Dispatch from Tokyo

I don’t get out much – nearly everything I do for work and fun is on the web. So when Hideshi Hamaguchi and Toru Takasuka of Lunarr, a startup I’d written about for Web Worker Daily invited me to join 3 well-known bloggers for a weeklong visit to Tokyo and Japan’s growning startup community, I jumped at the chance.

One of the holes in my life experience has been Asia, particularly Japan, and this would be a great opportunity to see how startups/microISVs get done elsewhere than in North America and Europe firsthand, make new friends and visit a place I’ve wondered what it’s really like.

I’m in very good company:Tom Foremski [Silicon Valley Watcher] has been one of the leading journos covering this wild ride for many years, Marshall Kirkpatrick, late of Techcrunch and now ReadWriteWeb has a knack for getting to the bottom of this whirling web world we inhabit; Kristen Nicole lives social media for Mashable.

here we are!
Over the next few days I’ll be getting a firsthand taste of how the startup world really works in Japan with the help of Hideshi, Toru and Hisashi Katsuya. Hisashi – “Sam” to his linguistically challenged friends – works for IBM Japan where they very intelligently let him write his own job description as the human version of LinkedIn in the Japanese startup world – he knows everybody, connects everybody and does it while having a great time. Nice job description!

One of Hisashi’s projects is something called Venture BEAT (Business Enterprise – Entrepreneur Alliance Technology) – is a group of about 100 key people from startups, microISVs and the big companies who so dominate business and culture here who get together regularly get together in person to promote entrepreneurship, compare business notes and I’ll bet ruminate on the ever shifting tides of search engine results – kind of like what happens online at BOS and once in a while here.

I expect I’ll be doing a good deal of blogging this week here; I’ll try and keep the travel dialog/home movie narration to a minimum. As usual, what gets me going is finding new ways to improve the odds against microISVs and startups – I’ll be soaking up every good idea I can find along those lines and will be focusing on that these next few posts.

Be seeing you!


  1. The sushi seems yummy, enjoy ;-)

    Have you met Patrick Mc Kenzie in Japan ?

  2. Unfortunately, the intinerary for this trip has not left much time for such – but as my Governator would say, “I’ll be back!”