Rehito “Ray” Hatoyama is a rebel.
While most Westerners will not recognize the name, Ray Hatoyama enjoys an established reputation throughout Japan. In an interview with the CEO of Constellation Network, Benjamin Jorgensen, Ray briefly touched on his family’s history of innovation and forward-thinking practices. While he did not understand it as a child, this mindset would shape his life for decades to come.
Ray’s grandfather was the Head of Research and Development for Sony as the company was beginning to establish itself as an electronics giant. As an engineer, Ray’s grandfather helped streamline and shrink the size of transistor radio technology to the size of a golf ball. This design change occurred at a time when the size of the radios was much bulkier and cumbersome. Engineering samples were being confiscated in the mail as the handlers did not believe the golf-ball-sized object could power an entire radio. After laughing, Ray’s grandfather told the engineers to switch on the transistors which immediately began broadcasting the local stations. This technology was later integrated into the Tr-610 Sony radio, which went on to win several design awards, launch Sony as a worldwide corporation, and ultimately sell over 500 million worldwide.
As a youth, Ray lived in Boston, Sydney, and Tokyo, which imparted a strong sense of global community and curiosity that included cultural interests and principles. As a teenager, he had already traveled to more countries than most people do their entire lives.
After receiving his MBA at Harvard Business School, Ray took a position in 2008 at Sanrio, the parent company of Hello Kitty. As the COO for US operations, Ray inherited a division suffering from debt and a global market cap of $500 million. While the Hello Kitty brand has always been popular with children in Japan, Ray took it upon himself to help it expand and grow into new sectors. Due to his exposure to international audiences in his travels abroad, he was able to branch out to the worlds of fashion, entertainment, and media; all focused towards an older demographic. No longer was Hello Kitty constrained to the youth market but was instead enjoying licensing by brands such as H&M, Gap, and Diesel.
To help propel this initiative, Ray had to introduce “decentralization” and the notion of “open innovation” to Sanrio. Before Ray, all creative control was centralized with around 50 core designers at the headquarters in Japan. Local and global markets were unable to innovate or add new ideas to the Hello Kitty lineup. By implementing open innovation and networks, Ray created satellite offices around the world, partnered with local talent, and implemented several business models to accommodate and work with over 1,000 different companies, each with access to designers and marketers. This decentralization of labor led to more ideas and fostered innovation. Ray’s new global network of local licensees helped to create new and original Hello Kitty designs and products.
It is this same passion for creative thinking and rebellious nature that Ray is bringing to the blockchain space. He is utilizing the same principles his grandfather did to make the “Impossible” golfball radio transistors. His interest in Constellation Labs came through a realization that blockchain can act as “middleware” similar to what VMware in the early 2000s. VMware is a tech company that pioneered cloud computing and middleware solutions that would later integrate into Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). By acting as a conduit for large data sets, middleware can facilitate and speed up the sharing of data within cloud computing.
In a similar initiative, Constellation Network will announce a partnership later this month. This partnership, will not only allow nodes on the DAG network to be hosted on third-party platforms in a plug-and-play style, but it will also allow a user to spin up an entire node with a “one-click” interface. This ease of connectivity will open up institutions and other large clients across multiple markets to easily integrate Constellation technology and test their data validation services.
One such example of a client that will need turnkey solutions to integration and access to Constellation’s tools, is the USAF. Benjamin Diggles, VP of Business Development at Constellation, spoke more specifically about the Air Force partnership in a press release.
“The USAF has a multitude of data sources like drones, planes, and satellites that need to be secured. Clean and consolidated data that can be queried instantly is a big need within the defense apparatus.”
Coordinating the flow of data across diverse sources requires a product that has flexibility built into its foundation. This flexibility is one of the reasons the US Air Force is working directly with Constellation Labs. It will, among other increases in functionality, create secure communication networks to handle information flow.
Additionally, the ability to quickly install a node is an oft-overlooked aspect in the cryptocurrency space. As blockchain and direct acyclic graph projects are reliant on nodes to verify and process data, nodes act as the backbone of infrastructure. Unlike other cryptocurrency nodes, however, the DAG network increases in speed with each additional node. In an industry where Ethereum and even Bitcoin nodes are difficult to establish, this gives DAG an advantage in usability and scalability.
Near the end of the interview, Ray took a moment to emphasize that while all this technology is exciting, we also need to look at the human element. As the man who grew Sanrio’s market cap from $500 million to $6.5 billion in four years, he understands the impact a well-coordinated team can achieve in an industry. In his role as a trusted advisor to Constellation Network, Ray is helping carve out new use cases in the blockchain field, and at the same time, maybe encouraging all of us to be a little more rebellious.
Ray Rehito Hatoyama Interview
DAG USAF Partnership
Constellation USAF Press Release