Japanese-American entrepreneur William Saito is a longtime member of the tech world. He is a known cyber security expert. Securing his first internship at age 10, Saito has moved on to form his own software firm in college. His company (I/O Software) played an integral role in developing fingerprint authentication. In 1998 he was recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Two years later, at 34, William Saito sold I/O Software to Microsoft.
William Saito has outlined his experience attempting to make it in the new world of “tech” beginning in the 1980s in his book An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur. Growing up in California, he was not immune to the enthusiasm about the new world of technology exploding in the Silicon Valley. Based on a teacher’s recommendation, he obtained a personal computer to develop his math and science skills. Outfitted with cutting edge technology, this computer became a favorite pastime and an addiction. He shared that, even as a child, he loved taking things apart to see how they worked. He even tried this with his computer.
While a student at University of California, Riverside, he began translating software in to Japanese. Immediate and increasing success required Saito and his coworkers to find suitable office space, so clients could visit and tour. They recruited college friends to pretend to be office staff and look busy during tours – they even borrowed computers from the college. The ruse was a success!
From humble beginnings in a college dorm room, to selling his products and technology to Sony and Microsoft, William Saito has shown was incurable curiosity, dedicated parents, and passion can do. In 2005, William Saito moved to his parents’ native Japan, and founded additional companies, worked as a security advisor to the government, and taught university level course. His is considered one of the most influential people in Japan.