William Saito is an entrepreneur, respected cybersecurity expert, and a former political and strategic advisor to Japan. Saito has been a part of the tech community since, at ten years old, he earned his first computer programming internship.
While in college, Saito’s first software firm, which would later be known as I/O Software, was created in his dorm room. The company has been a key player in the Japanese software market and was responsible for working with Sony in 2000 to develop a fingerprint recognition program that is used as an authentication tool. Saito went on to sell I/O Software to Microsoft when he was but 34 years of age.
William Saito grew up just a few miles from Silicon Valley in Walnut, California in the 70’s and 80’s. Saito, whose parents were born in Japan, struggled while young to learn English despite being born in America due to the fact that Japanese was the language of choice in his home.
Despite these struggles with the English language, Saito displayed a natural mind for engineering it seemed and loved to take things apart. Saito fondly recalls the number of family appliances he was scolded for taking apart in his elementary school years. This passion eventually transferred to programming and Saito also admits that he had begun breaking copyright protections placed on software programs since he was in the 5th grade.
William Saito went on to attend the University of California at Riverside. The language difficulties he had as a young child was now a plus as he found work translating software programs to Japanese while completing his college studies.
NEC, a popular computer company in Japan soon became aware of the work Saito was performing and came calling. The company needed Saito to create a program for its 9801 computer and the young programmer accepted the challenge.
After college, Saito devoted his full attention to working with his I/O software firm and worked with Sony on numerous projects. The success of these partnerships played a key role in I/O software eventually being sold to Microsoft.