Skip to main content

An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur

An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur

William Hiroyuki Saito

ISBN: 978-1-118-07727-6

Nov 2011

320 pages



The extraordinary story of a child prodigy and his remarkable entrepreneurial accomplishments

If anyone has "been there, done that" in starting and managing businesses, it's William Saito. Saito is a truly unique personality, and his remarkable story, An Unprogrammed Life, is the compelling tale of a young entrepreneur. More than just a high-tech autobiography or how-to guide, the book is the extraordinary story of a self-taught genius who became a savvy, serial business success story. Founder of multiple profitable companies, Saito now devotes himself to helping others to do the same.

This book chronicles the journey of Saito from a young computer nerd programming stock market trading algorithms for a major broker at the age of ten, to selling three separate companies to Microsoft and becoming one of the world's foremost experts on data security. Saito's story focuses on his two key passions—entrepreneurship and data security. An authority in encryption, authentication, and biometric technology, he is determined to fight the never-ending battle to secure personal and corporate information from criminals, terrorists, and rogue nations. The book provides a peek into the author's work with anti-terrorism and anti-crime units and the threats to personal and corporate security posed by ordinary cell phones, office copiers, and laptop PCs.

  • The incredible story of a child prodigy who was recognized in 1998 as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Addresses Saito's extensive work consulting for clients worldwide, including the U.S. Department of Defense's Counter-terrorism unit, and the U.K., Russian, and Japanese governments
  • Includes a foreword from Carl J. Schramm, President & CEO of the Kauffman Foundation

The extraordinary story of a child genius and his remarkable entrepreneurial skills, the book is both a fascinating insight and a true inspiration for readers everywhere.

Foreword by Carl Schramm vii

Preface: FBI at the Door ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter 1 Blame It on DNA 1

Chapter 2 Finding a Business Partner (Opposites Attract) 31

Chapter 3 Learning to Juggle (Med School, Business, and More) 45

Chapter 4 Building a Real Company 59

Chapter 5 Learning from Failure 81

Chapter 6 Developing for Toshiba (Camera Obscura) 97

Chapter 7 Developing for Sony—Fingerprint ID 113

Chapter 8 Birth of BAPI 133

Chapter 9 IPO: It's All in the Timing 155

Chapter 10 Using My Japanese Connections to Fight Terrorism 167

Chapter 11 Last Exit: Microsoft Wants the Whole Thing 173

Chapter 12 My Year of Retirement 177

Chapter 13 Back in the Game 183

Chapter 14 From Todai into AIST 189

Chapter 15 Starting My Own Company, Version 2.0 195

Chapter 16 Consulting around the World 207

Chapter 17 Teaching (United States and Japan) 211

Chapter 18 Turning 40 217

Epilogue: The Perfect Storm Hits Japan 221

Appendix A: Famous Quotes and Helpful Advice 227

Appendix B: Creativity and Logical Assessment Test 231

About the Author 235

Index 237

"Some lives unfold so extraordinarily that it is tempting to ponder the stark imbalance of talent and drive with which some people are born. This is certainly the case with William Hiroyuki Saito, one of the world’s foremost experts on data security, whose life story makes for both a captivating autobiography and a business self-help text of considerable value." -- South China Morning Post