We ask that all members of the LINE Group conduct themselves in accordance with the
LINE STYLE and LINE CODE in order to achieve our MISSION.
Below, you can see how our MISSION, the LINE STYLE, and the LINE CODE come together.
You can read up on the “LINE Group Code of Conduct” (COC) here.
LINE was conceived as a mobile messaging service shortly after the massive earthquake that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011.
After the tragedy, it became apparent that there was a fundamental need for a global communication tool that could strengthen human relationships. Just a few months later in June, we launched the LINE messaging app.
With this approach, LINE has grown into a social platform with hundreds of millions users worldwide, having a particularly strong focus in the rapidly advancing continent of Asia.
Rather than settle for globally standardized services based on
Rather than settle for globally standardized services based on a generic approach, we believe that it is essential to respect the culture and norm of each individual country in order to engage users on a very deep level and evolve in each region.
We call it culturalization and it’s at the heart of everything we do. In the world we strive to create, users will have seamless online and offline access to all the people, information and services they need in their daily lives – LINE is the gateway.
Our journey to evolve into a Smart Portal will continue, as we will meet all needs that our users face in a constantly changing mobile universe.
LINE is your daily life companion – Engaging the world with you.
LINE is a company which dreams of the best services in the world, and boldly responds to any and all challenges along the way.
Every top service we dream of has one big thing in common: the WOW factor.
They all create WOWs – meaning an unprecedented experience that’s so amazing that you just have to share it with friends.
LINE refused to put limits on its business domain, and instead looked to the broad needs of people and businesses across markets, again and again challenging itself in one promising field after another.
LINE’s many achievements and continuing commitment to finding new challenges are based on LINE's DNA and its way of working. We call these LINE STYLE.
It’s not about us. It’s about them. Our entire business is built on understanding our users.
To create WOWs, it is most vital to truly understand user needs. You must think from the users' perspective when making critical decisions and make their needs your prime criteria because users are the judges who ultimately determine success.
But uncovering our users’ needs is a more difficult challenge than you may realize. Their needs can change from moment to moment. Often users don’t even know what their needs are, so discovering them requires an obsessive, almost fanatical, level of analysis. You need to keep an eye on their every action, no matter how slight, to uncover those hidden needs, constantly checking and re-checking, using every quantitative and qualitative method.
A swift beta rollout is better than a perfect one that comes too late
However perfect, a service won’t draw attention from users if it misses the timing. The competition LINE is taking part in is a speed battle in a volatile environment. To be the best, a service must offer an amazing and unprecedented experience—with an emphasis on “unprecedented.”
But unprecedented means more than just being first. What matters is being the first to be recognized by users. Plans can never be perfect, so you have to take risks, put them to the test right away, and then revise them constantly.
‘Good’ is never good enough
What makes the difference are the details. Detail is what differentiates a top service from the also-rans—because when we talk about details, what we’re really talking about is meticulousness.
Those details emerge only after we repeatedly and painstakingly ask “Is there anything we can do to make this better?” “Is there any way to make this a little more perfect?” That attention to detail forces us to tweak and make endless tiny adjustments, gradually improving our services and taking them to a higher, more outstanding level.
Follow the data, not your feelings
Numbers don't lie. However, our feelings are much less trustworthy. Especially after putting a lot of hard work into a project, all of us have the tendency to see what we want to see. It’s tough to stay objective.
Are users embracing a service as we expected? If not, why not? How do we fix the problems that are holding a service back? The solutions are in the data. You should always make decisions based on the numbers, especially in new markets. Fierce disagreements and fiery discussions are fine, but always look to the data for evaluating your opinions and choosing outcomes.
Leading services are made by agile, elite teams, not sprawling bureaucracies
Making a team twice as large doesn't mean it can accomplish twice as much. In fact, it can often result in slowing down the team’s working speed. Leading services are often created by elite, compact teams, not sprawling bureaucracies. A soccer team with 100 good-enough players will lose to a team that has 11 elite players.
As a company grows, its operations should be like a hundred lean start-ups working together, rather than like a bloated conglomerate. No one can compete with the giant global conglomerates based on size alone. Our advantage must be in the quality and efficiency of our workers. Always focus on organizing small, elite teams and strengthen them. Better, not bigger.
Teams need to discuss things openly, but follow the leader’s decisions
Everyone, including leaders, can make a wrong judgment. And no one is an expert in every field. The odds of finding success increase when you can have passionate, frank discussions, and everyone in the team feels empowered to add their voice when necessary.
However, after going through the discussion process, only one direction can be chosen. The leader is the one who makes the choice and is responsible for the results. To successfully achieve that goal, a team’s members need to trust in the leader's judgment and work together toward putting the decision into practice.
The end point can change, but the team always stays together
When working towards a goal, a team has to concentrate its energy on going in the same direction. Otherwise, you’ll never get where you’re going. Every member should clearly understand the objective of the project, and if the needs of users shift then the team members also need to understand exactly how that changes their goals. It is the leader’s job to communicate those goals clearly and make sure everyone understands any changes. Team leaders and team members have to keep moving together, constantly sharing feedback and always aiming at the same target.
You’re in trouble if you’re just ‘working hard’
Working a long time doesn't guarantee results. You are in trouble if you are just “working hard.” When you work hard, you get caught up doing whatever is right in front of you and never think about why you do what you do. To be the best LINER, you have to use your time in a smarter and more focused way. It is better to spend an hour working really intensely than 5 or 6 hours just kind-of-hard. You should also always be aware of the fundamentals underlying your work: What you are doing, for whom and why.
Don’t ask ‘What’s wrong?’ Ask ‘How do we make it right?’
Thinking critically can be an important part of creating a product or service, but don’t spend too much time fixated on what’s wrong—just 1% of your energy. Instead, put the other 99% into figuring out how to make it work. Anyone can find obstacles and potential problems, but at LINE we want people to concentrate their energy on discovering new things and generating new solutions that nobody has thought of before.
If you want to hit a home run, you’ve got to swing for the fences
In baseball, a home-run king also tends to be a strikeout king because hitting home runs requires taking full, hard swings, which increases the risk of strikes. You cannot hit a homer from a bunt.
The same is true for creating new services. If you have identified a feasible project with a sizeable potential market, you should take a serious swing at it, without being afraid of failure. And when someone else’s bold play turns out to be a failure, you shouldn’t criticize them. Instead analyze what happened and figure out the key lessons you can share, to prevent others from repeating the same mistakes. Learning from failure is the first step toward creating a success.
If your heart is beating fast, then you’ve taken on a true challenge
The history of LINE is the history of achievement and growth made through boldly taking on all challenges and failing without regret. This process is not enjoyable for everyone. Sometimes it can be so exhausting that you just want to walk away. But the harder the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement when you overcome it. It's exciting to know that, after so much effort and many trials and errors, our services can bring a sense of WOW to the world and make life easier and more enjoyable for millions of people everywhere.
But that kind of heart-pounding experience is only available to those who enjoy wrestling with big challenges and who don’t give up in the middle. If you like being the first person to leave footsteps in the fresh white snow and are proud of leading a difficult challenge to success, you'll be able to enjoy your journey no matter how hard it is. And that's a great way to build a WOW service.
The "wows" we want to create cannot be achieved by simply being innovative. In order to keep taking on new challenges and develop and create new value, we must observe the rules of society at large, respect those around us, and conduct our actions with transparency.
No matter how revolutionary it may be, new value cannot bring "wows" to the world if it is self-serving, if it comes at the expense of someone else’s grief, or if it is not accepted by society. By acknowledging, respecting and working hand-in-hand with the co-workers who sit next to us, our team, external partners, and the society at large, the value of that "wow" becomes something several times bigger.
We are always asking ourselves: Will our behavior allow us to stand proud in front of our parents, partners, children, friends, colleagues and other important people in our lives who trust us? Is all of our behavior decent? Do we feel pride in ourselves?
There are three keywords we should bear in mind when we act. We must maintain our PRIDE—as LINE employees, as service providers, and as human beings— and earnestly strive to coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship with society through LINE services.
Recognizing diversity—respecting and trusting each other
We try. We fail. And, then, we try again. For us to tackle so many challenges, we need an environment where we can understand people of different races, religions, genders, nationalities and people with different social norms. This diverse array of values helps further broaden the range of services that we can create.
In order to make our company a comfortable workplace at which we can grow, we carry on creating an inviting and rewarding work environment with no harassment or bullying.
Communicating and respecting each other across national, organizational, and hierarchical boundaries—that is how we become an innovative company.
Maintaining humility and working together with society and partners as one
As members of society, we must create value that is widely accepted by the general public. We must strive to coexist with the wider world through LINE's services. Our services are formed through cooperation with many external partners. We can provide innovative value to users by working together with advertisers, game companies, sticker creators and other partners.
In order to establish good relationships with these partners, we must always be conscious of maintaining relationships that are “win-win,” never putting undue pressure on them or making undue demands.
For that purpose, in addition to carefully observing the minimum rules within society, we must always maintain an attitude of humility, be aware of what we should do, and take responsibility for the results of our actions. We must build relationships of trust with partners through daily communication, and work as one to deliver value.
Being fair, sound, and honest—transparency and sincerity in how we engage with the world
In order for us to carry out our mission and continue to grow, it is essential that we abide by the laws and regulations of each country and region. There is no need to overly fear making mistakes, but we must not succeed by lying, cheating
or misrepresenting things.
And, we must have the courage to speak up when we witness such acts. We strive to take honest actions that will allow our families, colleagues, friends and society to be proud of us.
As platform operator providing various services, we must not give disproportionate favor to specific users, countries, regions and social hierarchies. We need to behave fairly towards all users and society. We will gain support from a wide reach of users and society as a whole by providing not only convenience, but also freedom, neutrality and fairness in cultural attitudes, thoughts and expressions.
Our services are built on the trust born from appropriately protecting users’ privacy, and we are expected to maintain a stance of responsibility and diligence in our information management. We must be sincere and transparent in how we engage with users and society.