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Last update: 2015-03-30

Show 16: Innovating by Asking for Help – Eiko Hashiba

2015-03-30 :: Tim Romero, Eiko Hashiba
Length: 34s

Startup founders know that going from zero to one means not only making mistakes, but also asking for help. Unfortunately, in Japan asking for help has traditionally been seen as a sign of weakness.  In both professional and personal life you are expected to be either a confident leader or an obedient follower.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 15: Tea Ceremony in Blue Jeans & Startup Lessons

2015-03-16 :: Tim Romero
Length: 37s

Investors were skeptical that combining traditional face-to-face learning with a P2P web platform would work. Over the past three years, startup founder Takashi Fujimoto of StreetAcademy has been proving them wrong. Takashi is showing Japan that the new does not have to replace the old. … Continue Reading -->

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Show 14: Bursting the Filter Bubble – Atsuo Fujimura

2015-03-02 :: Tim Romero, Astsuo Fujimura
Length: 33s

One Japanese startup founder is on a mission to change not only the way we think about the news, but the way we think about each other. The “filter bubble” is a term that describes the natural, but tragic, result of search engines and news services giving us more and more of what we want.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 13: The Japan Startup Factory – Casey Wahl – Red Brick Ventures

2015-02-16 :: Tim Romero, Casey Wahl
Length: 33s

Casey has been on the founding team of several Japanese startups in markets ranging from from retailing, to recruiting, to information sharing, to private social networks for pachinko parlors. Add to that the fact that he’s just published a book on Japanese startup founders and their stories, and you won’t be surprised to find that this turns out to be a pretty interesting discussion.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 12: Music, Maids & Startups – Hiroshi Asaeda – Beatrobo

2015-02-02 :: Tim Romero
Length: 35s

Starting and growing companies is nothing new to Hiro. He’s been doing it his whole adult life. In his younger days, he always felt caught somewhere between Japanese and American culture, never really belonging to either. Hiro found inspiration in an unlikely place; Nintendo games.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 11: Japan’s Seeds of Disruption

2015-01-19 :: Tim Romero
Length: 22s

The phrases “disruptive innovation” and “disruptive business” are thrown around far too often and far too loosely these days. Of course, at first glance, it would seem that the same charge could be leveled against this podcast. This is a special one-on-one episode where we talk about what disruptive innovation really means.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 10: Yusuke Takahashi – AppSocially

2015-01-05 :: Tim Romero, Yusuke Takahashi
Length: 35s

Yusuke epitomizes the new generation of Japanese startup founders. That means he is exactly the opposite of what most Westerners picture as a startup founder in Japan.  He left a fast-track, high-status job in academia to start one startup after another, in both Tokyo and in San Francisco, and while Yusuke has not achieved a massive Silicon Valley style exit just yet, there is no doubt he is on his way.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 9: Masanori Hashimoto – NuLab

2014-12-22 :: Tim Romero, Masa Hashimoto
Length: 29s

Masanori Hashimoto is the hardest woking slacker in Fukuoka. He’s bootstrapped a collaborative diagramming company that is growing internationally and founded Myojyowaraku, the largest technology, music and arts festival this side of South By Southwest.

Masa and I talk a lot about the importance of work-life balance, and Masa puts almost as much effort into supporting the startup, technology and arts scene in Fukuoka as he does building his own company.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 8: Akiko Naka – Wantedly

2014-12-08 :: Tim Romero, Akiko Naka
Length: 38s

Akiko Naka is an amazing woman. When you first meet, her reserved and unassuming manner makes you wonder if she really knows how potentially transformative her ideas and her company are. As you get to know Akiko, however, it becomes clear she knows exactly what she’s doing.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 7: Taku Harada – Peatix

2014-11-24 :: Tim Romero, Taku Harada
Length: 36s

Taku walked away from the kind of a career that most people dream of. He had proven himself at Sony Music, Apple and in his late twenties he was quickly rising thought he ranks at Amazon Japan. He and his friends knew they had an amazing career ahead of them, and that terrified them.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 6: Tadashi Tanimoto – Realcom & Tenex

2014-11-10 :: Tim Romero
Length: 36s

Tadashi Tanimoto is a man with a big successes behind him and a big dream ahead of him. The IPO of Realcom was just a milestone in a longer journey to change the way people work together and share information. Now, I realise, that sounds like a typical committee-written and board-approved mission statement from any number of enterprise software companies.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 5: Jason Winder – MakeLeaps

2014-10-27 :: Tim Romero
Length: 37s

Jason came to Japan from Australia to study martial arts, and his company MakeLeaps is now kicking ass in online invoicing. Jason bootstrapped MakeLeaps himself and he and his partner, Paul Oswald grew the company organically,  acquired two of their domestic competitors, and recently became the first Japanese company to receive funding from an AngelList syndicate.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 4: Ikuo Hiraishi – Sunbridge & More

2014-10-13 :: Tim Romero
Length: 28s

The startup ecosystems in America and Europe are built around people like Ikuo, but men like him are still quite rare in Japan. After founding a series of successful (and a few less than successful) startups, Ikuo moved to the other side of the table and begin investing and mentoring.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 3: Naoki Yamada – Conyac

2014-09-29 :: Tim Romero, Naoki Yamada
Length: 28s

It was a unique combination of Naoki’s adventure driving through the US, his ongoing frustration in working for a large Japanese firm, and his love of an anime character from his childhood that inspired him to start his own venture and to try to change the way we communicate with each other via translation.  … Continue Reading -->

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Show 2: Chika Terada – Sansan

2014-09-15 :: Tim Romero, Chika Terada
Length: 29s

Business cards are far more important in Asia than they are in the West. Business cards command the same level of respect and deference as the person they belong to. Here in Japan, there are many times when a business conversation cannot get underway until all cards have been exchanged and everyone knows exactly who they are dealing with.… Continue Reading -->

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Show 1: Japan’s Coming Startup Boom

2014-09-01 :: Tim Romero
Length: 11s

Far too many people, including many of the Japanese themselves, consider Japanese society as inflexible and unable to change.  This is simply wrong.

In this kickoff episode we look at what was behind the two disruptive, transformative really, changes that  Japanese society has been through in the past, and examine the groundwork that is being laid for the coming startup boom.… Continue Reading -->

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Disrupting Japan

The Japan Startup Podcast - Inside Stories

Disrupting Japan


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