My Story Covering TC50 On The Web

I contributed the on-site report of TechCrunch50 to paper-printed version of “IT Leaders” magazine, it’s now on web version.   (Every month it seems web version is available one-month after paper-printed version is published.)

Already three months passed since the event.

If you’re interested in reading the story, here it is (click the image below).

TC50 Press Coverage Page

Then I was taken in the picture embedded on the column of Ms. Satomi Ichimura, who is a translator for TechCrunch Japanese.   (The man wearing a white jacket on the upper-left corner is me)


Celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Asiajin

An English tech blog reporting web business from Japan to all around the world, “Asiajin” celebrates its 1st anniversary.  The blog was originally founded by Akky Akimoto and Shunichi Arai, I also sometimes contrubute some stories since last fall.


Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing other authors and drinking together to cerebrate, rather than just to congratulate.

I cannot write a lot in these days to blogs and magazines, but I will be able to do that and travel the world more next year because my current job takes a while at the end of this year.

Le Web was held in Paris last week, honestly I booked air and accomodation, and also I got an invitation from the event’s host Loic Le Meur, but I couldn’t go there and attend.

Hmmm, my absence from Tokyo for a week might be flown upon.    I’m not unskillful to handle this.

By the way, WiFi condition at Le Web was not so good as last fall event of Tech Crunch, they seems so up in arms.

Notice: Dave McClure’s Seminar to be held on Dec. 19th

I got an e-mail announcing an event from Andrew Shuttleworth or tokyo2point0’s organizer.

He hosts a seminar in Shibuya for those who are interested in launching tech start-up.   Dave McClure, who is an advisor for several web2.0 start-ups and an angel investor at Founders Fund, will have a lecture there.

Simultaneous interpretation to Japanese available.   Admission fee is 10,000 yen.

Unfortunately I cannot be there to listen in, because I’m drawing at a work in the year-end.

I get e-mails from many U.S. entrepreneuers, they say unanimously:

   “We should launch start-up and start business in such a downturn time indeed.”

Even U.S. big three autos are getting harder to survive in these days, however, anyone who starts something new would be admired in any day.

Defeat recession, and I wish more Internet start-ups would be born in 2009 as well.

Internet Invades TV Industry’s Business?

Terror attacked Mumbai, and two Bangkok airports were closed due to occupation by anti-government protesters.

Thailand is a heart-warming Buddhism country, even if whatever happens, the king can resolve whole things finally.   I’m concerned about the situation in India rather than that in Thailand.

CNN International has arranged a-week-long special coverage of Indian business this week, their correspondent Andrew Stevens would have live reports from Mumbai, but its programming and staffs has been entirely turned to those for terrorism reporting.

There are some influential media companies in India, one of them is “Network 18”, they’re operating a news channel “CNN-IBN” jointly with CNN.

Temporarily CNN-IBN’s TV feed is now available on “Live Station”, an Internet streaming service venture headqurtered in UK, even CNN international uses live pictures brought by Live Station, and also reporting the situation with satellite images provided by Google Earth and discussion with some bloggers living in Mumbai.

Even now here in Japan, there is a boundary between “broadcasting” and “telecommunication” in terms of legal perspective, but I think this week’s terror reporting by CNN is a case that Internet agressively invades TV business.

Streaming service provider “Live Station” does only re-transmit TV news feeds for Internet connection as far as I see, I’m very interested in how they make money from their business.

I found Om Mark from his tech blog “GigaOM” features an interview of Live Station’s CEO.

I watch CNN-IBN every night.   I’m getting used to listen to dialects in Indian English.

Just like big changes happening in science technologies when we face energy crisis,
every time war and terror-related big news is coming up, news medium change their forms and appearances.

It’s a cynical fact.

Dinner with Jason Calacanis and Influensive Bloggers

Founder of human powered search engine “Mahalo”, and also co-founder of Tech Crunch 50, Jason Calacanis is now in Tokyo, I was invited to his dinner party.

Mr. Umihiko Namekawa and Mr. Nobuo Takahashi, translators of TechCrunch Japanese Edition,
Dan Kogai, a well-known blogger as well as former CTO of Livedoor,
Mr. Motohiko Tokuriki from Agile Media Network,
Masato Kogure authoring famous blog “Netaful”, Mr. Masaki Ishitani from blog “Mitaimon”,
and Mr. Serkan Toto, Tech Crunch writer.

Everyone is witnessed often on the blogosphere.

I’ve posted several stories to Asiajin, I saw its organizer Akky Akimoto there for the first time.

One of TechCrunch translators, Takahashi-san gave me his brandnew book translated by him.

It was written by the founders of a San Francisco-based consulting firm “Adaptive Path”, and they’re famous as inventing the terms such as “Ajax” and “blog”.      I started reading it and I will post my comment on that later.

We did split the bill there, Kogai-san did not have enough amount of Japanse yen to pay, he looked so cheerful and paid in Euro instead.

Last weekend, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi-UFJ stopped their teller machines nationwide due to the maintenance for large-scale scheduled system migration, I was not able to withdraw my money from my account, it causes lacks of Japanese yen in my wallet as well.   Only U.S. Dollar and Korean Won left.

The New Context Conference 2008

Day 2, the New Context Conferenfce 2008, Ebisu, Tokyo.

I didn’t have enough time to attend the entire event despite it’s been held in my office’s neighbourhood.   I attended only the last session of the event.

It’s titled, “What’s the Next Big Thing?”

This phrase reminds me of the blog written by Don Dodge, Business Development Director for Microsoft Corporation.    I think I’m not only one who remember that with the name.

Almost all of the panels at the last session were entrepreneuers and venture capitalists coming from Silicon Valley, they concluded basically “everyone should go to Silicon Valley for start up somthing new without fearing failures.”

On the other hand, in terms of advertising reach to large number population, China and India are very attractive.   That’s one of the reason why Google starts developing Android cellphone platform.   I’ve been feeling the emerging growth of China even at these kind conferences in these days.

I’m finishing my write-up because I’m a little bit busy today to prepare for an in-company meeting tonight and for contributing to a magazine.

Finally, I appreciate organizing such a great conference and the hard work of Digital Garage and Mr. Joi Ito, although it’s hard time now for them because Digital Garage showed 2.4billion yen loss in the previous accounting period.

Web 2.0 Expo Tokyo has been canceled, maybe New Context Conference is this year’s last one of this kind conference in Japan.

Thank all who got things done.

More Difficult than Expected to sell Ringtone at iTMS Japan

It’s really in late fall on Japanese calendar, but a little bit earlier to see the season’s most beautiful mountains covered with fall foliage.   Here in Lake Yamanaka, there is an annual fall foliage festival for two-weeks-long starting last weekend.

My mentor invited me here, and I talked a lot about Apple and its surroundings with him and Matsuki-san.

Matsuki-san, who has been releasing and selling Audiobook series at iTune Music Store (iTMS) Japan, started selling some albums of ringtones for iPhone as well.

iTMS U.S. allowed users to pick a specific 30-second-part of tunes listed, for setting it to ringtone of their own iPhones.

Japanese edition does not have such a feature, which maybe depends on the difference of copyright control system in each nation.   In Japan, “Chaku-Melo” (ringtone without performer’s voice singing lyric) requires paying copyright fee only to its composer via JASRAC or Japan’s copyright control authority, but “Chaku-Uta” (ringtone with performer’s voice singing lyric) does paying fees both to its record label company as well as to its composer.   But if someone picked a short-time part of an entire tune and made it a ringtone of his or her iPhone device, iTMS Japan would have no business scheme to handle it.

Matsuki-san overcame these issues and started selling brand-new Chaku-Uta tunes at iTMS Japan.   iTMS Japan does not allow to pick a specific part of tunes listed, but you may bring your favourite ringtone to your iPhone by the procedure almost same as that of U.S. edition described above.

At MOSA’s seminar scheduled on November 8th, he intends to explain how to overcome the issues on registration to iTMS and AppStore.

So stay tuned on that.

Live Stream by iPhone Alone

When I was participating Tech Crunch 50 in San Francisco last month, I found a cute Chinese-American girl at an exhibitor’s booth.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a shot with her then, but she explained qik, an innovative cellphone stream-casting service.

She said “So far you may not use qik application unless your iPhone jail broken. But may I have your business card for future notice?”

That’s why I dropped her my card.

This week I got a custom-made qik iPhone app from them (I think it would be only for TechCrunch 50 attendees), which can be installed onto jail-unbroken iPhone, actually I did. And I ran it on my way to home.

It realizes about 250kbps uplink throughput at average, in the bus travelling as fast as 50 kilometers an hour.

Its motion comes up smoothly. You may bring a live streaming with an iPhone device alone. Both visual and audio quality are not so bad.

Because qik may cause overload to cellphone network and cellphone carriers claimed it to Apple, qik application is not available at iPhone AppStore. Then I found an interview of Mr. Miyakawa, Softbank Mobile’s CTO.

Softbank Mobile will start discount sales of Planex WiFi routers in order to reduce the traffic of the company’s cellphone 3G network, but I think they had better distribute FON routers for free instead. And if they distribute it together with Yahoo BB’s ISP contract, they earn the money in an entire company group, although cellphone carrier and ISP are different Softbank’s subsidiaries.

Let me say it again, qik is a completely good work. When we watch TV live programs covering F1 car race championships, we see live pictures by “on-board camera” which is embedded in running cars. Similarly, how about marathon runner’s neck-hanging iPhone with qik application? It enables livecasting at the level of athlete’s sights as TV watchers would be running together with, and it gains a sense of really being there.

If a number of runners use qik with iPhone at huge events like Tokyo Marathon and Oume Marathon, for instance, it would be very interesting as social movements, but Softbank Mobile will give up to keep the service availability.

I wonder if IBM’s WiFi handover technologies would be spread over more in the near future to solve the problem.

Open Web Asia 2008

I’m in Seoul.

There is a syndication site called “Open Web Asia“, which organizes tech blogs reporting web industries and services from every nation in Asia. The site’s organizers held an event in Seoul today, which is named “Open Web Asia ’08“.

Today I brought you live stream of the conference, and recorded video have been already uploaded to Asiajin.

Only the first session was not uploaded due to technical difficulties on WiFi, I will do that later.

Enjoy the show.

Meeting Two Andrews

I visited Cerego Japan’s office in Shibuya, and Mr. Andrew Shuttleworth, co-organizer of a Tokyo-based monthly event “tokyo2point0”, introduced me to Mr. Andrew Smith Lewis, founder of the company.

When Cerego Japan released an application called “BrainSpeed” around the beginning of this year,  I covered a story about their language learning site “iKnow!” in my serial column of Fuji Sankei Business-i Newspaper.   But this time, I got so impressed with a new style of learning languages one another by the contents created by the users themselves, and the new type of advertising based business model that I’ve never heard of.

(Right) Andrew Smith Lewis, Founder of Cerego Japan
(Left)  Andrew Shuttleworth, Organizer of tokyo2point0

Cerego Japan won an award called “DEMOgods” at a tech conference “DEMO”, which was held in the 2nd week of last month, I could not witness it because I was in San Francisco to attend Tech Crunch 50.

I’m looking forward to iKnow’s new features coming soon.

CNET Japan covers iKnow! and Cerego Japan in detail.,2000056936,20367453,00.htm