Yūsaku Maezawa, the 43-year-old Japanese businessman who’s worth US$2 billion and is known by the Twitter name “yousuck2020,” is offering ¥1 billion (US$9.11 million) to entrepreneurs (not just one entrepreneur, but many of them). He’s the founder of the online retailer ZOZOTOWN, and in addition to that, is famous for writing the most-retweeted post of all time on Twitter (with no qualifiers). He’s a social media master. This time, also on Twitter, he tweeted to various entrepreneurs: “Send me your business ideas!” Ten lucky (or skillful) entrepreneurs will receive ¥1 billion.
Mr. Maezawa will give ¥1 billion to ten different entrepreneurs who win his approval. That’s ¥10 billion (US$91.1 million) total. These entrepreneurs should be looking to expand or grow their businesses. Any kind of business is okay; already, Maezawa-san has received ideas ranging from a baby diaper company to an eSports company. The business proposal need not be in Japanese; he is also willing to receive them in English. He has already received ideas from places as distant as Mexico and Ukraine. The businesses in question may be new businesses, businesses that already exist, or even businesses inherited from one’s mother/father. To apply, one should send the idea to @yousuck2020 with the hashtag #前澤ファンド (translation: #MaezawaFund).
Already, this tweet has been retweeted 27,000 times. However, there’s one catch… In order to be considered, you must pay ¥100,000. 狡いんじゃない！？ Zuruin janai!? Isn’t that sly?! Perhaps it’s not, though. Maezawa-san explained “This process will take up a lot of time and energy, and so we’re charging a screening fee for each proposal of 100,000 yen.” Is slightly over $911 too much to get noticed by an angel investor with US$2 billion to his name? Netizens are already weighing in, some in favor:
“I think the screening fee is a good idea. It’ll stop people who aren’t serious from applying.”
“People who are mad about the 100,000 yen screening fee are the kind of people who just expect to get a billion yen without any intention of actually starting a business.”
“This is low risk, high return. That’s what entrepreneurship is!”
Others were against it, though, saying:
“I have a business plan, but I can’t afford the 100,000 yen…”
“Isn’t it more exciting to just give out 10 billion yen? I don’t know…”
“Other than the ten successful applicants, everyone else just loses 100,000 yen!? This is like fraud.”
“This is impossible for an ordinary housewife…”
Note that Mr. Maezawa’s viral tweets in 2019 and 2020 did not require ¥100,000 for entrants. He simply gave out money. In 2019, he made the most retweeted Twitter Tweet in human history when he offered ¥10 million ($9,110) to a random 100 who would retweet his tweet. This resulted in millions of retweets. He tried the same thing again on New Year’s Day, 2020, offering even more money, and although he didn’t get as many retweets, it still reached over 4 million.
If you’re still reading, perhaps you’re wondering…what’s the other way to make a billion yen? Well, the answer is “using Japanese real estate.” The 23 Special Wards of Tokyo have an average return on investment (ROI) of 5.5%. The outlying areas of Tokyo have a 6.5% return on investment (ROI). Specialty properties such as the Niseko ski resort area in Hokkaidō (北海道ニセコ) average 7%. To make ¥1 billion, or $91.1 million, just follow the formula in this article, but invest 91.1 times as much money! How To Make 1 Million Dollars With Japanese Real Estate