I’ve been studying Joi Ito
for some time now. I read his blog, I participate in his IRC channel. I read articles about him. I’m a boarderline stalker. I know he’s politically opposed to eating whale, yet he recently tried whale kidney. I know that before he even showers that he’s in his chat channel to see what’s happening throughout the world. And I know that he likes to sneak disco dancing behind his friends – a prankster at heart.
I started studying Joi first through his weblog. I ran across it somehow, and enjoyed the peek into Japanese culture. I began to find out that Joi’s been involved with some pretty interesting projects, including Japan’s Infoseek, and more recently, TypePad.
I’ve really started to enjoy the way Joi does things. I’m very much the entreprenuel type, and have spent a good amount of time assessing the personalities of those who have made a success at being entreprenuel. There are true alpha personalities, snakes, people with a lot of luck, lazy but smart people, criminals, and then there are guys like Joi – nice guys. Among the nice guys, I think Joi is unique because he has an extra layer of humility.
To me, it seems Joi is looking to attribute his successes to those around him. He always seems to lift and support those who come in contact with him, and he’s quick to point out the talents of everyone. He’s a regular guy in most regards, except he’s exceptional at being humble. Combine that pure humility with a sharp business sense, and you have someone who’s network of friends is willing to see him be as successful as he’s been, and hopes he continues.
Joi is the type of investor and business builder I’d like to be, and I’m glad he’s around to be a good example. I’m firmly convinced that Joi will help shape the Internet to come, but it won’t be so much of Joi coming up with the ideas as it will be Joi lifting up and supporting those who have something clever and useful to give.