EP 205 – Samantha Ghiotti – co-Founder and CEO at Habitto – Japan Is Built for Resilience and Long-Term Stability


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Samantha Ghiotti is a co-founder and CEO of Habitto. Samantha is passionate about human potential and the ingenuity emerging from diverse, multidisciplinary environments. Insatiably curious, crazy about adventure travels. And she happens to have spent over 20 years at the intersection of tech and finance.

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The conversation with Samantha Ghiotti, a co-founder and the CEO of Habitto, both started and ended with a smile. It also included a ton of interesting insights from Sam, who frankly surprised me with her knowledge of the nuances of the Japanese market and the culture into which it is deeply embedded (pun intended).

Some of the topics that Sam covered:

  • Some of the challenges of being a female AND foreign founder in Japan
  • Building a business in Japan with few cultural references and limited language skills
  • The enormity of the Japanese market and how Habitto is addressing it differently
  • The fascinating psychology the Japanese have about money and risk-taking
  • Building a new brand and making it relatable

A few other titles we considered for this episode:

  1. There Is Only One and You Are Speaking to Her
  2. Start from the Premise of Being Different
  3. Simple, Practical Choices
  4. Listen, Empathize, Sell
  5. Changing Money Habits
Episode 282