I had a Zoom meeting with a Kenyan businessman today.
The average age of people in cities in Kenya is very low.
That’s why if you’re in a cafe, you will find awkward waiters who are not used to working in a cafe, and you will have awkward service.
The same awkwardness can be found regardless of which company you go to.
But that’s where the potential of this country is. Young people who are not bound by the norms of society are creating the future of the country. That’s wonderful.
In the same vein, I believe that Japan should dramatically reform its credit system (credit score).
When I visited Kyoto the other day, I felt very strongly that the “no first-time customers” policy is too poor a basis for trust. If we become too obsessed with the idea that history and time are needed to create trust, we will have a system that can only accommodate old people.
I started my own business at the age of 51, but no bank would open an account for me. I wasn’t even trying to take a loan. Don’t banks normally say, “We are happy to open an account for you, and we hope you can work hard and earn more money.” Perhaps the way in which credit score is handled is no longer appropriate for a country whose population is aging.
If you stay at the same company for a long time and need to get a higher status to obtain a better credit score, won’t there be really few people you can trust? The liquidity of money will vanish and society will become stagnant. That’s precisely what’s happening in Japan.
Recently, there are some new restaurants that give higher credit scores to customers who fulfill their reservations more often, as opposed to established restaurants where only regulars can make reservations. That’s wonderful. This would give people who keep their promise higher credit scores regardless of their age without having to rely on the passage of time or regional characteristics for evaluating one’s trustworthiness.
For instance, if a beginner wants to rent farmland, they will not be able to because of the lack of a track record. This happens even if the farmland is deteriorating and almost completely abandoned as it has been around for a long time. This is because the owner believes that their land has value. But if its value is based on crops that can be produced on that land, the credit score should be based on whether the beginner can produce crops effectively. Since the land is not being used anyway, why not let them try? There’s no harm even if they fail. If they are successful, the cost of the rent and harvested vegetables can be shared. This should be a site of new communication. There are abandoned farmlands like this all across Japan, and farmland banks have even been established, but there are still no results due to the poor matching criteria.
“Youth” is a powerful weapon. The self-confidence of youths is a precious asset of society despite their age. Let’s support those who dare to do things differently. Let’s trust those who dare to disagree and dissent. Above all, let’s trust those who learn from their mistakes and dare to try again!
We should learn how to live like punks.