As I begin my transition into the tech world, I had the privilege of traveling to Japan with Keith Krach (Chairman of DocuSign) and his Chief of Staff, Hiro Rodriguez. This opportunity was a great way to kick off my new career as it held a number of lessons for me. Three of which stuck with me as vital to anyone joining the business world.
1. International business approach: work with, not against the traditions
Japan is the quintessential example of this rule. Many companies have come, and few have found success in establishing a presence. I would bet it is because Japan is a proud country of its long history and many traditions. These must be taken into account when bringing a new product to its constituents. It was fascinating to learn just how DocuSign has cooperated with the existing norms to bring its digital transaction management platform to the country. While in the United States we use signatures to complete transactions, in Japan they use the Hanko, which is similar to a stamp or a seal. DocuSign partnered with Shachihata, the leading manufacturer of the Hanko, in order to create the eHanko. The Japanese now only have to digitize what they know, rather than accept a new transaction method as well as digitalization.