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Chapter 206

According to data from Nikkei Business (Keio Business School), the survival rate of Japanese venture companies is 6.3% after 10 years, 0.3% after 20 years, and 0.025% after 30 years. Out of 10,000 venture companies, only 25 survive for 30 years. Our company celebrated its 24th anniversary in April, so in 6 years we will be joining the ranks of 25 companies. When the company was founded in 2000, the blue LED business was at its peak, and there were dozens of blue LED venture companies in South Korea and Taiwan. Japan led the world in research, development, and mass production of infrared, red, and green LEDs, even before blue. At that time, many researchers from South Korea, Taiwan, and China were studying at Japanese universities. It was a time when patent disputes were popular, so patent disputes between Nichia Chemical Industries and Toyoda Gosei, etc. also made the news. If you look at the fact that Dr. Shuji Nakamura of Nichia Chemical Co., Ltd., Professor Isamu Akasaki of Nagoya University, and Professor Hiroshi Amano of Toyoda Gosei side won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014, it is difficult to compare them technically, and in reality, The dispute ended in a settlement. Today, the only companies left in Japan that manufacture blue LED crystals using MOCVD are Nichia Chemical, South Korea's Seoul Semiconductor, and Taiwan Epistar. And even in China, where there were an unknown number of blue LED manufacturers due to national policy about 10 years ago, weeding out is progressing.
The situation was the same with ultraviolet LEDs, which peaked during the development period of UV-C LEDs with wavelengths below 300 nm, but most of the venture companies in the United States, Europe, Taiwan, and China have disappeared. If you look at the survival rate of venture companies on a global scale, the probability of surviving for 30 years is about 1 in 100,000. High-tech ventures require large capital investments and are faced with fierce competition, so their survival rate is even lower than in the service industry. It is interesting that in the end, only one company remained that was ahead of the rest of the world. Looking back at our company's 23 years, we found that for the first seven years after our founding, we had a huge deficit, and in the eighth year, we turned a profit for a single year, and then settled into the black. The products that sold well changed rapidly from year to year. UV-LEDs for banknote identification used in bank ATMs only sold well for the first three years, after which high-power UV-LEDs for resin curing and ink curing, UVC-LEDs for sterilization, and we have always provided new technologies and products such as micro-UV-LED and photonic crystal UV-LED. Moreover, we not only sold wafers and chips, but also sold packages, and even made UV floodlights and irradiators. If we could not sell, we made whatever we could until we did.The LEDPURE home appliance series was commercialized because we could not sell UVC-LEDs at all. Naturally, there is always performance and price competition with competitors, and if the performance is poor, we could not sell even at half the price. Naturally, there is competition among users, but in the end, only those companies that can provide the best performance at a reasonable price will survive. In our case, we didn't have the capital, so we licensed our technologies and relied on outside supplies. Therefore, our main focus was technological development, and we survived by selling technologies, products, and sometimes patents that other companies did not have. This was a good result. Because we were able to minimize the risk of capital investment, we were not affected by economic fluctuations. We are truly debt-free and have not borrowed a single yen from financial institutions. Even now, the spirit remains the same as when it was founded. As long as I don't lose my technical interest, I will continue to work on developing new technologies.

The light confinement effect can be confirmed by surrounding the light emitting area.

May 9, 2024

Thoughts on the 24th anniversary of my founding



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