all white zip up hoodie Why Japan lost its tech edge to Silicon Valley
Satoshi Sugie, CEO of Whill, showed off his startup's Electric "personal mobile devices "--An advanced wheelchair that can be controlled with a smartphone app and can handle almost any level of terrain.Lesssatgie Sugie, CEO of Whill, showed off his startup's Electric "personal mobile devices "--An advanced wheelchair that can be controlled with a smartphone app and can handle almost any level of terrain.lessTOKYO —In Japan, many young, ambitious men and women dream of working in a big and stable company.Cong Sugie added one.He quit his job as a design engineer for Nissan Motor.In 2009, he taught a year in China and then developed an idea for a technology startup.Now, he leads Whill, a fashion network.Connected electric wheelchair with unusual pedals for handling any terrain.His more than 20 colleagues include refugees from Japan's economic pillars, such as Sony and Toyota."I like to take risks," said Sugie, a 32-year-old Wheeler CEO .".In the Gulf, the leap from safe corporate work to struggling startups is a ritual shared by generations of tech entrepreneurs.In Japan, however, it is a radical act.Differences in attitudeStartup, corporate culture and riskHelp explain why Japan has lost leadership in technology."Things are getting better and better, there are more startups coming up, but there are still many people who like these big companies," said Sugie ."Shirt and gray zipperGive him the feeling of a SoMa veteran."The Japanese environment for startups is just beginning.Japan once attracted the world through Walkman, video recorder, CD and video game consoles.The name of the country has become a global brand, marking advanced technology.Designed for daily use.America's competitors seem to be one step behind, if not a little."Agile style is necessary, but Japan's lead is gone as the new century approaches.The IPod and iPhone were not invented in Japan.Yahoo and Google.Or Amazon and Alibaba.Or Facebook and Twitter.Or Airbnb and Uber."We need a more agile style in the last 20 years," said Yamadera, founder of software and web services company Eyes in June."A breakthrough technology always starts in the United States.S.Ask young Japanese what websites they use, and Google and Yahoo Japan are usually top of the list.Apple has sold more smartphones in China than Sony and Toshiba."I love the design and it's easy to use," said 36-year-old Megumi Kosasa outside the Apple store in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo.She is not bothered because the iPhone is not a Japanese phone.In fact, she sees the popularity of the phone as an advantage globally."Everyone in the world knows how to use the iPhone," she said ."."This is not the case with Samsung or Sony.What happened to the immigration factor?Immigration is probably the answer.Silicon Valley has attracted talent from all over the world, and Japan has very strict restrictions on immigration.In some years, more engineers have been working in H1-B David Weinstein, head of the department of economics at Columbia University, said there were more visas than those who graduated from American universities."To understand the impact of high-tech immigration, imagine if every AmericanS.The tech company fired all their foreigners.Professor Weinstein said the Japanese economy.“U.S.Leaders will collapse.At the same time, some entrepreneurs have accused Japan of attaching importance to the lifetime employment of large stable companies.Like their "working-class" fathers, many young Japanese are still pursuing the corporate route rather than joining a startup or moving from one business to another.These companies are also often risk-averse."When you graduate, you want to work for Panasonic or Toshiba or similar companies," said Robert Lane, CEO of Tokyo-based online translation service Gengo."We had an intern a few years ago and it was difficult for the intern to explain to his parents what the startup was.The parents just accepted it.The founder of IdeasYamadera is lucky.He failed in college, did odd jobs in Tokyo for a few years (including being captain of the Jungle Cruise at Tokyo Disneyland), and finally returned to his hometown of Izu --Wakamatsu does translation on computerUniversity of Science.The founder of the school told him to think more."He said, 'If you are a smart student in America, people will never go to big companies --They set up their own company .""So I am the child of the revolution.In 1995, at the age of 26, he founded his own company to build web pages for customers.Since then, the eyes have expanded to computer graphics and network security for medical devices.Its latest project even further down the roadCombination of bicycles-Environmental monitoring and advertising.Yamadera is proud of his strange ideas. His speech is full of Silicon Valley language.He often goes to San Francisco and greets tourists with blue bottles of coffee.His business card says "chief chaos officer ".Books like "cooking for geeks" and "singularity is nearby" are packed with Aizu's eye office and a sandbag with Yamadera's face on it.He said there are still risks in Japan's technology industry.Too obsessed with hardware.While this is China's traditional advantage, competitors in China, South Korea or elsewhere can now quickly copy any hardware.In contrast, the current boom in the Gulf region is focused on software, using computers, tablets and mobile phones as platforms.Means the end."I don't think Japanese software companies are innovating at all," Yamadera said ."."Of course, there are some big software companies in Japan, such as game companies.But how does the game change the world?"It was not until recently that the world's third-largest fund lacked funds --The largest economy also lacks a financial ecosystem.Angel investors and venture investorsWhat startups needVenture capital companies in Japan have invested $1.According to data from the center of Japanese startups, a consulting firm, 4 billion last year.That's up 57% from 2012, but it's dwarfed by $33.1 billion of venture capitalists investing in the United StatesS.The company that Ernst & Young tracked last year.When Laing and his business partner Matthew Romaine came up with the idea of Gengo in 2008, they wanted to set up the company in Tokyo.But they had to fly to the Bay Area to find money."We bought tickets, stayed in a very cheap hotel and sold four times a day to angel investors," said Laing, from Australia."This is the acceleration and decline of 101."Ryan and Roman are considering moving Rodrigo to the United States.But both companies, like Japan, have a private relationship with Japan and see it as the main market for their services, which will quickly connect customers with translators around the world.In addition, they can hire engineers in Tokyo, 30% to 40% less than in the Bay Area.Since they flew to Silicon Valley, the start-up scene and venture capital community in Japan have started to grow during the years they worked in tandemIn.Incubators such as Movida japan and SamuraiIncubate have sprung up to nurture young companies.The Japanese subsidiary of Silicon Valley VC giant Draper Fisher (sj), a Draper affiliate, launched in 2011."While the old Japan continues to remember the good times that dominate the hardware and low-end markets"The expensive cars, the youth, the students, the business plan competition and the incubator bring some incredible creativity," says Tim Draper ." Draper Fisher (sj) participated in the cloth store Nexus 'investment committee, one of the founders.The Japanese government was even involved in cultural output, setting up the Cool Japan Fund last year ".Private Partnerships to finance companies selling Japanese products and culture overseas.In September, the company funded the Tokyo Otaku model, a website that sells Japanese pop-culture goods."If you compare Japan or Tokyo to Silicon Valley, the scale is completely different, but now there is something, not nothing," Laing said .".Whill, Sugie's startup, has a stylish electric wheelchair with a focus on hardwareJust like the company he and his colleagues left.But Whill represents a risk because its 24 employees are trying to get into a business that is completely different from what they know.Sugie traced the company's idea back to meeting a wheelchair user who wanted something better in 2010.He smiled brightly and said loudly, "Thank you!When told that his chair looked like an Apple thing.So far, 50 pieces have been delivered to customers in Japan and the United States.If everything goes according to planIn Taiwan, mass production will begin as chairs sell for $9,500.Whill has raised $13 million from Japanese and foreign investors including Sun Microsystems co-Founder Scott mcnelliSugie said he has held meetings with Toyota, Hyundai and Panasonic, although these conversations have not yet led to alliances or investments."They just wanted to see what we were doing," he said ."."We are rare in Japan.So crazy guy!"While small and risky companies still have doubts, Laing believes that China has the right ingredients for frugal and innovative tech startups.A highly educated workforce that has grown up immersed in technology.Large population, rich, more than 1 out of 3 of the population of the United States.And legendary dedication to the long hours of work that startups need."I don't see any reason why it won't grow, but it just takes time," Laing said ."."The problem is that people always want to create a Silicon Valley overnight, which really takes decades.”David R.Baker is a staff member of the San Francisco Chronicle.He recently traveled to Japan for a trip organized and funded by a Foreign Press Center/Japan, a non-profit organization that arranges briefings and programs for foreign journalists residing or visiting the countryE-Postage: dbaker @ sfchronicle.