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Masaru Ibuka

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Born in Nikko City, Japan in 1908, Masaru Ibuka was a Japanese industrialist and influential entrepreneur who co-founded Sony. Upon graduating from Waseda University in 1933, Ibuka began working at Photo-Chemical Laboratory and later went on to serve in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Ibuka left the navy in 1945 and established a small radio repair shop in Tokyo. In 1946, the shop merged into Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, a company Ikuba co-founded with his colleague, Akio Morita. Tokyo Telecommunications would later grow into the electronics giant, Sony.

Led by his interest in consumer electronics, Ibuka traveleed to the United States in 1951 to learn more about Bell’s invention of the transistor. Morita was extremely forward-thinking for his time, visualizing a tremendous future and different possibilities for the new device. A testament to his persistence, Ibuka was able to convince Bell to license the transistor technology to Sony. During this time, the majority of American companies were only researching the transistor for military reasons. However, Ibuka envisioned using it for much, much more.

During his time with Sony, Ibuka was instrumental in the design and development of a range of devices, including video and sound tape recorders, desktop calculators, record players, amplifiers, and television receivers.

Ibuka went on to receive numerous medals and awards, including the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon in 1960. He received honorary doctorates from Sophia University, Tokyo in 1976, from Waseda University in 1979, and from Brown University in the United States in 1994. Ibuka also authored the book, “Kindergarten is Too Late” in 1971, a work that claims the period from birth to 3 years old is the most formative and should be taken advantage of, education wise.

Ibuka left Sony in 1976, but maintained a close relationship and served as an advisor until his death in 1997.

Companies and Investments

Sony (Co-Founder)

Lessons Learned

If you want to be successful in your professional endeavors, step outside the box and create your own path.

To me, encouraging the Japanese to make their own innovative electronic products instead of copying what was being done elsewhere was instrumental in shaping how our country would be viewed in the future.

I have proven that you can turn any dream into a reality with hard work, determination, and the commitment to never give up.

In order to develop a successful, lasting product, you must ensure that it creates its own market, not just add to an existing market.

I believe the most significant human learning happens from birth to the age of 3. Because of this, it is critical for parents to take advantage of these formative years and instill certain morals, beliefs, and skill-sets.

Inspiring Quotes

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice

Akio Morita

Knowledge is the most precious gift you can give your child. Give it generously as you give him food

Glenn Doman

Masaru Ibuka's Quotes

I am now firmly convinced that brand new products must always create new markets

Masaru Ibuka

The key to success for Sony, and to everything in business, science, and technology for that matter, is never to follow others

Masaru Ibuka

Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience

Masaru Ibuka

Influential Books

Masaru ibuka - Kindergarten Is Too Late!

Akio (Edwin M. Reingold & Mitsuko Shimom - Made in Japan Akio Morita and SONY