Startup lessons from a Sushi Chef

06 Dec 2012

I just finished watching a movie/documentary titled Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Jiro Uno is one of the top sushi chefs in Japan and has dedicated all his life to perfecting the art of making sushi. His small restaurant in Japan is below a subway and takes reservations a couple of months in advance. A meal for one costs a minimum of 30000 yen. That’s around $366 or Rs 19,800. Jiro is extremely meticulous, focused and a true perfectionist. To the extent that he buys Tuna from a seller who only sells Tuna. The same goes with shrimp.

His goal in life is to come in each day and try to make better sushi. What amazes people is that the sushi he makes is extremely simple (something you will see in any restaurant) but what sets it apart is the richness and depth in flavours.

His principles can be readily applied to web startups.

Focus — one one thing and try to be the best at it. “This is what makes you successful” is how he sums up this concept as.

Be Meticulous — take care of your UI, UX, messages and pixels. Everything needs to be aligned properly to create an exceptional experience for your user.

Achieve Perfection — software is never finished. However, you can come into work each and day try to make it better than yesterday. There is immense satisfaction in improving something.

Simplicity — people try to make software complex. The more features the better it is. That is completely wrong. Instead, the challenge lies in making software simpler. Personally, I believe that having more or less features doesn’t matter. Ultimately, what matters is ease of use and simplicity.

Jiro is fortunate to find what he loves doing. I think it is a matter of digging deep inside you and having the guts to get up every day and doing what you truly love.

Be focused, meticulous and strive for perfection.

Money, fame will eventually follow...

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