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Month: September 2013

Samurai Venture Summit #3

For those who are interested in offshore development in Vietnam.

Monthly:

  • Programmer 260K JPY
  • Bridge SE (shared) 180K JPY
  • Bridge SE (dedicated) 360K JPY

Hourly:

  • Programmer 1,800 JPY
  • Bridge SE 2,200 JPY
  • Translation Service 700 JPY
  • Tester 1,600 JPY

Grand Front Osaka

Visiting Grand Front Osaka for the first time. This is the place akin to Shibuya Hikarie, where multipurpose buildings are put together. A difference is the former is consisted of four distinct buildings and located in Osaka, and the latter is actually one 180m tall building and located in Tokyo.

The purpose of both complexes is almost same, but Grand Front puts more focuses on collaboration between academic institutions and businesses. Hence, it hosts satellite offices from nearby universities to accelerate collaboration between them as it can be found here.

Looking forward to seeing more startup activities in this region in the future.

grandfrontosaka

Boulder Colorado Being My Good Teacher

Recently I had discussion with the team of Startup Weekend Kyoto and the discussion was toward when and where we should do next event.

While there are lots of similar startup related activities happening in this region, I had feeling for long time that none of these individual activities were really connected. The information is scattered around various websites and places, and there isn’t a central place where we can get the most up-to-date info. I’m talking something like http://www.startupcolorado.com/

At Startup Colorado they provide the following information.

  • Local startup events
  • Blog posts from local entrepreneurs and investors
  • Map of local startups and supporting businesses
  • Information about community fund
  • Links to useful resources like talent recruitment

For people outside region these info are super valuable and important such that any first time visitor can reach out to any company or person and make an appointment BEFORE actually arriving to Colorado. Also, the website makes it easy to get a grasp of activities happening in the region. I don’t have any worry if I were to visit Boulder city for the first time.

Unfortunately we don’t have such a central place where we can distribute all those info. Kyoto is still a city that is considered far away to foreigners and being difficult to just get an overview of what’s going on there. So I proposed the SW Kyoto team to build a similar website like Startup Colorado and make SW related activities as contents of that website. Of course, we will need to create the rest of other contents like startup maps and blog posts from local founders. We will do that.

What I’m saying is that we need to make started related information in this region far more accessible to anyone who’s interested in startup and the city. Hence, the information must be available both in English and Japanese.

Lastly, what’s even missing is something like community fund that we can use it to fund started related activities in the region. As for SW Kyoto team, one of the biggest time consuming tasks is to find appropriate sponsors for each event to cover the fees for venue, beers and pizzas. If we could eliminate those tasks, I think it will be much easier for entrepreneurs and volunteers to holds events more frequently since they don’t have to go through mini-fundraising every time.

Disclosure: I’m hugely being inspired and biased by Brad Feld’s recent book Startup Communities right now so please excuse me for being very specific about this.

Focus on Design Rather Than Copywriting

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Mostly they are startup related. Among them, Startups For The Rest of Us is one of my favorites.

I always had a skeptical view about copywriting and thought of it having less impact on web materials as compared to copywriting on other materials such as physical brochure. This episode made total sense to me.

I’m not saying words on landing page have no meaning at all, but given that most people do not read a lot of text you cannot expect people to pick up every word you’ve put on your landing page. I think it’s more effective to focus on design and that design should be self explanatory.

Also, copywriting is language dependent. Same copywriting can be interpreted differently depending on reader’s language preference. On the other hand, design is universal language. As discussed in above podcast, Call-to-Action in yellow color always yields the best conversion rate regardless of language or copywriting. Why? It’s because color scheme which is part of design is universal.

Again, I’m not saying spending time on copywriting is totally worthless effort. It is still important factor in some other area. However, my recommendation is not to spend too much time on it. Instead, run your contest at 99designs and try to find good designer who can improve conversion rate at your landing page.

Kato

I’ve come across this startup through Brad Feld’s blog post. It feels like adding Gmail-ish search capability on top of LINE. Might be useful if I could aggregate outputs from all apps I use everyday. (e.g. LINE, Facebook Messenger, Skype.)

kato