Celebrate My Friend’s Company Was Purchased By NTT

We can find the financial term “taken over” in Japanese dictionary, but nor for its opposite meaning.

As for M&A meaning merge & acquisition, “merge” has feeling of neutral and the third-party view in it, and “acquisition” has a buyer’s perspective.

I think it is strange that both sides should be treated in equal but it is always mentioned with the buyer’s view.

A friend of mine, whom I used to get along with,  Takeshi Izuka founded a company called “Digital Forest” ten years ago, and it was recently taken over by NTT Communications.

Usually bid price is not disclosed for private purchase, but the company made it in public and we learned it was JPY2.4B.


Digital Forest Website Screenshot


For a company which raised fund money from VC companies, IPO and MPO used to be typical way to exit to the market.   But in these days when market condition is truly bad, their way will be getting more natural.    We have a number of examples that a venture takes over another venture in Japan, on the other hand, NTT-like traditional companies used to take over no start-up company.

The following picture is Mt. Fuji seen from Yamanaka Lake where I visited last weekend.   It was sunny sky but zero degree Celsius and snowing powderly in the morning.

Mt. Fuji from Yamanaka Lakeside

Celebrate The New Book Published

There’s a project in which people think how the local journalism should be, and they created a book written by 100 authors.


There was a meet-up and party to celebrate its publication at Rikkyo University.

It was written by press people, reporters, journalists and students who intend to work with broadcasters.

The book will not be top sellers, but you can order it at any book store in Japan because the distribution number is assigned to specify the title.  It will be also stored at the Japan’s National Diet Library.
(ISBN 978-4-9904629-0-1)

When I received an offer to contribute for the book from a friend of mine, I was in the United States and heard many news stories about effects of recession.   That’ why I wrote some pages of how the Internet venture companies can contribute for the world to conquer the recession.


Many people working with press industry think so seriously about how news media should change its business model.

Had A Talk Session About LV Conf. At Internet Assc. Japan

On March 12th, I had a talk session at the Enterprise 2.0 / SaaS Study Group of the Internet Association Japan,  and reported FASTforward ’09 which was held in Las Vegas last month and I attended.

Internet Association Japan

FASTfoward is an event specifically focusing on the Enterprise Search solutions, but most people talked about today’s enterprise IT trends such as changing  the way of working and the clouds.

You can see the live coverage of the event at the organizer’s my page at http://myff09.com.   (You can find a promotional code to sign-up for free, and it allows you to login to see them.)

Besides, my story covering the event will be on the next edition of IT Leaders Magazine.

A Sweet Address on the Chocolate

This year’s first edition of tokyo2point0 was held last Monday.

Several hosting provider companies gave the presentation on their services in the event.

One of the presenters gave away chocolates to attendees as shown below.

QR Code on the Chocolate

There’s QR code on it, your cellphone may show you the presenter’s promotion website only by scanning the code.

Japanese subsidiary of Chocolate Graphics from Australia introduces this product.

It would not be suitable for the Valentine Day’s present due to its minimum order lot. But this is a good idea for a girl having many boy friends, if she wants to distribute many chocolates on which the code for her own blog’s URL is embedded.

I heard from another sources that business conditions of hosting providers are mostly going well because their client companies have to comply with newly introduced security countermeasure law called J-SOX, and they are forced to switch their own hosting to outsoutced environment, despite the hosting service itself is not so innovative.

Upgrading My Blog Environment to PHP5

PHP Logo

My Japanese blog is hosted on iza!, I really need not consider its environment, but my English blog is running on the environment of my own so that I may try new experimentals.

Finally, I did upgrade the environment of English one from PHP4 to PHP5.

As you may know, support for PHP4 has been discontinued since last year, I think I must finish using this, but some technical problems occured, it was a little bit hard to solve them.

Upgrading to PHP5 has been completed, it improved totally the blog’s system perfomarnce including more rapid screen output.

Today I’m relatively free to do something, soon or later I will be able to migrate my web applications running on PHP4 as well as the blog.

Where’s IT Going This Year?

Already three days passed since new year has come, but still I can say probably happy new year to all of you.

By the way, I resigned my position as managing director for Skywill Inc., at the end of year 2008.   Skywill is the fourth company that I’ve been involved as a founder, six years passed since the company’s foundation, I determined to entrust it over to my colleagues, and to take a new step to something new next, because I’m sure the company has got on the right track even in today’s economic downturn.

Previously as I wrote on this blog that I got an invitation from Andrew Shuttleworth about Dave McClure’s Seminar in Shibuya last month,  it is favaorably evaluated and helpful for us to think what to do to start up our business in 2009.

For instance, Nobi Hayashi’ s comment on the event (Japanese):

I put here the slide and the video of his presentation.
(I couldn’t find the video recording last month’s event in Shibuya, and the video below is the one of his event last October in San Francisco instead.)

May the year of 2009 be an excellent for all.



Subject to Change

TechCrunch Japan’s translator, Nob Takahashi gave me his recent work titled “Subject to Change” last month, and I finished reading it after all.

Cover of "Subject to Change"

Terms like “user experience” and “customer experience” are frequently quoted in the book.

  • Marissa Mayer at Google has the title of “Vice President of Search Product and User Experience, it is translated to Japanese as 検索製品および利便性向上担当副社長 according to Google Japan’s website, which means Vice President in charge of usability improvement. Who turned user experience to usability improvement in the process of translation?

Because I started my carrier as a programmer, I cannot avoid myself to start thinking everything with technlogy/engineering oriented basis, but the book tells us:

Every company provides with a certain service in order to let its clients obtain user experience expected,


In order to realize the service, the company is creating a certain product,


And in order to create the product, the company is developing technologies.

I should see in my life more deeply what the book tells us.

One of the recommendations for your reading in the new year’s holiday season.

I just awared recently that actually I visited the office of Adaptive Path when I was in San Francisco last Spring.


Brandon Shauer and David Verba, co-author of this book’s original, had a lecture at Google Headquarter, and I found its video on YouTube.

There’s a caption of “Google Confidential” at the top of the video, I wonder it is still ranked as a confidential, even on YouTube and it was uploaded probably by someone from Google.

Meeting Again Rudi Lumanto in Tokyo

It’s been long time since I met Rudi Lumanto previously.   He was working as an employee at my company in its early phase.

Rudi Lumanto and me in Shibuya

He quit the company several years ago, returned to his home in Indonesia, and founded a science venture named “Edwar Technology” with his friends.

Edwar Technology developed a device called “4D scanner”, which enables seeing through the object with tomographic technology, and they have been delivering scanners to the clients including Ohio State University and U.S. Department of Energy.

“4” of “4D (dimention)” comes from a feature of “realtimeness” besides three dimentional capturing feature, and the object to be captured requires no pause.

As my perspective of an average consumer, I think this technology enables security check without taking our belts and shoes off at the imigration office of Narita Airport, thus the check is possible even at the gate to aircraft.

All of four directors for the company hold doctoral degrees, and also all have experiences of studying here in Japan.   I think I will visit their office in Jakarta some day next year.

I wish their business will grow up more in the near future.

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.

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.