Takafumi Horie, the maverick founder of Japanese Internet service provider Livedoor, announced his release from prison on Wednesday after serving a two-year sentence for accounting fraud. So how does a flamboyant former Dotcom entrepreneur do that? Of course by tweeting out to all his followers, “I was released on parole at about 7:40 am!”
And just a few hours later, he was busy tweeting out to his 900,000 Twitter followers and saying he was going to hold a press conference later that day. His initial tweet announcing his freedom was retweeted 8,7000 times. This is not surprising since Horie is regarded as some sort of cult hero among young people. His entrepreneur style broke the rules of the normally staid corporate Japan. He lived the life of a carefree and eccentric bachelor, dating actresses and driving around the city in a flashy Ferrari. He was also a member of the “Roppongi Hills tribe”, an elite group of young entrepreneurs who made Tokyo their crazy and glitzy playground.
He was sentenced to two and a half years in jail by the Tokyo District Court in 2007 for falsely reporting a pre-tax profit of $61 million (at today’s rates) in order to hide the big losses at his company. The then 38 year old Horie continuously insisted that he was a victim of the establishment. Before he went into prison after having his appeal rejected in 2011, he held a news conference where he sported a Mohawk-style haircut and wore a shirt that read “Go To Jail” (from the board game Monopoly) and listing the names of executives of failed companies who did not go to jail.
[ via Phys.Org ]