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Sylvain Pierre

Founder & General Manager
Le Wagon Tokyo
Founding Member
La French Tech Tokyo

Date of birth: March 1, 1983

Hometown: Epinal, France

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 4 (as of June 2020)

Sylvain Pierre
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I first visited Japan in 2008 during a 10-day stop-over on my way back from Vietnam to France. It was a solo backpacker-style trip, and back then there was no Google Maps. I still wonder how I managed to find my way around. I felt really awestruck by the uniqueness of the country, a mix of peacefulness and excitement, and promised myself I would come and live here one day.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

If I had to pick a sentence to define my motto, it would be “challenge the status quo.” The books I read that I could relate the most to all had that in common (reworking or reinventing organizations), and I want to encourage people around me to live their lives, especially their professional one, to the fullest.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

Launching my company in Japan after only living in the country for three months is definitely something I am proud of. The TEDx talk I gave in Paris was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I am extremely happy that it resonated with so many people.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

I feel that our organization, Le Wagon, is in a very favorable spot to bring value to the country and addresses several of Japan’s challenges, starting with the lack of an information technology workforce.
I wish to drive the company to become a staple of high-level IT education in Japan while still keeping its unique community and culture.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Embracing the way Japan works as a society is a very good step toward living a happy life here. It can also open our eyes to new ways to function, for companies and communities alike. While it may seem rigid at times, the very high level of trust between individuals makes certain processes or life situations much smoother than they are in some Western countries. This is the most fascinating aspect of Japan for me: how simple life can be when everyone around wants to do good for society.

Last updated: Jun 8, 2020