Earlier this week, I read a quite interesting interview Fumiaki Koizumi, the CFO of Japan’s biggest social network Mixi, gave to the Nikkei (the country’s leading business daily). In the interview, Koizumi touches upon a few interesting points on how Mixi wants to internationalize after all these years.
Here’s a summary:
- Mixi now has over 300 employees.
- The new office the company moves to next year will be large enough for 700-800 people.
- One current focus is finding new staff, for example engineers.
- Mixi wants to accelerate internationalization efforts, which is why the company looks for people with work experience overseas and/or those who can speak multiple languages.
- There’s now a new business unit within Mixi that coordinates internationalization efforts.
- The Chinese subsidiary in Shanghai now has more employees.
- Mixi plans to start hiring people in Asia, the US and Europe.
- Foreigners who just graduated might be another option, starting in fiscal 2012.
I am aware that big companies must proactively look for business opportunities in order to satisfy share holders and that Mixi’s growth within Japan is poised to stop at some point. Also, there are many big advertising markets outside Japan, and the competition isn’t sleeping either (GREE announced international expansion plans, while DeNA has brought Mobage-town to overseas markets already).
But whatever Mixi’s goal is (establishing itself as a vertical/niche network somewhere?), the company is way, way too late in the game. The announcement to start hiring foreign graduates in 2012 (!) alone is ludicrous, which is why I can stop here and say this will never ever work. Absolutely no one outside Japan is waiting for Mixi.