William Saito is a household name when it comes to matters cyber security. The Japanese-American entrepreneur is also a venture capitalist and former top advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. He served as a cyber-security expert besides offering political and strategic advice to the Japanese government. It is surprising that William Saito has been a member of the tech community since the age of ten when he landed his first golden chance – an internship in computer programming.
Early life in programming
William Saito was born in March 1971 in Los Angeles, California, two years after his parents immigrated to the United States in 1969. He attended and graduated from Damien High School after which he proceeded to join University of California, Riverside. He was part of the joint Biomedical program in Riverside at the University of California, LA in 1988.The rise of Personal computing in the early 1970s to 1980s was arguably the most exciting and sparked tech revolution.
William Saito was not immune to this change albeit his slowness to learn English language, in part due to his parents’ poor proficiency in the language. In his book, An Unprogrammed Life, William Saito narrates how he loved taking things apart just to find out how they worked. He went as far as breaking the copy-protection of many software’s since fifth grade. His interest in software programming resulted in the founding of his own software company called I/O Software in 1991 while still in college.
Personal and business skill transformation
William loved the Bulletin Board System (BBS) and this was his fist exploration in the computing world. He began translating software into Japanese and even partnered with Datastorm Technologies on various projects. He successfully designed a fingerprint recognition system used by Sony, a step that led Microsoft to partner with I/O Software.
His collaboration with Sony, and the innovation of the fingerprint scanner became a massive success to behold. I/O’s reputation as a company was elevated since it was able to crack every software that was commercially available. This concept was latter officially adopted by the industry giants, Microsoft in the year 2000.
William Saito excelled in various sectors including being appointed as the chief Technology officer in 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. In 2013 to 2017 he was appointed the cyber security advisor to the Cabinet and later on as an advisor in the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. He was later appointed as the strategic advisor to Japan airlines in 2015 where he provided expert knowledge on IT strategy.