Interview with Asia's youngest self made billionaire Japan's Yoshikazu Tanaka

Yoshikazu Tanaka

Net worth : $1.8 Billion
Age: 36 (b. February 18,1977 )
Source of wealth: social networking, self-made
Company: social networking service GREE
Country of citizenship: Japan

In 2003, 26 years old Tanaka starts, developing SNS GREE as hoppy. In February 2004, he opens SNS GREE to the public. In just one months, over 10000 users joins, now Tanka finds it is hard to manage just by himself. Then Tanaka establish a company, GREE inc, in order to serve users needs.
In December 2008 his company is listed on the Market, investors gives huge interest.
In February 2009, Tanaka is ranked 24th among “Japan’s 40 Richest Billionaire” by Forbes ASIA. At age 33 (in 2010), he is ranked as “Asia’s Youngest self-made Billionaire”. Now Tanaka is ranked #11 in Japan and #831 Forbes Billionaires as of March 2013-Forbes.

Yoshikazu Tanaka 

Now, it is time to read about this billionaire’s interview.

On GREE’s Startup:
“Around the end of 2003, I started doing the programming myself developing the first version of GREE. It was just a hubby to me….and I only launched GREE as a social networking site on February 2004.”
In an interview with Willis Wee, Tanaka says he didn’t spend a single dime on marketing, and that his startup became popular purely through word of mouth from its users.

Why GREE focused in Mobile internet ?
“ I always believed that the future of internet is mobile. Back then I predicted that by 2010, the mobile market will be larger than the web market and that was why we wanted to build GREE to be a mobile-focused social networking service instead.”
For making mobile social networking site is interesting not boring he says,
“Just social networking on mobile is boring. We wanted to introduce games to our users. And (gaming was) also planned as a business model for GREE.”

Yoshikazu Tanaka 

GREE’s First game, is Tsuri-Suta (Fishing Star)In January 2011, GREE partnered with China’s Tencent (social game company), and on this subject, Tanaka Says that two games were ported from GREE to Tencent and one game has gone the other way, onto GREE. Further he says,
“we treasure our partnership with Tencent, but at the same time, we are also working with independent game developers in china….for china, it is important for GREE to tap into the market.
In April of 2011, GREE comes to its $100 million acquisition of OpenFient, which brings out the company’s intention to impact the U.S. market. Could that be Facebook or Zynga, on this question asked by Willis Wee Tanaka Explains:
“we don’t have any plans to publish our games on facebook. However, we’re searching for possible partnerships with Facebook…not only facebook but different companies around the world.”

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