Episode 2: Startup


1/5/20242 min read

He made a decision in June, quitting his job with determination to go into the world of entrepreneurship. His journey started with a dream and a rough timeline. He decided to start working on his online school for seniors in October. The time is running fast, but Tanaka-san had a clear goal in mind and it is to provide English services to eager learners.

In November, he spent his time searching about how the online ESL system works, including obtaining teachers. The interesting part is, he came to the Philippines to do his research and not rely on the internet. He spent days roaming around BGC, Clark, Quezon, and Cebu to search for BPO services. He is eager to provide English learning services to learners in the seniors’ community.

As an English learner himself, finding BPO services could be a bit hard. So, he wrote to 10 companies in Japanese and only 4 replied with the same language. That’s how he narrowed down the choices in order to comfortably begin his startup.

In the same month, the moment of truth arrived as he scheduled a meeting for the system, and found a BPO company that is able to provide Filipino teachers for Otona no Eikaiwa students.

December was the month of commitment. He finally signed a contract to implement the system he had imagined for his business. Everything moved at the speed as fast as lightning. With determination and a sense of urgency, he opened his business on January 15th, just a month later.

As an English learner himself, his English skills were limited to “yes” and “no.” However, this limitation did not give him any feeling of discouragement. Instead, he focused on taking action rather than thinking on what he could not do.

“Rather than thinking about what I can’t do, I’ll do this and figure the rest along the way.” He told himself. It was this belief in action that made him keep going forward. His philosophy was clear and simple: Act first and act fast.

He realized that building a customer base was not easy. He realized that most of the things you prepare are useless. So, he adopted a new approach: he began asking potential customers what they needed, rather than making assumptions. The lean startup approach was more than just a strategy; it was a way of improving faster.

Starting a business from scratch is a huge challenge, but Tanaka-san made his way to become the force and power of his company, DialogPlus.

Despite the challenges, he found himself panicking after taking action but just decided to do the things he needed to do and the rest happened with speed. He knew that in the world of startups, the key was to keep moving forward.


Lean startup

“A management method that creates a minimum number of prototypes in a short period of time and develops products and services that satisfy customers based on their reactions."