About Contributor

J.T. Quigley

J.T. is based in Tokyo, though he left his heart in the mountains of Hokkaido. When he isn't snowboarding or playing with his daughter, he covers the Japanese tech scene and its impact on the local culture at large. He's written about everything from medicine and science to foreign policy in a career that has spanned the US, China, and Japan. Follow him on Twitter @jtquigley.
Gengo crowdsources human translation on a case-by-case basis (and actually provides the premium translations for WOVN). WOVN is, essentially, a widget that you can add to your website that allows either machine or human translation into the top 27 most commonly used languages on the web. Unlike a simple Google Translate, however, WOVN allows the site owner to tweak the translations line-by-line. Think of Gengo as a translation provider, and WOVN as a way to view those translations when you surf the web. You can read more about how WOVN works here: https://www.techinasia.com/minimal-technologies-tokyo-startup-wovn-multilingual-localization-service-in-one-line-of-code/ Thanks for commenting :)

Commented 2 days ago on

Japan’s WOVN gets $1.1M to localize the web
I feel like I always disappoint people when I tell them I'm not into anime and manga... I mean, I love the classics - Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Perfect Blue, Ninja Scroll (which no one in Japan has actually heard of) - but I'm definitely not current! My (human) wife would also probably throw it away if I even tried...

Commented 1 week ago on

Otaku dream: this smart anime body pillow responds to your caress
Please explain how a supportive comment from a colleague in another country, made after the story was written, affects my journalistic integrity.

Commented 3 weeks ago on

She created Japan’s Xiaomi, launching 21 gadgets in 2 months
Designed in Tokyo, made elsewhere: “We deal with suppliers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea,” she says. “I negotiated with each factory to provide relatively small [first-run] quantities at reasonable prices. I’m a very tough negotiator.”

Commented 3 weeks ago on

She created Japan’s Xiaomi, launching 21 gadgets in 2 months
There's always an exception to the rule, and I never claimed a startup would have a boardroom. I said "investment deals," of which those in the 8-figure range are more often done in a more formal setting than McDonald's. Again, deals with VCs are probably less formal (depending on the VC), but I don't expect very many corporates to sign off over $1 coffee.

Commented 3 weeks ago on

Here’s how a Finnish startup landed $10M from Baidu. In a McDonald’s
Maybe seed funding from a VC, but I doubt many deals of this size - from an established company - are often struck in McDonald's or Walmarts.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Here’s how a Finnish startup landed $10M from Baidu. In a McDonald’s
At the time of writing, I had only played through a couple of levels, but I just gave it another whirl so I could hopefully answer this better. It's free to play, but there are occasional pop up ads. You earn coins for completing levels, which can then be used to buy upgraded "pens" to draw on the screen with. If you don't have enough coins, you can but the pens outright.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

It only took Brain Dots one month to become an international hit game
Localization and making something that isn't limited by too many words. Brain Dots only requires a "translation" for the home screen. The rest of the game is intuitive, without the need for written instructions. Takaba wouldn't share specifics about marketing, but they certainly learned some tricks from BrainWars.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

It only took Brain Dots one month to become an international hit game
Apologies, I've got a lot of writing to do! I try my best to keep up, but it isn't easy. I'll try to be more attentive in the future.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

It only took Brain Dots one month to become an international hit game
BrainWars has a bottom banner ad and you have to buy coins to keep playing after five challenges (you get 5 hearts and one is exhausted per play). I'm honestly not sure how long the lives take to replenish, as I've never played more than 5 challenges in a day! Brain Dots appears to be completely free for now, but similar monetization will likely come soon (i.e. banner ads, paying to unlock levels you can't beat).

Commented 4 weeks ago on

It only took Brain Dots one month to become an international hit game
I'm going to assume the amount/variety of Japanese content will be the big differentiator.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Netflix confirms September launch in Japan, its first foray into Asia
I honestly think that Son is a true believer in robotics as far as future companions and helpers a la the droids in Star Wars. I also think he recognizes that Japan probably won't open up immigration anytime soon, so robots and medtech will be necessary to keep the country going as it ages and shrinks. He also shared a story at the conference about having a boyhood dream of giving Astro Boy a heart - so maybe he's just chasing that lifelong passion!

Commented 1 month ago on

SoftBank CEO: intelligent robots need emotions, compassion
I hope similar initiatives spread to other countries in Asia. Japan, especially, seems to have fewer women in tech than surrounding countries based on my personal experiences.

Commented 1 month ago on

Helping women in tech through a hackathon
Just wanted to thank Vinnie for showing up in the comments, these guys are obviously invested in the ecosystem if he's doing a mini AMA at the bottom of an article.

Commented 1 month ago on

After 25 investments in Southeast Asia, Golden Gate Ventures ups the ante with US$50M fund
If only it was that easy IRL!

Commented 1 month ago on

Quiz: Will Asian investors be interested in your startup?
Rakuten's 11 percent stake in Lyft could potentially lead to issues with a Softbank/Alibaba acquisition. I dunno if they've squashed the beef since, but Mikitani and Son had some issues in the past.

Commented 2 months ago on

Uber’s biggest threat: an Alibaba-Softbank alliance
What a fantastic headline. Glad everyone is safe and sound!

Commented 2 months ago on

We weren’t blown away by the typhoon, but we were blown away by these 5 Hong Kong startups
I agree with Bacelar that they were the best fit for Isetan, but I want to imagine a future with Electroloom printing perfectly-fitting, seamless clothes ;)

Commented 2 months ago on

These 3 startups are using technology to shake up the fashion and retail industries