Masayoshi Son is the billionaire founder of Softbank, also known as the “Japanese Bill Gates”. He grew up a poor immigrant and created a technology empire. At one point he was the richest person in the world. He is known for making the most successful investment ever in the history of mankind. He is also known for losing the most money ever, $75 billion. Do I have your attention yet?
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But let me tell you one highlight.
In 1999, Masayoshi Son and Softbank made a $20 million investment in Alibaba. This investment is considered today to be the most successful investment ever in the history of mankind. Softbank’s 30% ownership position is worth $130 billion, or a 6500x return.
In 2017, David Rubenstein interviewed Masayoshi Son [MEMBER TRANSCRIPT] and asked what gave him the confidence to invest in Jack Ma in 1999.
“He had no business plan and zero revenue, maybe 35, 40 employees, but his eyes were very strong. Strong eyes, strong shining eyes. I could tell from the way he talk, the way he look at me, he has a charisma, he has a leadership.”
Most people would read Son’s answer and think, “Ok, he got lucky.”
There was certainly a lot of luck involved, but what he saw in Jack Ma was a reflection of himself 20 years prior when he was in a similar position and someone saw that fire in Masayoshi Son’s eyes and took a chance on him.
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