with the years that you are alive on this planet. As I have aged, I have become better at managing failure. It's something that will always happen, the difference is how you recover.
How did you finish studying Fine Arts and Computer Science?
In my second year of college, computers began to be more accessible to students. Photoshop appeared. I think it was the first, it was still black and white, it was very limited. So I was very interested in the potential of computers as an artistic tool, but very frustrated with their limitations as a means of expression.
At that time I met John Maeda, an artist who was using programming to design, and recommended me to learn, so I studied a second degree in Computer Science. My interest in art and technology began in my adolescence and I think it continues in the background of what everything I do.
Would you recommend your itinerary to those who want to follow your steps?
Totally. It has always been my personal advantage. And it was not easy. It was much easier for other computer students to program. I had to make an extra effort to be as good as them and I never got to be, but I learned that we are better artists and designers if we understand the technology behind it, especially in today's world.
On more than one occasion he has commented that he has begun to detect deficiencies in the abilities of students seeking their first job in his firm.
Throughout history, technology and techniques have been constantly improving. Before you had to be a skilled photographer to take a picture. Now anyone can make a pretty decent photo. The good and the bad of all this is that everyone can consider themselves an almost professional photographer.
In terms of education, the advancement of technology has made the whole world almost expert. That's why it's easy for anyone to be good at 90%. It has made us vague. And that's why we've lost interest in cultivating our skills.
More than five years ago he affirmed that the advertising industry should learn from Silicon Valley and vice versa. Do you think this exchange has occurred?
Yes and no. I think the two industries are going through an identity crisis. Madison Avenue (iconic Manhattan Avenue, identified with the advertising industry) is undergoing a kind of crisis of the 50s. Its existence is threatened by technology, so it is trying to survive taking the best of other industries, such as technology or entertainment. The irony is that advertising is more necessary than ever. There are more businesses than ever. But there is also a lot of bad publicity.
In the case of Silicon Valley, part of the crisis comes from the imbalance that technological advancement has created in digital democracy. One of the key roles of technology has been making accessible to everyone services that were previously only available to a few. Now we have reached the point where some companies have become too greedy and manipulate the data in ways that can negatively influence the world.
And that they just wanted to "make the world a better place" ...
Almost all companies in Silicon Valley say that this is their mission, but at the end of the day their motives are too contaminated by money, benefits and how to get rich. Maybe they are not so interested in improving the planet or, even if they really want to do it, their platform has done more damage than they had imagined.
How do these two halves fit into the philosophy of Inamoto & Co?
When a potential client comes to us asking for publicity, we say that we are not an agency. We could, but there are another hundred agencies that can also. That is not our goal.
What we want is to discover what the next thing the client should do. Not in the next two months, but in the next two years. We try to find an opportunity to provide a solution and be the best in terms of customer experience.
RETINART is a stage dedicated to the latest trends in music and performative arts and its intersection with digital technologies. A territory for hybridization, experimentation and the avant-garde. In this first edition, RETINART proposes autonomous capsules distributed throughout the Spanish geography and integrated into major events in the ecosystem of creativity, talent and culture. The first capsule took place in San Sebastian, during the festival C d C 2019, this time the guest artist was Baiuca with his electronic and folk proposal that shows that the rhythm boxes can dance to the rhythm of the doll.