Sinopse

Japanese startups are fundamentally changing Japans society and economy. Disrupting Japan gives you direct access to the thoughts and plans of Japans must successful and creative startup founders. Join us and bypass the media and corporate gatekeepers and hear whats really going on inside Japans startup world.

Episódios

  • Your Japanese textbooks are lying to you

    Your Japanese textbooks are lying to you

    06/07/2020 Duração: 15min

    They probably mean well. They are telling you something that is easy to understand and that seems like it's true at first, but it's still a lie. I received an overwhelming response to my recent episode on success via public humiliation, and more than a few people tried to set me straight about how Japanese keigo is supposed to be used, so today I'm going to return the favor. Don't worry, this is not a Japanese lesson, at least not in the pedantic sense, but it might clear up a few of the lies you've been told, and perhaps even repeated about how honorifics are used in Japan and in Japanese business in particular. Please leave a comment because I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Show Notes Feedback on Failure How you are being lied to Why keigo is not about social status or individual respect How to insult by being polite Actually showing respect Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thank

  • DJ Selects: Why startups lose control of their sales channels, and how to fix it – Allen Miner – Oracle

    DJ Selects: Why startups lose control of their sales channels, and how to fix it – Allen Miner – Oracle

    22/06/2020 Duração: 01h18min

    Oracle first came into Japan more than 25 years ago, but the challenges they faced and overcame then are exactly the same ones firms are facing today in executing their Japan market entry. Allen explains why Oracle needed a unique sales and marketing strategy for Japan, and how he managed to get buy-in from headquarters — even though Oracle already had a sales and marketing program that had proven fantastically successful in other markets. We also talk about how Oracle managed to negotiate a amicable exit out from their exclusive distribution agreements not just once, but twice. That’s an amazing accomplishment considering that many foreign companies have destroyed their Japanese business the first time they attempt it. But Allen, tells the story much better than I do. I think you’ll enjoy the interview. I know I did. [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to disrupting Japan. Straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero, and than

  • What makes people pay for new online events

    What makes people pay for new online events

    08/06/2020 Duração: 39min

    You would expect that event-focused startups would be some of the hardest hit by the global pandemic and lockdown, and for the most part, you would be right. But Peatix is one event startup that adapted fast and is now actually thriving during the lockdown.  We've talked with Taku Harada before, and if you have not done so already, you should check it out. It's a great conversation and there is no overlap with today. Today we talk about how startups can pivot and survive during the pandemic, why having too much money can be a curse for startups, and we dive into what's gone wrong with Japanese B2B SaaS startups. It's a great discussion, and I think you will really enjoy it. Show Notes How an evets company pivots during Covid-19 What makes a good online event Will people play for online events What will be the long-term behavioral changes from the lockdown The surprising secret to scaling a social network Tips for Japanese who want to run an international startup The trap of startups havin

  • Why public humiliation is the secret to success

    Why public humiliation is the secret to success

    25/05/2020 Duração: 12min

    I've never managed to find a direct road to success. My bio reads like a random walk down many different career paths, so I always feel unqualified to answer when people ask me for career advice. Today, however, I'd like to share one insight about doing business in Japan that I learned the hard way. If you've been through something like this, I hope you'll be able to identify with it. If you haven't, I hope you can learn something from it, and avoid it. Please share your experiences in the comments. Show Notes More life lessons from Mark the Dog Japanese fluency is an odd target What's worse than any horror movie plot? Success via humiliating failure How good does your Japanese need to be to do business in Japan? Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Today I want to tell you the story about one of the most embarrassing and publicly humiliating events of my life, and somethi

  • The Japanese Trap of the Glorious Failure

    The Japanese Trap of the Glorious Failure

    27/04/2020 Duração: 16min

    Japanese businessmen famously fear failure. But that understanding is horribly incomplete. In fact, there is one type of failure that is admired, almost sought after, in Japan. Today we take a look at the trap of the Japanese glorious failure, see how it's hurting startups, and examine our options on fixing it. Show Notes Life lessons from Mark the Dog When and why failure is feared in Japan What is a Glorious Failure, and why it is admired How the Glorious Failure is hurting Japanese startups What is (probably) the only way to fix this Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. I'm recording this episode for release on April 28, 2020. I usually try to make all Disrupting Japan content evergreen. Most of the insights you hear on Disrupting Japan about starting companies in Japan, or building a customer base, market testing, or doing business here will probably be just as valid in

  • DJ Selects: Why Your Startup Accelerator is Going to Disappear

    DJ Selects: Why Your Startup Accelerator is Going to Disappear

    30/03/2020 Duração: 36min

    Almost all startup accelerators are going bankrupt and going away. Hiro Maeda, the founder of two of Japan's most successful, and most different startup incubators explains both the brief past and precarious future of startup incubators and accelerators. We talk not only about the mechanics and challenges of what it takes to make an incubator successful, but Hiro has some practical advice on when founders should consider joining an accelerator and how they can avoid the 99% of them that provide no real value. Hiro also explains why so many Japanese VCs today find investing in South East Asia more attractive than Japan, the forces behind Japan's startup boom, and what the next ten years holds for Japanese startups. Show Notes for Startups The motivation behind the founding of Open Network Labs Incubator How to measure the success of an incubator How Japanese VCs will be deploying capital in the next few years The success of Beenos's Inception Program and why they had to shut it down Why public c

  • One important lesson startups will forget after the panic

    One important lesson startups will forget after the panic

    16/03/2020 Duração: 18min

    Innovation drives society forward, but everyday competence keeps it on the road. Over the past five years, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the importance of disruptive innovation, but today I’d like to talk about the framework that allows disruptive innovation to be a net positive to society. The coronavirus pandemic has some people looking for innovation and others for stability. However, examining how Japan and the rest of the world are getting though it shows us something very important about innovation. Something that is almost always overlooked. Show Notes Life in Tokyo during the pandemic Why you don't want to cough in Singapore Why we probably can't innovate our way out of this pandemic The very real dark side of disruptive innovation Why innovation depends on everyday competence Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Things are not normal in Japan right now.

  • Why boring startups are actually the most interesting

    Why boring startups are actually the most interesting

    02/03/2020 Duração: 36min

    Some of the most important startups are ones you never hear about. Some industries are so complex and arcane that its hard for people on the outside to understand the problems that startups are solving or the long-term gain of solving them. Freight forwarding is one of those industries. Today we talk with Taka Sato of Shippio, a startup trying to change the way freight forwarding works in Japan.  We talk about the challenges involved in trying to disrupt a low-tech, low-margin industry and also the potential rewards if Shippio succeeds. We also cover some of the bight spots in Japanese entrepreneurship and talk about how one large company, in particular, has had to change their hiring practices to respond to the fact that so many of their best young employees are leaving to found startups. It's a great discussion, and I think you will really enjoy it. Show Notes What is freight forwarding and why is it important? The biggest advantage of moving from corporate life to startups Why so many startup

  • DJ Selects: How this Musical Shoe is Helping Hospitals

    DJ Selects: How this Musical Shoe is Helping Hospitals

    17/02/2020 Duração: 39min

    Most great startup ideas don’t grab your attention right away. It takes a while before the founder’s vision becomes obvious to the rest of us. On the other hand, the startups that immediately grab all the press attention often go out of business shortly after shipping their first product. Reality never seems to live up to the promise. And then there are products like Orphe. This LED-emblazoned, WiFi-connected, social-network enabled dancing shoe seems made for fluffy, flashy Facebook sharing, but only when you really dig into it, do you understand what it really is and the potential it has in the marketplace. Today we sit down with Yuya Kikukawa, founder of No New Folk Studio and the creator of the Orphe, and we talk about music, hardware financing, and why this amazing little shoe is finding early adopters in places from game designers to hospitals. It’s a great conversation, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. Show Notes The inspiration for musical shoes Why Yuya's first musical instrument attempt

  • Why Japan’s #KuToo is Not Really About Shoes

    Why Japan’s #KuToo is Not Really About Shoes

    03/02/2020 Duração: 20min

    Today I am going to correct two big mistakes; one of my own and one of society's. I lot of listeners emailed me about the comments I made regarding how Japanese companies treat their employees and customers while they are pregnant. I got it wrong, so I would like to set the record straight. I also explain what I see as the obvious answer to the current #KuToo controversy. I realize that this puts me at serious risk of having to publish another retraction, but I think it's an important way of looking at this problem. Please enjoy, and let me know what you think. Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero, and thanks for joining me. As expected, my crazy Google travel schedule has caused me reschedule some of my interviews, but I promise that I’ll get back to talking with some of Japan’s most amazing startup founders really soon. Today, however, I want to talk about the feedback I received from my recent discussion wi

  • Big News for Disrupting Japan! – Japan Startup News

    Big News for Disrupting Japan! – Japan Startup News

    21/01/2020 Duração: 07min

    There is big news for Tim and for Disrupting Japan this week. It's a very short episode, and I have no special links or show notes this time around. Please give the show a listen for the big reveal, and please accept my sincere thanks for all your support over the years. Disrupting Japan is just getting started. The best is yet to come. Leave a comment Transcript -- vintage news sounds -- This is a Disrupting Japan news flash. We are broadcasting live from Tokyo, Japan to bring you today’s breaking news. In just a few minutes from now, we will be witness to …. Hold on. Let me turn this thing off. OK. That’s better. So, this is the first episode of Disrupting Japan ever that has not been released early on a Tuesday morning Japan time, so as you might expect, something big is going on. In fact, this evening we’re announcing it at a press conference. Tomorrow you may be reading about it in news articles or blogs, but I wanted you to hear it from me first. Because you, the Disrupting Japan listeners, ar

  • The Ultimate Guide to Raising Money in Japan

    The Ultimate Guide to Raising Money in Japan

    06/01/2020 Duração: 53min

    There has never been a better time to be raising money in Japan than right now. Founders ask me about fundraising more than any other topic, so this guide is long overdue. There are links that cover the basics in the Show Notes, and I will be keeping this page updated as new information becomes available and members of the community create new resources. Calling something "The Ultime Guide" to anything is a pretty big claim, and I'll do my best to make sure this page lives up to it. Please enjoy. Show Notes Results of the "Why Meet a Founder?" survey Directories of Japanese VC firms Japan Venture Capital Membership Crunchbase's list of Japanese VCs The Bridge: not a directory, but a good source of Japanese funding announcements How to pitch like a Pro Dave McClure's original guide to pitching VCs - Very much substance over style The same information in a more readable format Dave's deck redesigned by people who do care about style What you need to put in your pitch deck - an

  • How Japan’s forgotten past can stop IoT’s dystopian future

    How Japan’s forgotten past can stop IoT’s dystopian future

    23/12/2019 Duração: 47min

    Technology is global, but ideas are local. The same IoT technology is being deployed all over the world, but a small Japanese startup might be who helps us make sense of it all. There is amazing work being done in user experience design, but most designers are operating with the contract of keeping users engaged. This is a fundamental shift from the traditional user-centered and functional design approaches. Today we sit down with Kaz Oki, founder of Mui Lab, and we talk about user design can actually improve our lives and help us disengage. We also talk about the challenges of getting VCs to invest in hardware startups, why Kyoto might be Japan's next innovation hub, and what it takes for a startup to successfully spin out of a Japanese company It's a great discussion, and I think you will really enjoy it. Show Notes How Japanese design philosophy informs user interface design How UI design got so bad Who are the early technology adopters in Japan Why VCs hesitate to invest in hardware compa

  • Japan leads the world in this one important branch of AI

    Japan leads the world in this one important branch of AI

    09/12/2019 Duração: 44min

    Technology develops differently in Japan. While US tech giants have been grabbing artificial intelligence headlines, a business AI sector has been quietly maturing in Japan, and it is now making inroads into America. Today we sit down again with Miku Hirano, CEO of Cinnamon, and we talk about how exactly this happened. Interestingly, Cinnamon did not start out as an AI company. In fact, when Miku first came on the show, the company had just launched an innovative video-sharing service. Today, we talk about what lead to the pivot to AI and why even a great idea and a great team is no guarantee of success. We also talk about some of the changing attitudes towards startups and women in Japan, the kinds of business practices AI will never change, and Miku give some practical advice for startups going into foreign markets. It's a great discussion, and I think you will really enjoy it. Show Notes How Miku invented TikTok before TickTok and why it didn’t work How you know when  its time to pivot a startu

  • DJ Selects: Why Men Need Women Founders

    DJ Selects: Why Men Need Women Founders

    26/11/2019 Duração: 40min

    Ari Horie has always had a different approach to supporting women entrepreneurs. She doesn't talk about "empowering" women and ...

  • The big reason Japanese companies can’t innovate

    The big reason Japanese companies can’t innovate

    12/11/2019 Duração: 44min

    Japanese enterprises are their own worst enemy when it comes to innovation. In this live panel discussion, I talk about my experience driving innovation at TEPCO, and Ion and Jensen share their experiences running innovation labs. This panel was part of the btrax Design for Innovation event in Tokyo last week. We talk about the specific challenges that Japanese companies are facing and the strategies we've used -- with varying degrees of success --  to help overcome them. Of course, like everyone else, I always remember the most important thing to say ten minutes too late, so I've added those thoughts to the outro at the end of the podcast. It's a great conversation with four people who really care about innovation in Japan, and I think you'll enjoy it. Links from the Panel Brandon Hill (moderator) Connect on LinkedIn Follow on Twitter @BrandonKHill the btrax homepage Tim Romero (me) You've already found me here, but we can connect on LinkedIn if you like. Or follow me on Twitter @ti

  • The hardest thing about hardware startups : Live from CEATEC

    The hardest thing about hardware startups : Live from CEATEC

    29/10/2019 Duração: 42min

    This year at CEATEC, I worked with Plug & Play Japan to bring on stage founders from two very different hardware startups. We talk in-depth about what it takes to be a hardware startup in a world where venture capital seems fixated on SaaS companies and software platforms.  Although their startups seem very different, Tomo Hagiwara and Keith Tan had very similar core experiences. Tomo and Keith share some great advice about raising money as a hardware startup, how to give large companies confidence that your product will meet their quality standards, and some pretty surprising answers to questions about the best way to go global. It's a great conversation, and I think you'll enjoy it. Links Everything you ever wanted to know about Crown Digital Learn about Aquabit Spirals Follow Tomo on twitter @hagi_w Friend him on Facebook Leave a comment

  • Artificial Intelligence’s broken promise and its secret truth

    Artificial Intelligence’s broken promise and its secret truth

    14/10/2019 Duração: 42min

    The promise of AI is easily understood by anyone with an imagination, and for 40 years, venture capitalists have been enthusiastically investing in that promise. However, it's been significantly harder for founders to turn that investment into sustainable business models.  Today we are going to look at why that is, and go over what might be a blueprint for startups to create business models around artificial intelligence. Tatsuo Nakamura founded Valuenex in 2006 with the goal of using artificial intelligence to supplement the work being done by patent attorneys, and their software was instrumental in the resolution of one of Japan's most famous, and most valuable, lawsuits.  the Blue LED patent case. We also talk about how to sell to large companies as a small startup, the challenges in trying to make product strategy based on technology, why staying private longer is not always a good thing for startups, and how Valuenex technology accidentally discovered a secret collaboration between Honda and Google.

  • DJ Selects: A Japanese MBA Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

    DJ Selects: A Japanese MBA Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

    30/09/2019 Duração: 40min

    Education is very hard to disrupt. That’s both good and bad. Education is so important to both individuals and society, it should not be changed on a whim, but over time it seems that our institutions of higher education have drifted away from meeting students real needs. Yoshito Hori, founder and CEO of Globis, is making radical changes. He turned a small training school into Japan's first independent and fully accredited business school with an MBA. Less than ten years later, Globis became Japan’s most popular MBA program. We talk about the need for change in education and about the successful, real-world pilot program Globis is running to modernize Japanese higher education. Yoshito also shares insights on how to teach innovative thinking and explains why such a high percentage of Globis MBAs go on to found starts or join them. It's a fascinating discussion and I think you'll really enjoy it. Show Notes Why most Japanese do not want to attend full-time MBA programs How to make an advanced degree

  • How scammers are using your devices to steal money

    How scammers are using your devices to steal money

    16/09/2019 Duração: 36min

    Ad-fraud is one of the most profitable activities for organized crime today. The scammers are sophisticated, disciplined, and numerous, and they might be using your IoT devices to rip people off. Over the past decade, there has been relatively little of this kind of cybercrime in Japan, but that's changing as the ad-fraud crime networks go global. Japan has to catch up and catch up fast. Unfortunately, Japan defenses have been rather poor. Today we sit down and talk with someone who is fixing that.  Satoko Ohtsuki is the founder and CEO of Phybbit, Japan's largest ad-fraud prevention network, and she's going to explain the biggest scam you've probably never heard of. Of course, we talk about the different kinds of ad-fraud and what is being done to combat them, but we also talk about how she was pushed into entrepreneurship, and the challenges of raising money (and raising children) as a female founder in Japan. It's a great discussion with one of the most interesting founders in Japan,  and I think you w

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