EP# 015: Konosuke Matsushita: Overcoming Adversity (Part I)

This episode’s topic is on Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic. Also known as KM, the following quote epitomized his philosophy on business and life.

 “An enterprise as a whole is as good or bad as the abilities of the individuals who comprise it. The development of the individual therefore, becomes of critical importance to an organization”

KM was one of the most amazing businessmen and philanthropists that most people have never heard of. He was the founder of the massive electrical firm Matsushita Electronics (or MEI), known today as Panasonic. He built one of the world’s largest and most prosperous electrical companies. He was born into a comfortable, wealthy family but soon his world was upended and his family was driven into poverty.

He had minimal formal schooling, lost the majority of family to tuberculosis, and was hampered by poor health that kept him bedridden for long periods of time. However, he continually developed new ideas to innovate his business. As he aged he maintained a youthful outlook on life that continually grew the business, while focusing on improving society.

Show notes (with time stamps)

Introduction: 00:00 – 03:30

Childhood: 03:35 - 06:33

Apprenticeship: 106:38 - 10:55

Electricity Comes to Japan: 10:59 - 17:14

Matsushita Electric: 17:18 - 1:02:54

Conclusion: 1:02:58 - 1:03:25


Artist: Scott Holmes

Album: Road Trip

Track: Indie Rock


Quest for Prosperity: The Life of a Japanese Industrialist by Konosuke Matsushita

The Matsushita Phenomena by Roland Gould

Matsushita Leadership by John P. Kotter

Not for Bread Alone by Konosuke Matsushita

A Century of Matsushita Konosuke and His People-First Philosophy by Eguchi Katsuhiko. Retrieved from https://www.nippon.com/en/column/g00512/