Influencer Marketing

Expand your reach and engage with your target audience using this trending technique that blends celebrity endorsements with social media marketing.

Leading High Performing Remote Teams

How can leaders ensure that performance remains high in remote or hybrid-work environments?

Design Thinking

Learn the 5 phases of this problem-solving methodology and switch from technology-centered to user-centered thinking.


Learn what reciprocity is and how it can motivate people and boost sales.

Gantt Chart

Invented in the early 20th century, the Gantt Chart is one of the building blocks of modern project management. In this online course, you'll learn how this tool can be used effectively to monitor progress and achieve your team's goals.

Navigating Change Successfully

The working landscape is continually shifting and being disrupted, so how to employees maintain a sense of stability? Listen to CEO and president of Carl ZEISS Japan Stefan Sacre share his expertise on dealing with change in organizations and entire industries.

Halo Effect

The halo effect is often leveraged for marketing and promotion. But as a type of cognitive bias, it can also have a subconscious impact on decision-making in the workplace. Learn why and (how to overcome it) in this online course.

Anchoring and Framing

Want to increase your confidence during negotiations? Master the principles of anchoring and framing to take your negotiation skills to the next level.


Understanding ZOPA and BATNA will help you become a better negotiator, create more value, and feel more confident at the table.

Content Marketing

In this course, you’ll learn how compelling blogs, videos, podcasts, and other media can reach customers and drive sales. You’ll also learn steps for creating an effective content marketing plan, and some important ways to measure its impact and success.

Content marketing is a essential digital marketing strategy for companies looking to provide relevant and useful information to support your community and attract new customers.

Get started on your content marketing journey today.

Sustainable Innovation in Times of Disruption: Choices for a Better Society

There are opportunities for progress all around us. The key is to innovate on these opportunities sustainably.

To help identify most effective path forward, you'll need to gain a global perspective to these challenges in an open discussion. How can Japan and the world take action to create a more sustainable, innovative world? Where do you fit in?

It's time to find out.

Social Media & Digital Communications: Impact on Global Public Opinion

Social and digital media have dominated the communications industry for decades. But it's no secret that social media has the power to sway public opinion, and the way in which many companies use these platforms could be seen as manipulative.

What do companies need to be aware of when utilizing social and digital media? How can these mediums be used to better communicate strategically with the world?

Discover what top media and communications experts have to say.


Blockchain is one of the most captivating technologies out there. Learn what it is and how to make use of its opportunities in this short online course.

Mehrabian’s Rule

The 7-38-55 Rule, developed by Albert Mehrabian, suggests that effective communication relies less on the words we choose than on our tone of our voice, appearance, and body language. Learn how to put this theory to use for better communication in business.

Pareto Principle

Your time and resources are limited. Efficiency means learning to prioritize. The Pareto principle (also called the 80-20 rule) can help you identify the best way to use your time for maximum results.

Country Analysis Framework

Overseas expansion requires careful planning. The Country Analysis Framework can help you look beyond an industry-level analysis and reframe your view based on performance, strategy, and context. Try this short course to learn how it works.

SECI Model

The SECI model illustrates how knowledge is created and shared. Learn how to put it to use for best practices, and how the Japanese concept of “ba” fits in to broaden your perspective.

Johari Window Model

The Johari Window Model is a self-awareness framework that helps you better understand . . . you. Learn how its four quadrants can help you identify gaps between how you see yourself, and how others see you.

Sunk Costs

Wondering if you should continue an investment or look for something new? Sunk costs can have a powerful psychological impact on decision-making. Learn how to recognize them to ensure rational decisions.

CAGE Distance Framework

Want to expand overseas? The CAGE distance framework can help ensure you're constructing a solid global strategy in four areas: cultural, administrative, economic, and geographic. Learn how to leverage useful differences between countries, identify potential obstacles, and achieve global business success.


Groupthink refers to group pressure and the perception of consensus which together lead to ill-formed decisions—or even unnecessary risks. Learn to identify the warning signs of groupthink and apply countermeasures in this online course.

Deductive and Inductive Reasoning

Solving problems with the best results means using two types of thinking: deductive and inductive reasoning. In this online course, learn to form a broad premise, make observations, and form conclusions from different perspectives.

Critical Thinking: Hypothesis-Driven Thinking

Anyone can come up with a good idea. The real challenge is putting that idea into action. In this online course, explore how to form compelling, testable hypotheses and bring ideas to life in your own organization.

Critical Thinking: Structured Reasoning

Even a few simple techniques for logical decision making and persuasion can vastly improve your skills as a leader. Explore how critical thinking can help you evaluate complex business problems, reduce bias, and devise effective solutions.

Critical Thinking: Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is a central business skill, and yet it's the one many people struggle with most. This course will show you how to apply critical thinking techniques to common business examples, avoid misunderstandings, and get at the root of any problem.

How to Dream

Join globally renowned author and Columbia Business School professor Dr. Sheena Iyengar as she explains how to approach your dreams with a new perspective. Learn to reflect on what you long to accomplish and what stands in your way.

Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is at the heart of confident, persuasive decisions. This course will equip you with a five-point approach to more becoming a more logical thinker. Learn to classify ideas and distinguish fact from opinion.

Investing & Diversity: The Changing Faces of Venture Capitalists

Is the venture capital industry embracing diversity in investors? Watch global venture capitalists from around the world discuss the state of things and what needs to be done for a more inclusive future.

Servant Leadership

There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.

Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Ever wonder what makes a great leader? Whether your role requires leadership or not, understanding organizational behavior is useful for your career. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can set you on your way.

Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are different skills, but today’s leaders must have both. Try out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to understand the difference, as well as when and why each skill is necessary for motivation, communication, and value.

Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company

Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.

Strategy: Understanding the External Environment

To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!

Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business

Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.

Turnaround Leadership: The Differences Between Japan and the West

What's the best way for leaders to communicate a shift in corporate strategy? How do you even know when it's time for such a change? This course explains how Japan might have one answer, Western companies another.

Conflict Management

Conflicts in the workplace are inevitable. But they can lead to positive outcomes if they’re managed well. Check out this online course for a two-step process that can help you manage conflict successfully.

Evernote Founder: How Tech Startups Can Break through in Japan

Can startup models from Hollywood and Silicon Valley succeed anywhere? Phil Libin, cofounder and CEO of startup incubator All Turtles, explains how AI can solve everyday problems to bring products to market.

Women Empowerment: Lessons from Cartier

How can women overcome gender inequality and reach their leadership goals? Cartier Japan CEO June Miyachi shares her secret in this special course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Marketing: Reaching Your Target

Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.

Marketing Mix

Seeing good products into the hands of customers is no easy task. The marketing mix can help. It's a collection of strategies and tactics companies utilize to get customers to purchase their products or services, and is an essential part of the overall marketing process.

The Principles of Negotiation

With the proper skills and attitude, anyone can become a successful negotiator.  But first, you'll need to learn the basics to prepare for, assess, and respond to offers for the best results. GLOBIS Unlimited can help.

Negotiation: Creating Value

Want to create more shared value between yourself and your negotiation opponent? Discover how cognitive bias affects the judgment of others. Try this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to master the value of negotiation.

Finding Your Life Purpose with Ikigai

Ikigai can guide you in your quest for self-discovery. Listen to Japanese brain scientist Ken Mogi explain why and how.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Want to leverage Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a leader? Try this short course to see how the theory can be applied in practical work scenarios.

Confirmation Bias

We all subconsciously collect information that reinforces our preconceptions. It's natural . . . but it does lead to a kind of flawed decision-making called confirmation bias. To become more objective and impartial, check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

An Investor's Lesson to Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs have the power to transform societies for the better. But how do you attract investors to start or grow a business? Or to sell one? Check out this seminar for the answers to these and more, straight from a master venture capitalist!

Managerial Accounting

Managerial accounting is a powerful way to measure progress, identify problems, and meet your goals. Check out this course to learn how data-backed decisions can help you run your business.

Finance Basics: 1

For a healthy mix of quantitative planning, evaluation, and management, you need solid decision-making. And finance is the secret sauce! Get the essentials of finance in this two-part course from GLOBIS Unlimited.

Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis

Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.

Career Anchors

What drives you to be good at your job?

Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.

Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!

Digital Marketing Psychology to Transform Your Business

How does digital marketing really differ from traditional marketing? How is social media changing things really? And what's going on in Asia?

Pyramid Structure

Having the pyramid structure in your communication toolkit can not only help you approach a problem, but convince others that your solution is valid. Break away from linear thinking and test your logical thinking with this course from GLOBIS Unlimited!

Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi

The key ingredient to success? Passion.

Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.

AI First Companies – Implementation and Impact

AI is changing the way companies operate. How do you structure teams to increase efficiency?

Technovate in the Era of Industry 4.0

Is Industry 4.0 is the next step of human evolution human civilization? Dr. Jorge Calvo seems to think so. Join him to learn how the past can help you set goals for an exciting future of digital innovation.

Technovate Thinking

Business leaders of tomorrow need to harness the power of technology and innovation. That means understanding algorithms and how they drive business results. Discover opportunities to make technology work for your competitive edge.

Product Life Cycle

Every product takes a natural course through the market—there's a how, when, and why customers adopt products at different stages. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited to find out how a product you use every day is part of this cycle.

Logic Tree

Logical thinking is the most valuable asset any business professional can have. That's why logic trees are such a valuable tool—they can help you identify a problem, break it down, and build it back up to a solution.

MECE Principle

Using the MECE principle can help ensure you categorize without gaps or overlaps. Check out this course from GLOBIS Unlimited for a practical demonstration of how it works!

Drew Houston, Dropbox’s co-founder and CEO, talks about his discoveries, lessons, and the future.

Dropbox: Tech Giant’s Birth, Growth and Future

Speaker: Drew Houston, Co-Founder and CEO of Dropbox
Dialogue Partner: Yoshito Hori, President, GLOBIS University
Date: Thursday, April 9, 2015
Time: 19:00 – 20:30
Venue: GLOBIS Tokyo Campus
Language: English

In 2007, Drew Houston co-founded Dropbox with Arash Ferdowsi, his classmate at MIT. He was twenty-four years old then. Today, with about 300 million users (including 10 million in Japan) and over 100,000 client companies worldwide, Dropbox has quickly become the world’s leading cloud storage provider.

In just over seven years, Dropbox has gone through two different stages: first early startup, and then the subsequent fast, wild, and continued expansion. Has Dropbox’s business developed and grown the way he intended? What are his discoveries and lessons learned? And what does he plan for the future?

Tech Giant Dropbox CEO to Japan’s Emerging Ventures: “It takes more than a trend.”

by Katrina Vinluan

“Find a hard tech problem from all the things that get you excited,” Dropbox CEO Drew Houston advised during his dialogue with GLOBIS President Yoshito Hori at a recent seminar at the school’s Tokyo campus.

Dropbox was cofounded in 2007 by Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, a fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since its inception, Dropbox has already grown from a startup venture to a fully fledged private company with an estimated annual revenue of over $250 million dollars. Tagged as one of the fastest growing companies, now boasting of at least 300 million users, Dropbox is believed to have higher income productivity per employee than the long-prominent tech company Google. Dropbox’s growth was tracked by Apple’s Steve Jobs, leading Jobs to apparently tempt Houston with a nine-digit acquisition offer.

With the launch of iCloud in October 2011, Jobs did acknowledge one of the biggest tech problems—how to store all photos and files from different devices, into one remote storage. This tech problem was exactly what got Houston to launch Dropbox, after years of exposure to computers and technology. Houston started as a preschooler tinkering with an IBM PC. He already knew at a young age that all he wanted was to work with computers. Houston, at 32, said that Dropbox is his sixth venture.

But when asked about his road to success, Houston countered the popular entrepreneurial advice of “spotting a trend and riding the wave” as a starting point for ventures, declaring “it takes more than a trend.” While everyone tried to take after Apple’s brand storytelling, or join the bandwagon of IT-aided financial services or online selling, Houston chose to do what he knew best—find a new technological solution to an old problem. Not resting on his adeptness in computer science, he also equipped himself as an entrepreneur by reading business books and surrounding himself with people who provided insights on starting a company.

In the dialogue at GLOBIS, attended by participants from the IT industry, startups, centuries-old Japanese companies, and universities, Houston shared his insights on what has contributed to the success of Dropbox during its eight years of existence.

Find things that you can be really obsessed about.

Drew Houston

Houston took on programming jobs at the age of fourteen. By the time he was preparing for his college SAT, he identified lugging around 800-page books for SAT reviews as a pain-point he could address with computer technology. He set up an online SAT preparation company. It didn’t succeed as hoped, but Houston continuously exposed himself to dilemmas that could be solved with computer technology, eventually stumbling upon the remote file storage problem that paved the way to Dropbox.

Surround yourself with people who push you.

Drew Houston

Houston humbly admitted his lack of business exposure, despite his dexterity for technology. So apart from reading books, he would often surround himself with people who pushed him. Having been surrounded by competent classmates at MIT, Houston enjoyed exchanging ideas and feedback for improvement. He also got some startup confidence through his fraternity brother, Adam Smith, who at one point, was also doing a startup called Xobni.

If doing a technology-based business, get a strong technical team.

Drew Houston

When asked whether it is crucial for a founder to be technically adept in order to get a startup going, he said that it could be advantageous, but finding good partners could work. He said that with the right people in place in Dropbox today, he can confidently delegate the tasks he would normally take charge of, allowing him to spend more time in creating new added values for the business, discovering new innovations, and getting involved in the hiring process.

Secure the right assets: PEOPLE.

Drew Houston

Early on, potential investors required that Houston secured a co-founder before they would even consider offering funding. Houston jokingly said that asking Arash Ferdowsi just after having met him was like “getting married on the first date.” He knew that apart from being technologically-savvy, Ferdowsi had the same level of guts and determination to make things work after the latter expressed that he was willing to drop out from school in order to get things done in time for the VC presentation. Even now, Houston takes time to personally interview and carefully select people who will be part of Dropbox. Houston looks for passion and trustworthiness, as he handpicks those for key positions. Houston did hire people from leading tech companies such as Google and Symantec to help lead the business expansion and development.

Just effing do it.

Drew Houston

During the dialogue’s Q&A, Houston was plagued with questions along the lines of “How did you know?” “When did you know?” and “How did you overcome?” Having worked with startup companies and doing coding jobs since he was a teen, Houston had developed enough muscle to handle challenges, even possible failures and rejections. He said that there would never be the perfect scenario, or enough time, or enough funds, or a flawless prototype, especially in the beginning. So his only advice is for people with startup ideas, to “just effing do it.”

What does it mean for Japan?

Drew Houston

In Japan, where the struggles of manufacturing-centric and once-leading tech companies are well known, the emergence of venture capitalists seems to be a new fuel of growth, especially for sparking innovation and new industries in the country. According to research by Niimi and Okina, Japan is the first nation in Asia to attempt to create a venture capital industry. In 1963, the Japanese government allowed the use of public funds to create firms like the United States’ SBICs (Small Business Investment Company). With this national initiative, firms were established in key business districts in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. These firms supported some existing small and medium-size enterprises—providing stable, long-term capital. It must be noted, however, that these firms funded only a few startups.

In 1972, Kyoto Enterprise Development (KED), which was modelled on the American Research and Development, was established through the investment pooling of 43 notable companies in Kyoto. Unfortunately, KED failed and was liquidated four years later. In 1973, Nomura Securities and 15 other shareholders established Japan Godo Finance—the precursor to the present JAFCO (Japan Associated Finance Company). In a paper titled “Venture Capital Industries,” Kenney, Han, and Tanaka explained that in the 1970s, major financial institutions in Japan including banks like Sumitomo, Mitsubishi, and Daiichi Kangyo, and security firms, such as Yamaichi and Nikko, formed venture capital subsidiaries. This wave of venture capitalism however subsided by the time of the oil crisis in 1973. A new surge came about in the 1980s, although the goal was to build relationships with small and medium-sized enterprises to do cross-selling or to use them as distribution channels, not to fund entrepreneurial startups. This meant that rigorous due diligence checks were not in place, since compared to the usual venture capitalist business model that seeks high return on investment, the Japanese venture capital firms sought long-term business partnerships and portfolio management. Thus, they invested in established firms, not emerging firms.

In the 1990s, with the continuous economic stagnation of Japan despite the Internet boom, a change to the venture capital industry took place to initiate new business creation, especially for knowledge-intensive and high-technology startups. Softbank, a Japanese software distribution company, served as the pioneer. Owner Masayoshi Son made early investments in some US internet startups including Yahoo!, Geocities, and E*Trade. As these firms went public, Softbank reaped capital gains, which it invested in nearly 300 Japanese internet startups. By January 2001, Softbank had invested over eight billion US dollars in over 600 startups in Japan and around the world. Many other venture capitalists followed suit—investing in internet and IT-related companies. By 2001 however, losses were incurred by venture companies due to the bursting of the internet bubble. Still, in 2002, the Japan Venture Capital Association was set up with the aim of revitalizing the country’s economy, hoping to push up the country’s startup business ratio by 10%, and further encourage the birth of venture startups, which are expected to become the driving force for Japan’s new economic growth.

Dropbox, which started as a venture in Silicon Valley, now boasts of 10 million users in Japan, out of the 300 million total users across the globe. Dropbox recently entered Japan through a partnership with Sony (the Dropbox app comes preinstalled on Sony handsets). With the success story of Dropbox and the need for new business innovations in Japan, Dropbox may just set the precedent for new economic growth, especially as internet-driven businesses in Japan now seem to show that they have been succeeding in adapting to the changing market demand, proving that it takes more than a trend to launch new sustainable businesses that could impact Japan’s national economic growth.

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