Executives Unpacked Episode 4: Experience the Industry with Naomi Kurahara

This post was written by: John Clifton

On Episode 4 of The Executives Unpacked Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Naomi Kurahara. Naomi is the co-founder and CEO of Infostellar, a NewSpace communications technology company based in Tokyo, that provides flexible and scalable ground station services enabled by its cloud platform stellar station, the ground station platform is for modern space business. She started in the industry for integral systems Japan, working as a systems engineer, then found herself in Infostellar back in 2016. Naomi still has big dreams, and one day would love to travel and participate in space travel. 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your career?

My biggest lesson is to think really well, and don’t hesitate to ask lots of questions. Any sessions that you’re in, whether it’s internally with your team or outside of the team or company, just ask questions. That helped me a lot in the past.

What do you wish you would have been told earlier?

I think for me, building trust is really important. I wish someone had told me that building trust takes a lot of time and effort, and losing trust is very easy. It can happen in really short time. In my industry, the space industry,  I see so many businesses relying on trust between the parties joining a project. So yes, the importance of trust is what I wish I learned sooner.

What is the best bit of advice that you have been given?

One of my professors told me to experience the entire satellite project. So before, the whole satellite project, from mission design to launch and operation would take 15 years, but now through small satellite development projects, we can do that in three or five years. Experiencing it from beginning to end helps my engine carrier or management carrier in various different aspects. It really helps the whole project and my career, so I would say that’s been the most influential piece of advice. 

What has constantly kept you awake at night when it comes to sort of work?

For me, that relationship I have with my team members, customers or investors, that’s created a lot of sleepless nights. If I started to feel this distrust towards someone, or if I made someone distrust me, that takes over my mind. It’s always the relationship with people that I worry about most. It’s about the trust I mentioned earlier. 

Can you identify a single thread that’s run through your career that has led to your success?

I believe in the potential of the space industry. Space technology has the potential to change everyone’s lives. Things are becoming more convenient, more exciting and they’re giving us more freedom. I strongly believe that space technology has potential. And I think that makes me keep challenging our limits, which is what creates success.

What would be one bit of advice that you would give to others?

Don’t give up. I know it sounds really cheesy, but don’t give up. Is there something you really want? It’s not easy, and there are easier options or ways to go, but I recommend sticking to something you really want to do because that’s how you’ll go far.

To hear more about Naomi’s experiences in the NewSpace industry, tune into the full episode of The Executives Unpacked Podcast today. 

For more behind-the-scenes insights into John Harris’s life, listen to the whole Executives Unpacked Podcast episode here. 

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