As the move title implies, Jiro Ono is so obsessed with creating the perfect sushi that he literally dreams about it in his sleep. He has been making sushi for going on eight decades, yet Jiro is not content to rest on his laurels. He is the ultimate perfectionist. He comes in early and stays late. He carefully manages every aspect of his sushi restaurant. And he is always looking for ways to make his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, even better.
In keeping with his own obsessiveness, Jiro has hired the best possible people to work along side him. As is the tradition in Japan, Jiro's eldest son, Yoshikazu, will take over the restaurant from him when Jiro retires. Yoshikazu has studied at his fathers side for more than half a century and is every bit as exacting as his father. Just as his father has been a stern but effective mentor to him, Yoshikazu has carefully mentored the rest of the staff at the restaurant. The Ono's have extremely high expectations of those who work for them and are quick to fire those who don't meet their standards. But those who remain take pride in being a part of this unique institution.
As important as Jiro and his team are, Sukiyabashi Jiro could not thrive without the assistance of some equally obsessive partners. It would appear that Jiro has sought out and found the most exacting suppliers in all of Japan. Jiro's tuna dealer is so compulsive that only a single tuna each day will meet his standards. Jiro's rice supplier takes such pride in his product that he laughs at the idea that other chefs are worthy of his rice. Jiro's shrimp broker often has no shrimp to sell him because he has not found any that meet his expectations. And on and on. Over decades, Jiro has forged such close relationships with his many suppliers that they might as well be dedicated members of his team. And as a result, he can count on those suppliers to meet and maintain his very high standards.
Admittedly, technology startups are a far cry from a sushi restaurant. But entrepreneurs have a lot to learn from Jiro. Great entrepreneurs like Jiro are true domain experts. They have exacting standards for themselves and everyone with whom they work. They surround themselves with talented co-workers. And they build tight relationships with their most important partners, treating them like team members. Whether it is a 9-seat sushi restaurant or multi-million dollar enterprise software company, in the end, success and failure will ride almost entirely on the quality of the people involved. When it comes to the people who make up your business, you can never compromise. Rest assured, Jiro never would.