SMAP is a digital platform where employees of large Japanese companies can exchange insights, share ideas, provide feedback, and learn about entrepreneurship and the creation of new businesses.
Many companies struggle to innovate in an increasingly fast-paced, competitive world. Companies tend to approach innovation in silos, relying on existing legacy tools that ultimately fail to unlock community knowledge and develop ideas past initial conversations. The challenge is to develop a user experience that lowers the barriers of posting, sharing, and spreading new business ideas throughout the company.
Moon Creative Lab has built a specialized digital platform for employees within companies to nurture and develop ideas. SMAP enables online idea development and tracking, community engagement, and founder matching.
Where SMAP Is Today
You can access SMAP at:
with a Mitsui email address.
Thinh Vo Hoang
Mary Ann Gallo
How SMAP is the Intersection of Moon, Mitsui & Co., and Big Ideas
A bold word that is at the top of most companies’ list of priorities. How does one plan to innovate in today’s landscape? While there is not one cut and dry answer, most companies have come to realize that the answers lie within its people.
Moon Creative Lab was established to light the way for the global workforce of Mitsui & Co. and help uncover new innovative paths that have yet to be explored. With such a large employee base stretching across borders and timezones, it's easy to see how challenging it might be to uncover the creative potential that lives within every Mitsui employee, and empower them to step outside their comfort zone to create something new.
Moon needed a place that could become a source of inspiration and motivation to help navigate new ways of thinking and ultimately ways of working for every individual and organization within Mitsui. The internal intranet was not enough to showcase the talent, resources, tools and support that Moon can offer, rather there needed to be a new platform to foster collaboration.
That’s when SMAP was born. Designed and built by Moon, SMAP is a digital platform
where Mitsui employees exchange insights, share ideas, provide feedback, and learn about entrepreneurship and the creation of new businesses.
“SMAP to me, is a bridge between Mitsui and Moon. It’s a bridge with the aspiration to shift Mitsui employees' mindsets and views of the world, and to see what’s possible so that they will take the first step towards creating something entirely new. It’s a living thing. The SMAP platform will evolve with its user base. Currently, the focus is on how we can help people of Mitsui who are interested and motivated to take the first step to building an idea by making it as easy as possible to try. It’s something that might not come naturally for everyone, so that’s why SMAP was created.” -Tsubasa Ishyama, SMAP Lead
With the launch of SMAP 1.0 in March 2021, there has been substantial growth not only with the product but with the designers, product managers and engineers who built it. It’s the type of everyday learning that we hope to instill in every individual who has the opportunity to build with Moon.
“Everyday has its own learnings and challenges. I’m the kind of person who likes to learn new skills and knowledge to help guide me through any challenge. I’ve done my homework, read a lot of books and read a lot of blogs that are out there but when you’re actually the ones driving it, it’s not the same,” said Tsubasa. “Things go well on paper but when it comes to really doing something, there’s a lot of things you have to figure out by yourself and with your team. We’re constantly learning and trying to improve.
What I’ve learned is that it's important to build a product and your team, one-by-one rather than trying to build everything at once from the start. You actually need to start slowly and build up the pace otherwise it wouldn’t work. That is one of the biggest learnings that came in the early stages of the product.”
Just as products take time to develop, so do ideas. SMAP was built with this same understanding; that bold ideas take many iterations and start slow and steady before truly gaining momentum. But what’s more is the impact that SMAP has had on the many individuals who participate on the platform from idea generation through development, all with the support of the SMAP community.
Tsubasa states, “We want to honor people who are taking on the challenge to create something from scratch. We want to honor those who keep on trying again and again, because it’s not something that’s comfortable for most people. We want to inspire people to take the first step to creating something great. Through this rapid refinement alongside the SMAP community, individuals are building confidence within themselves and on their ideas with the ultimate vision of changing the world.”