Gambarō: Let’s Bravely Produce Effort

The featured image here is me crossing the finish line of the 2008 San Francisco Marathon.

In the Japanese language and culture, there is a unique word, gambaru which I translate to mean “bravely producing effort”. This word captures something deeply essential in Japanese culture, and is a deep value held in Japanese society.

The variant I placed in the title is Gambarō or “let’s (together) bravely produce effort”, which is where the magic starts to happen. When we do this together, we can each inspire one another to more greatness.

There is a range of human experiences between discomfort and pain. For, me, the idea of pain is the body telling you that it’s being harmed. When you see high performing athletes, they will be exploring this range of experience. They need to go far beyond discomfort in order to compete, but they should not exceed their physical capacity or they will become injured.

The ability to spend time in that range between discomfort and pain is where all growth comes from, and all competitive advantage. This is the reason why “Gambaru” becomes meaningful in life, because when we strive to go beyond, we advance human understanding and we inspire others to do the same.

How do we achieve this? I think of course courage is the foremost characteristic that enables us to do this. But we need more than just courage. We also need discernment. If you simply do it from courage, it’s very likely that you will just use brute force to exceed all thresholds and begin harming yourself and possibly harming others. But perhaps the most important thing you will need is to be de-traumatized.

Why is that? Because the single greatest thing that clouds are judgement around whether we are in discomfort or in pain is trauma. Trauma will make discomfort seem like pain and can even invade comfort and make comfort seem like pain. If you push yourself and your organization too hard, you will cause more trauma which will in turn be harder and harder to recover from.

I’ve been contemplating the relationship between “Gambaru” culture and that of “Kaizen” which essentially means “continuous improvement”.

The relationship is that it seems to me that without the courage to experience discomfort, we will not get the opportunity to grow and improve exponentially.

At gumi Cryptos Capital, we value and aspire to bravely produce effort together. We associate the value in doing so to go beyond just economic benefits but in the advancement of human culture and technology.

gumi Cryptos Capital: Being Bold When Others Are Fearful

Warren Buffett is quoted as having said “Be bold when others are fearful and be fearful when others are bold.” We educate ourselves by reading and learning from excellent investors and entrepreneurs–here is our reading list.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett gestures during an interview with Liz Claman on the Fox Business Network in Omaha, Neb., Monday, May 5, 2014. The annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting concluded over the weekend. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

This quote summarizes one important dimension across which a person or a firm can maintain a contrarian view and generate outsized returns.

A great source of inspiration for me in working on the gumi Cryptos Capital fund is my Partner, Hironao, Kunimitsu who is CEO of gumi Inc, but also General Partner of gumi Cryptos Capital. He is able to provide bold leadership in the mobile gaming business which is a notoriously fickle and challenging industry, and has time and again generated successful game hits from gumi.

Through his actions it becomes clear the source of his success, which is that he knows when to be patient, and when to be impatient.

In reflecting on the blog’s title and theme, I would like to assert that this characteristic of Mr. Kunimitsu is a deep part of the philosophy that gumi Cryptos Capital aspires to.

This is exactly why we continue to patiently and steadily deploy capital into this cryptographic asset and blockchain market even though, and in fact partly because many funds have pulled back. We took a long term view of the pullback as we did of the bull market.

We benefit from a perspective of history, which is that what the dotcom crash taught us is that the survivors of the downturn became the leading companies for decades, and that building during downturns results in deeper investment into better products and infrastructure that leads to higher market returns–for the survivors.

Although we expect ourselves to be bold, we also expect our Entrepreneurs to be realistic. We want portfolio companies to value runway, to raise sufficient capital and to pursue runway-extending revenue strategies.

gumi Cryptos Capital has written about 18 checks between $250k to $1M so far in the past 18 months, and we continue to deploy capital from our $30M fund in our measured pace without skipping a beat. We expect to be considerably diversified in the blockchain sector across a great many areas (as to which areas, please read our blog post on our thesis).

We are investors who have patience. I won’t say that we “are patient” because we take pride in our ability to understand when we should be patient and when we should be impatient. We understand the limits of our knowledge and perspective, but we assert what we believe and want all of our entrepreneurs and partners to push back with their honest and frank views.

If you are an early stage entrepreneur who fits our funding requirements please reach out to us by applying for funding from gumi Cryptos Capital.