The salesforce automation gurus come to Japan, nurtured by Allen Miner's Venture Habitat. The ASP site hopes to replicate its US Web success here, but faces the challenge of a sclerotic corporate sales culture. Are Japan's salarymen salesmen ready? We'll really pay attention when their .co.jp site's fully localized.
The local incarnation of AbleCommerce, the e-com shopping solution used on 15,000 sites worldwide. A new version, AbleCommerce Global, provides Japanese-language administration tools for an English front-end, so Japanese companies can serve foreign markets. System is tied to Cold Fusion, a development environment still relatively unknown here. And what about the Japanese credit card companies, happily skimming 5 to 9 percent off of each online transaction? Let's give ecom a chance ...
And you thought building a chip fab cost billions. Next Semi, with a handful of staff and only two sets of process equipment built to date, has patented its own sub-0.10 micron process scalable for forecast technology growth until 2008. Its process is expected to become vital for producing wafers used in making terrabyte-capacity holographic memories, an area the established chip players have yet to enter. Considering how overstuffed our own hard drives are, we smell an opportunity.
Entertainment Search site for i-mode. System will rate top five sites for each search, helping mobile surfers wade through the dross. Counting on ad revenues to cover costs, not unreasonable given i-mode's 10-plus million user base (but only a fraction actually surf the Web). Cool Flash intro on the site (the dog fetches the world), but they're still claiming a launch in, er, May 2000. We'll keep using the phone book until we hear more.