William Saito holds experience as being an entrepreneur, a Japanese political and strategy advisor, and cybersecurity specialist. Saito has held positions in the world of tech for quite some time.
At 10 years old, he got his first internship in the computer programming field. Saito began his own software company out of college, in his dorm room. The firm, which became I/O Software over time, was vital in the Japanese software market and created authentication tools like fingerprint recognition while working with Sony as well.
At 34 years old, he sold the I/O Software company to Microsoft. In 1998, William Saito was honored with Young & Ernst’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Saito’s recent volume, An Unprogrammed Life, depicts his days early on with developing his company and attempting to break through the emerging tech world, starting in the 1980s.
A Young Man in an Exciting Time for Technology
Saito was originally from Walnut, CA. That’s just a couple hours from Silicon Valley. From the time to 70s and 80s was probably one of the most enthralling for the tech field because of the advance of personal computing.
Saito wasn’t immune to this passion and his science teacher suggested that he acquire a computer to further assist his math and science talents. Despite the truth that he’s a first-generation American from a Japanese upbringing, he has difficulties learning English early on, in part because of his parents’ meager English skills.
Notwithstanding his inadequate English skills when he was young, Saito always held a mind for engineering. “I always have enjoyed taking components apart,” William Saito recounts in An Unprogrammed Life.
“I would see a device, a gadget, a new appliance in our family’s living room, and I would start imagining how it functioned.” Distinctly, Saito describes his experiences with finding out the way to break copy security, just for kicks.
“Some people like brain twisters or crossword puzzles and others like me relish getting inside of software to observe how it operates.” Saito writes that he’d been looking for ways to break the copy-protection installed in software ever since grade five.
Around the 80s when Saito was growing up, computer software was, of course, a lot less complex than it is these days. Saito took the chance with his interests in programming and software and began his own business to create security programs with some of his friends in college.