About Contributor

David Corbin

David is exploring the world of tech in Japan. It's a big world so sometimes he has to check Google Maps. Thank goodness for Google Maps. He likes comedy, beer, root beer, and headphones. He dislikes fax machines, spoilers, garlic naan, and the number 73. Send him a message if you are passing through Tokyo!
Thanks for sharing Stuart! It was fun working with you on the pitch. You did great!

Commented 3 days ago on

Five lessons from pitching at Tech in Asia conference!
Can't wait for his session! What questions to people want to ask?

Commented 6 days ago on

What’s the hard thing about hard things? Ben Horowitz will tell you at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2015
Hi Akiko, thanks for joining this discussion! My question is about cool products. Was Wantedly your first idea for a company? Were there other businesses you considered making after you left Facebook?

Commented 7 days ago on

I’m Akiko Naka, the founder & CEO of Wantedly. Ask me anything!
Thanks for the nuanced response. Will be fun to see if anyone can solve both models at once!

Commented 1 week ago on

I’m Porter Erisman, a former Alibaba Vice-President & author of ‘Alibaba’s World’. AMA!
Thank you Porter for joining the AMA. I'm learning a lot! My question relates to global expansion of ecommerce companies. Alibaba and Rakuten are the strongest ecommerce players in Asia but both are making very slow progress overseas. Does ecommerce ultimately operate in a domestic market?

Commented 1 week ago on

I’m Porter Erisman, a former Alibaba Vice-President & author of ‘Alibaba’s World’. AMA!
A lot of JP firms still rely on pen/paper to record office visitors. Hope Envoy and similar services catch on soon.

Commented 1 week ago on

Office check-in system Envoy raises $15M, signs up Rakuten as it expands to Japan
We got even more to get excited about. Keep watching this space!

Commented 1 week ago on

2 more speakers you need to hear from at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2015
Thanks for the reply!

Commented 1 week ago on

We’re Paul and Kian, co-founders of Lamudi. Ask us anything!
Thanks for doing this AMA! You've expanded into so many different countries - do you find that customers have the same needs in each country? If different, what are some of the differences?

Commented 1 week ago on

We’re Paul and Kian, co-founders of Lamudi. Ask us anything!
I'm not a founder, but I think the issue of culture fit should focus on how a person works and produces, not on superficial likes/dislikes. These sorts of qualities are good things to consider: -curiosity -tenacity -willingness to learn -adaptability People sometimes confuse culture fit with an ability to talk to someone easily. It's not an issue of if you get along with someone - it's an issue of if you can depend on someone in your startup's foxhole.

Commented 1 week ago on

Is hiring for culture fit a good thing?
Thanks @Jon Russell:disqus! I agree that the language barrier might be a large component. If second language skills (doesn't have to be English) are lacking, then local entrepreneurs have an automatic cap on both their target market and their ability to access outside ideas/trends. Aside from population advantages, both India and Indonesia have so many citizens who speak 2 or 3 languages.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

I’m Jon Russell, Asia-based writer for TechCrunch – AMA!
Thanks for the AMA, Jon! My question is the rate of development of different tech communities in Asia. Indonesia and India stick out as countries where infrastructure still poses problems, but the tech community is growing and entrepreneurs are multiplying. On the other hand, tech communities in countries like Thailand or Vietnam seem to be developing a bit more slowly. Is it just an issue of difference in population/economy size? Or is there another reason why some tech scenes are hot while others are lukewarm?

Commented 2 weeks ago on

I’m Jon Russell, Asia-based writer for TechCrunch – AMA!
Now I'd like to read "Highly Esteemed Wisdom for Young Capitalist Endeavours Embarking on the Journey of a Lifetime."

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Great fucking startup advice
Thanks! Been curious about that for a while.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

I’m Honma a Japanese tech investor living in Singapore. AMA!
Hi Honma-san, thanks for the AMA! My question is about exit size. What constitutes a successful exit (generally speaking) in SEA? 500 Startups has recently been saying fund managers should be happy if their portfolio has a decent number of $100M+ exits. Do you agree that $100M is the key number? Does your answer change in the Japan context?

Commented 2 weeks ago on

I’m Honma a Japanese tech investor living in Singapore. AMA!
The 1M figure might be gained through creative accounting, but it's not entirely out of the question. For Q3/2014, there were 154M taxi app users in China. Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache took the lion's share of the user-base. "Other" taxi apps had 0.7% - that translates to just over 1M users. If you assume Uber has grown since Q3, 1M rides isn't so unbelievable. (source) https://www.techinasia.com/chinas-taxi-app-market-breaks-150-million-users-totally-dominated-apps/

Commented 2 weeks ago on

1M rides a day? Questions about Uber’s growth claims in China
I'd be real interested to know the pros-cons of news feed algorithms across various services like FB, Flipboard, and Smartnews. Google won search because it built the best engine. Who's gonna be the one to definitely nail curation algorithms?

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Are we slave to Facebook’s algorithm?
Awesome to see TIA reporting on Cambodia from the ground. I wonder what the popular startup ideas are these days. For instance, in JP it's not uncommon to hear someone tout the next big e-commerce or sharing economy app.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

This is where the Cambodian startup ecosystem is in 2015
Thanks for taking time to respond! Looking forward to seeing more from your team :-)

Commented 3 weeks ago on

We’re team Pie, building deliciously simple chat for work. Ask Us Anything!! (AUA)
I heard that you were invited to Cupertino to work on an Apple Watch app. Was that an opportunity you sought out or did they find you guys? How do you think the watch can impact the industry you're in?

Commented 3 weeks ago on

We’re team Pie, building deliciously simple chat for work. Ask Us Anything!! (AUA)
Seems reasonable if the market really doesn't know what ecommerce is or how it works. Think about travel agencies - there are a million combinations of airlines/hotels/tours/etc out there and, for the non-experienced traveler, having someone hold their hand through the process of planning a trip is valuable. Kudo's approach can work if they earn a reputation for finding their clients amazing (and reasonably priced) products that the individual would not have usually found. Wonder if they train their staff to be curation experts...?

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Indonesia’s Kudo gets more funding from Emtek to give ecommerce a human touch
So many 3D printing pens these days - I think the companies need to start doing a better job of explaining why they are better than the competitors.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Singapore’s CreoPop raises seed funding round for its 3D printing pen
Yes, definitely possible. I'd say that as a foreigner you need to be more careful about where you land. Any startup is risky - something rising in 2015 could be bottoming out by 2016. Personally, I think it is best to take the leap only if you believe in the company - its mission, business model, leadership, etc. - AND can survive professionally and financially if the company crashes. If you lack local language skills or cultural fluency, the pool of startups you can work at shrinks so be mindful of that as well.

Commented 1 month ago on

What’s it like to work at a startup in SEA as a foreigner? [Ask TIA]
Thanks for reading Anon! I think it's worth noting that PayPal arrived in JP in 2010, but did not get a local license for domestic transactions until mid-2012. They started on a very different path that is likely a contributing factor to their current position. Also, SMCC is the same company that worked to bring Visa into Japan, one of the reasons that Stripe decided to work with them.

Commented 1 month ago on

With its first Asia launch, Stripe enters Japan’s tight payments race
Hi Memo, thanks for reading. That's a fair point! Article has been updated with a bit more info on the business model.

Commented 4 months ago on

Raksul is changing printing in Japan and just scored $33.7M
Thank you for reading Leon!

Commented 5 months ago on

Fewer outsiders and more CVCs – the future of Japan’s startup ecosystem?
Thanks for reading Mike. We don't typically broadcast who attends our events. If you're in the area, hope to see you at our next one!

Commented 5 months ago on

The dreams we carry and why we pray
Yeah, who knows where it will end up! Just so you know, the taxi company that joined forces with LINE actually did make its own app. But I guess their execution was not very good.

Commented 6 months ago on

Line Taxi launches, gives Uber first major challenger in Japan