We talked to Yasunori Yamazaki, director & Chief Business Officer at Axelspace about s
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Yasunori Yamazaki: Thank you for asking, we live in Tokyo and the situation is relatively contained, without noticeable disruption to our daily lives.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Axelspace.
Yasunori Yamazaki: I started my career in the advertising industry, working with various global brands. This experience leads me to further my career in the Investment Banking world. One day, I was watching a Japanese TV program, showcasing Yuya, our CEO. This made me interested in joining Axelspace, and I was lucky enough to be part of the AxelFamily.
How does Axelspace innovate?
Yasunori Yamazaki: It always starts with what is needed in the world. We then put our heads together to come up with a technical solution. Lastly, it all comes down to making it financially viable, as we need to create a self-sustaining sustainable solution.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Yasunori Yamazaki: The impact of COVID-19 is minimal. We have quickly closed our office to protect our team and fully shifted to a completely remote working environment as we weather through the initial phase of the pandemic. Axelspace is a startup building physical hardware in-house but managed to smoothly implement an environment to allow employees to work remotely. This is a product of the company’s continued efforts to boost digital capabilities of the organization, prior to COVID-19, by pioneering the automation and digitalization of the development process. In fact, the company quickly established the environment to remotely conduct the development and testing of software and electrical components of the satellite, as the decision was made to restrict the entire company from going to the office to work. This achievement will lead to opening up options for the methodology of satellite development in the future.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Yasunori Yamazaki: COVID-19, historical challenges against humanity, is certainly creating visible impact from the perspective of work style, as we have drastically moved towards remote work. However, Axelspace has always been good at absorbing the unforeseen challenges coming from dynamic external environments. The restrictions we are facing lead us to further empowering our employees to shape their work themselves, fully taking advantage of the flexibility to look for ways to improve individual performance, while enjoying private life, but always remembering the importance of physically gathering together as a Team, when we can. We would like to take this as an opportunity to further transform Axelspace, by accelerating the digital transformation without boundaries, resisting the pressure to follow precedents and to settle with conventional approaches.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Yasunori Yamazaki: I personally enjoy challenges and stress and anxiety is something that I luckily don’t face. When faced with difficulties and uncertainties, I actually get excited, as I love the feeling of solving challenges.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Yasunori Yamazaki: We always focus our clients’ attention and how to deliver more value to them. We believe the name of the game is “making clients happy.” It is not about the battle against our competitors.
Your final thoughts?
Yasunori Yamazaki: We hope to empower anyone with actionable earth observation data to make a more informed decision.