On Our Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: October 2000

Salesforce.com Japan
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 ...

Next Semi
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.

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