Peak 1 celebrates it’s 23rd anniversary this month which is a great opportunity to get to know the person who started it all – Mr. Yasuo Maeda.
What were you doing before peak 1? What led you to entrepreneurship?
After graduating university, I started to work for a PR agency as a creative director. The company was helping Japanese enterprise companies aiming to get into US’s markets. I was engaged with the PR promotion in the US for Hitachi Ltd. and created many brochures and ads for them such as annual reports, company brochures and ads for Wall Street Journal. Through those projects, I found that I could present my own thoughts and ideas through creative work, and in creative work it was very important to have a will of what I wanted to express, what I needed to make. Also I learned many things from people outside of the creative team such as designers, photographers, copy writers, printing company…
Three years passed, I left the PR agency and started the creative business in the small company being operated by my acquaintance. For about 8 years, I was managing the creative division in that company helping many clients. I had learned what real business is there and what I should do for my client’s success. And in 1994, I established my own company Peak1.
What were some of the biggest hurdles you faced when building peak 1?
Money, business reliability and network. Actually I tried to start my own company just after leaving first company. But I did not have enough money to start and maintain the business and I didn’t have any clients to order any creative work through me. I needed to have time to save money and build the reliability between clients as well as gain experience managing a creative company.
Who has inspired you in your life and why?
One designer, 12 years older than me. He acknowledged my passions for creativity first. He recommended me to start the company and encouraged and helped me all the time before and after building the Peak1 business. He taught and conveyed to me how the top of management behave in some cases, and how to be refreshing.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the best in your career or something that helped shape peak 1 into the company it is today.
Interactive event; Microsoft’s Strategic Architect Forum
Big event; Microsoft’s REMIX
Creative work; Nisshin Steel’s Photobook for hiring new graduates.
What qualities does peak 1 value most in it’s employees?
We stand by the client and consider the situation from the client’s point of view, what we need and should to do for client first.
How do you define success for peak 1?
Not wavering from the concept and keep pursuing the message.
Where would you like to see the company in 5 years?
Diversity in all things – business field, nationality, method, culture, value… We can understand, accept, use and respect all of them.
What kind of books/ material do you regularly read?
My favorite author is Kohtaro Sawaki, non-fiction writer. I love reading documentary books.
What would your best friend say is the most interesting thing about you?
If reborn, I would like to live like Maeda-san.
I have no idea of the reason, but it seems that in his eyes I look free (^-^;)