People Pay for Social Significance


Differentiation in value is no longer a determinant factor for survival in the market because people choose something not for its value but for its meaning. This is the point I made in the newsletter last week. Today, I want to dig this subject a little more.

She is the CEO of a biotechnology venture company that raises thoroughbred flies quickly changing livestock excreta to fertilizer. She says enthusiastically their biotechnology will solve world food crisis and organic waste problems at a time. I believe the company is one of the top unicorn companies in which many Japanese covet to invest.


ESG, SDGs, “How dare you,” etc. As these buzzwords well express, environmentally and socially correctness weighs more and more. If there’s no difference in value (nobody knows if investment succeeds), people want to have a reason or meaning to justify payment (investment, in this case). As I was writing last time, such reasons and meaning are personal preferences (or relations) in most cases, but I assume many people want something more socially significant these days. Why do you think that is, by the way? The answer is very simple. Our material needs have already been satisfied. Well fed, well bred.

A monument standing in our company forest.

The chairman of our company always says “We’re lucky because our business is Eco-friendly. We are surrounded by rich forests that grow much more trees than what we use.” I hope this will be a good reason or meaning for you to choose us.

Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.

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