Former Apple and Tesla exec give tips for building a successful business

The opportunity to work for not just one but two tech giants was “extremely rewarding” for Sukimasa Kabayama.

After seven years in Lego Japan, he became manzanaDirector of Education and launched the use of iPad in Japanese schools.

Then came an opportunity Kabayama said he “couldn’t miss” – to be TeslaThe first president in Japan, where he was directly responsible Elon Musk.

• Help launch the electric vehicle maker Models It wasn’t easy, but Kabayama was thirsting for more.

I wanted to become an entrepreneur.

I was thinking, it would be really more exciting to build something from scratch, from the ground up.

Sukimasa Kabayama

Co-founder and CEO of Uplift Labs

“[I was] Really responsible for sales and marketing, for very little impact on the product.”

“I was thinking, it would be really more exciting to build something from scratch, from the ground up.”

In 2016, I moved to Silicon Valley, hoping to build “category-specific” products like Steve Jobs And do the musk.

Six years later, Kabayama may be one step closer to achieving that goal. Health startup Uplift Labs, founded in 2017, is an AI-powered platform that tracks and analyzes movement in 3D.

According to the company, it has since been approved by some MLB and National Basketball Association teams to improve athletes’ movement performance, while reducing injuries.

Uplift Labs also provides automatically generated reports to allow coaches and physical therapists to track an athlete or patient’s progress over time, said Sukimasa Kabayama.

Uplift Labs

“A lot of professional sports teams have in-house multi-camera labs that enable accurate motion capture,” said Uplift co-founder and CEO.

“But, [with Uplift Labs] …All you need at the moment is two iPhones or two iPads. It’s portable and we can capture the action whether it’s on the court, on the court or in the batting cage.”

The startup says it has raised $8.5 million, with a star-studded list of investors including NBA star Seth Curry, NFL player David DeCastro and Dibkour, soft bank Company.

With over 17 years of experience under his belt, Kabayama has three tips for running a business. CNBC Make It finds out what they are.

1. Attention to detail

Working for Apple and Tesla gave Kabayama an inside look at what it takes to build successful products.

While the culture at Apple and Tesla was not quite the same, [there’s a] The commonality, which is the need to really understand your business at a detailed level.”

Kabayama cited one example: attention to detail in user experience, which is “exceptional and second to none” for both companies.

“For example, if you buy a new iPhone, the case cover is designed for the ‘slow release’ to build anticipation of the moment you open your new phone case,” he said.

“The cellophane wrap is designed to use your finger easily for removal unlike many other products where you struggle with using scissors or your nails. That’s just opening a can.”

2. Unrelenting focus

For early-stage startups, Kabayama said, the key to success revolves around product fit for the market.

This trusted test is something to come back to: “If you were to suddenly take your product or solution away from them, can they live without it?”

“A diligent focus is very important… they really understand which customer segment you are after, what are their weaknesses, and do you really have an effective solution to help address that?”

Being driven by vision really does mobilize forces. All that hard work you’re doing is going toward the greater common good.

Sukimasa Kabayama

Co-founder and CEO of Uplift Labs

Kabayama added that while companies like Apple and Tesla already have a “huge market share impact,” they have a “big vision” that will push the envelope.

“It’s all driven by a big purpose…or better yet, driven by vision. Take Tesla for example, the company’s vision is to accelerate the world toward more sustainable transportation.”

“Being driven by vision really mobilizes forces. All that hard work you’re doing is going toward the greater common good.”

3. Accept feedback

Something Kabayama likes to do for his company? He said getting as many customer calls as possible.

“What really makes my heart sing is hearing what he loves about the product, but also hearing what we can do better.”

I have added, citing LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman: “There’s no such thing as tough love… you’d rather have 10 or even 100 passionate users than 100,000 like, ‘Product is fine.'” “

What keeps Kabayama going is providing a “critical missing piece” in understanding how athletes at all levels move naturally.

Uplift Labs was founded by Sukimasa Kabayama, Jonathan Wells (left) and Rahul Rajan (right).

Uplift Labs



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