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tv   The David Rubenstein Show Peer to Peer Conversations  PBS  December 6, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm PST

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announcer: supporttaor the pbs presentation of this program was provided by gener motors. i see a future. i see a good future. i see a future filled with roads and no rage. both: we see a future... with zero crashes. woman: i seeure where fossil fuels... man: are a thing of the past. all: we see a future with zero emissions. i see a future where traffic... keeps rfect time. where intelligence is always by design. man: we see a future with zero congestion. zero congestion. - we are... - we are... both: we. all: general motors. david: when you told people you were gonna raise $100 billion fund, did they tell you you were a little crazy? well, some people said [laughter] did you suffer discrimination growing up in japan? how did you feel losing $70 billion of net worth?
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yeah. i was so close to fall down from the cliff. we almost went bankrupt. somehow, i survived. woman: would you fix your tie, please? david: well, people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed, but ok. eave it this way. all right. david: i don't consider myself aournalist. and nobody else would consider myself a journalist. n to take on the life of being an interviewer even though i have a ivy job of running a prate equity firm. how do you define leadership? what is it that makes somebody tick? david: you are clearly one of the world's most successful technology investors and one of the world's most let me start by asking you about a fund that you're now it is supposed to be a fund of $100 billion?
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masayoshi: yes. da now, that would be the biggest fund ever raised. so when you told people you were gonna raise a $100 billion fund, did they tell you you were a little crazy? well, some people said. [laughter] david: you had a meeting with with a man who is the deputy crown prince of saudi arapra, who's now the crowce of saudi arabia. and as i understand the story, you went in and in one hour you convinced him to invest $45 billion. masayoshi: no, no, it's not true. david: o [laughter] masayoshi: 45 minutes, $45 billion. i david: ok. sorry. okologize. in other words, if you had had-- masayor i: so $1 billion nute. david: what could you have said that was that persuasive to get $45 billion in one meeting? masayoshi: wctually, i said, "you came to tokyo the first time. "i want to give you a gift. "i want to give you a masa gift, the tokyo gift, a $1 trillion gift." and he o sned up his eyes ad "ok."
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now it's interesting." david: right. so i woke up him and said, "here is how we can give you "a $1 trillion gift. "you invest $100 billion to my fund. "because my track record is 44% irr, per year. "every year, compound 44%. "that's my past 18 years. "let's say 30%, in 10 years, you can multly it by 10x. so if you invest $100 billion, $1 trillion." so i said, "i'm gonna raise $100 billion fund. "i want you to invest 45. i'm investing ourself 25." so he said...
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after i made the speech and presentation, he said, "can you invest 45?" he said "no." i said, "well... "i did a nice try at least. how much you want to invest?" "if you're investing 25, the remaining 75. so i want to invest all." so i said, "no, no. you cannot invest 75. "you can invest 45. the remaining i have to save for the other investors to invest." [laughter] in 45 minutes, you iotually raised $75 bi wow. ok. that's pretty impressive. but what is it that you told people and what was the vision that you actually gave them? so, one vision, which is singularity. singularity is the concept that the computing power,
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computer's artificial intelligence surpass mankind's brains. david: the singularity is the concept. the word means that is the point at which a cputer becomes smarter than a human brain. masayoshi: yes. today, already, computer is smarter than mankind for chess or go or weather forecasts. to some expert systems, computer is already smarter. but in 30 years, most of the subject that we are thinking, they will be smarter than us-- that's my belief. david: lou's go back and talk your upbringing a bit. so you are of korean descent. your grandfather came from korea and moved to japan many years ago, and your parents were born in japan. did you suffer discrimination growing up in jan? masayoshi: yes, i had some experience,
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od but i feel now it was you know, that made me stronger, to work harder. you know, not inferior-- it's same. so i had to work harder to pve the value. david: your family adopted a japanese name at one point. well, actually in japan, there was some period, the japanese government forced every korean to change to japanese name. so it was not eir intention. we had to. david: you had to change. masayoshi: had to change. that made me even more harder, because i was feeling that i was hiding something. it was even tougher. david: n u, you did not grin tokyo. you grew up in a relatively small town, is that rit, in japan?
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masayoshi: yes. yeah, in the southern part. d: the southern part of japan? so, at one point, it is said that you were very interested in meeting the head of mcdonald's. masayoshi: mcdonald's japan. david: wed were you interen meeting the head of mcdonald's? did you like mcdonald's' food, or what was it? mathyoshi: well, he wrote book, and that book became the bestseller. i was impressed and said, "oh, my go this is great! and th mguy who wrote about t be great." ter] david: so how old were you when you wanted to meet him? masayoshi: 16. david: 16. so you managed to get a meeting with him. masayoshi: i called his assistant, long-distance call. back then it was so expensive. i made almost 100 calls-- 60 calls, i'd said, this is my name, a student, and could you ask him "to share me some time and could you ask him?"
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and she said, "oh, i will try, but he's not gonna meet with a student." i said, "welur don't decide by lf. let him decide." [laughter] so ierpoke with the dit assistant so mmes. and they don't give me the right answer, so i said, "ok, this is a was of my telephone bill." so i flew into tokyo and i said, "i came because the phone call iv becoming more expe than air ticket." [laughter] david: so what happened? masayoshi: and i said, "tell him exactly the way i say it. "you don't have to look at me, you don't have to talk to me, can keep on working, whatever you are doing. i just want to see his face..." [laughter] masayoshi: "fodavid: ok. s. numasayoteshi: "so" i not bothering him. "i just--i'm so impressed and respect him, i want
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"to see him. "and if you tell him that m not gonna bother him-- ime is money," he says. "i'm not gonna damage his life," she actually asd. and he said, "ok, ok." actuhe spent 15 minutes with me, talking face-to-face. david: and he gah you some advice, s to learn... " that's the one. "if i were you at your age at this time of the, you know... "uh... "this is--don't look at the past industry. "look at the future industry. "that's rye one, computer induthat's the one you should focus. if i were you, that's the one." so i said, "wow, great." david:k, so he gave you that advice. you're number one in your ass, and then you go to university of california at berkeley. masayoshi: yes. david: but when you were there, i understand you were not being a student so much. you were doing busess on the side. masayoshi: well, i was a good student.
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but i said, 5 minutes n would allow, other tudy. "i h e to make money. i want earn $1. and i will allow me, myself 5 minutes a day." so i asked my friends, "isn't there good job that i can earn $10,000 in 5 minutes a day?" [lauter] my friends said, "you're crazy. "it's impossible. nothing like that. do want to sell drugs?" [laughter] so i sntd, "no, no, i don't o do that." so i said, "ok, what is the best, most efficient use of my time?" "it's thntion. "it's the invention, and i have to file a patent. "if miget the patent, tes. if i focus, i can come some idea, i can make some idea." so i set the alarm clock 5:00-- 5 minutes. tick, tick, tick.
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in 5 minutes, i said, "come! invention, come! [laughter] "come!" right? so i did that. david: and it worked? masayoshi: it worked. david: you invented a machine that help people translate languages? masayoshi: yeah. that one was the electric dictionary, the first electric dictionary. many student use the electric dictionary. the first one ever made was by myself. david: first electric dictionary. masayoshi: yes. david: and you sold it to sharp? masayoshi: to sharp. david: and you made a t of money. masayoshi: yeah, $1.7 million. david: so 7 at did you do with $llion then? masayoshi: well, i use to start softbank. david: so, did you move back? masayoshi: i d one more project and made another $1.5 million. so i made $3.2 million in 18 months, so that is better than $10,000 per month. david: right. i told that to my friends, "look, i got $3.2 million,
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"and i kept working only 5 minutes a day, as i promised you." i had to use several professors and assistant professors in my team. and i told my professor, "you work for me." [laughter] the professor told me, "work r you? i'm your professor." i said, "yes, but i have the idea. i invented idea. "you help me make a protype, "i pay youhatever the hourly rate. you decide. "i don't negotiate. "you want to charge me $500 a day--an hour, "or $250, $600 per hour, you decide. "i don't negotiate. "i pay you whatever you ask me. only one problem-- i don't have cash." [laughter] "so we make prototype i go and sell. after i get the money, i give you 100% of the money you ask." david: ok. well, it worked out. masayoshi: worked out.
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david: but then after you graduated, and youade these successful inventions, you move back to japan. is that right? why did you move back to japan? not that it's not a great place to move back to, but you're silicon valley area. why not stay there? masayoshi: i created a company and my eloyees ask me to stay. but i said, "no." i promised to my mother when i decide to come study in the state. she was crying in the airport, and i said, "no, don't cry, mom. after i graduate from the school, i come back, i promise." she said, "no, you don't come back. you--this is the forever, you know, farewell." "no, i promise you. don't worry, i promise you." so i kept my word. david: all right, so you move back to japan and then you start a complled softbank. what was softbank's purpose? what kind of ss were you in? masayoshi: so that was the beginning of the time
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of the personal computer got started. so, but there's hardwa, not enough software. so i aggregate all kinds of software from the small software houses. and i wholesale to the pc stores, so it's like a bank. software's bank. it's not the money bank. the software wholesaling, storing in my warehouse, so it's like a concept. ssdavid: it was very succeful, softbank's stock is going up. and then you decide at some point to start investing. one of the investments bou made is consideredy many people to be the most successful investment in the history of mankind. you invested roughly $20 million in alibaba. at the time it went public, it was worth roughly $90 billion. so $20 million to $90 billion is a return of about 4,500%. now, jack ma is a very distinguished individual,
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and now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the. what is it that made you feel this was worth putting in $20 million? employees... maybe 35, 40 employees. but his eyes was very strong-- strong eyes, shining eyes. i could tell from the way he talk, the way he look at, he has the charisma, he has a leadership. so his business mol was wrong. it's the way he talk, the way he can bring young chinesle following him. s so famous, david: before yahoo! you made an early investment in it which was spectacularly successful. how did you hear of yahoo!? masayoshi: yahoo! u.s. was still ivate-- 15 employees.
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and i convince them to take $100 million of our investment. so at the time we negotiate, we agree they grew from 15 to 35 people. 35 people. and we invest $100 million to own 35%, and actually went ipo and made a great return. at the same time, i convince him to start joint venture, board of yahoo! japan, where we put $1.2 million, they put $0.8 llion. $2 million startup capital, we own 60%. david: let's talk about one big mistake you made overall. obviously, you are very successful in almost everything you touched, but you were making a lot ofnternet investments around the turn-of-the-century, arou the market went down in the tech crash, and it is said that you personally lost $70 billion of net worth,
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the greatest loss that any human being has ever suffered financially. so how did you feel losing $70 billion of net worth? masayoshi: one year before that, actually, my personal net worth was increasing $10 billion per week. [laughter] masayoshi: forth days, i became riche bill gates. david: wow. did that upset him or... masayoshi: no. before i talk to anybody else, our stock start crashing. david: ok. [laughter] masayoshi: so in 6 months after that, our share price went down 99%. so we almost went bankrupt. and somehow, i survived. david: you rebuilt your business. and among the things you did was you bought some very well-known companies. so you bought vodafone's mobile telephone business in japan.
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masayoshi: at that timme i said, "now is the o go "next stage, which is the internet will become mobile internet," so i had to either get the license from the and first, i applied for the license to the government. and the government said, "no,m. there is no more spect" so i actually suthe governm. and, you know, for one year, big ght. but then vodafone japan became available. $20 billion. i have $2 billion, so $18 billion short. david: so where did you get the money? masayoshi: so i convince the ba that the vodafone japan, "i'm gonna turn l nd and become successd become
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"great cash fl. believe me and lend me money." david: a they dimasayoshi: . david: and it turned out to be very successful. recently, you did the biggest investment you've ever made in a company calr.m.-- arm--which is a semiconductor manufacturer based in londo why did you spend $31 billion buying a semiconductor manufacturer when many people think that's not the future? masayoshi: it's actually $34 billion. david: masayoshi: yeah. it's not the manufacturer. it's t design house. they design all the chip s. they have 99% market share for any smartphone that you have in your pocket. a.r.m. has 99% market share. right? in next 20 years, they gonna ship 1 trillion chips, so i said, this is the company--this is-- nobody can live on the earth anyme without chip.
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chip is everywhere-- in the car, in your refrigerator, everywhere. so if chip is something that everybody needs, and if there is one comp ty has 90% market sharre must be a value. they're not motizing well enough, but if i own it, we can monetize much better. so i think the company is gonna be more valuable than google. it available. it's private company now. it is your view, i guess, that artificial intelligence is a good thing and ultimately will not hurt humanity, is that correct? masayoshi: right. david: so you don't worry that robots could become so smart masayoshi: yeah, there is a danger of that. there is a danger, but if you look at the mankind's history, people were killing each other with many battles among
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different tribes and the race and so on. but today's world, we don't have that kind of things everyday life. we are more civilized. so when bot superintelligence go beyond mankind's inence, and they say, "well, fighting is not "efficient way of living. "the harmony is better. it's more social." so we gonna live in harmony. and they think about us. they help us, and they try to amuse us and d have good love for each other. david: what gives you the greatest pleasure in the world? masayoshi: well, the thing is, i have a vision. i have a vision of singularity. that's really coming. so we created vision fund. we go thd change the world to and create a better world,
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better world for human living. so that excite me, you know, what is--thinking about what is the future? what is the-- how we can change the hefe of people foretter humanity? right? so that people don't need to die for unnecessary reasons, like having accidentr r having the diseaseving the disaster. so protect hrom all those sadness is a good thing. so i gining those things andvesting p and having great product, great solution is exciting. david: and now today, you come back and have enormous net worth, by any human standards, one of the richest men in the wor. what do you do with l this money? masayoshi: well, i haven't decided what to do.
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d: haven't decided? but you're 60 years old now, you've got to decide at some point. sayoshi: deciding how to spend with respect is more difficult than making money. that was a headache i had en i became so rich. david: when you were the richest man in the world, you had that headache, then you lost that headache, now you've got it again, right? you have any plans to keep doing this for another 10 years or 20 years? masayoshi: yeah. at my age of 19, i created 50 years my life plan. and in my age of 60s ifrom between 60 and 6ould decide my successor and have my successor keep on nning it. so in my next 10 years, i have to do that. but even after i find a successor angive him a baton to run as a captainship,
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as long as i live. probably, i cannot forget about this excitement. david: your parents are still alive. they must be extremely proud of you. masayoshi: they actually e very proud of me, and they are very happy. we arenoappy family. and, you and you know, my dad is funny guy. cr he has unique idea, y idea. and he always call me and says, "masa, i got idea. you have to do this." he knows everything i am doing. and he's very creative, very smart. and he talk about business to me all the time. david:ou are japanese, but you're of korean descent. but you'ferent than most japanese business people who are very consensus- oriented, not maybe as entrepreneurial as you are.
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has that been a challenge for you in building up your business in pan? masayoshi: lots of challenge, but the uniqueness is actually good, you know. if the pack of other people are this way, i am unique, i have more opportunies. so the difficulty... turn--if you flip over, become the advantage. david: so a final question, if you could live your life over-- extraordinary story-- is there anything you would do differently than you've do? masayoshi: i may, but this is the , fe i'm enjoying so muat i would love to do it again. uh...i was so lucky. i was so close to fall down from the cliff. so i don't know i can do it twice. [laughter] but this is definitely exciting life. i'm having fun.
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and thank you for an extraordinary story that it is. thank you. masayoshi: thank you vermuch. [applause] announcer: support for the pbs presentation of ts program was provided by general motors. i see a future. i see a good fute. i see a future filled with roads and no rage. both: we see a future... with zero crashes. woman: i see a future where fossil fuels... man: are a thing of the past. all: we see a future with zero emissions. i see a future where traffic... keeps rfect time. where intelligence is always by design. man: we see a future with zero congestion. zero congestion. - we are... - we are... both: we are... all: general motor ♪ you're watpbs.
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>> she's for breaking barriers and has even been called the most powerful woman in the world, this w "firing line." >> my parents couldn't take me to have a hamburger at the woolworth's lunch coter, but they had me absolutely convinced i could be president of the united states if i wanted to be. >> when condoleezza rice grew up in the segregated south, she was taug anything she wanted as long as she did everything twice as well. ♪ her first dream, to be a concert pianist, fell flat. but she would make it onto the world stage. [ cheers and applause ] >> we cannot be reluctant to lead, and you cannot lead from behind. a trusted adviser to the first president bush and then his son, she was at the white house during 9/11 and when the united statewent to war with afghanistan and iraq. >> colin powell leaves big shoes to fill at the state department, tbut condi rice is the ri
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person to fill them. >> she went on to become the first african-american woman to be secretary of state, meeting


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