September 2000 Issue

On the cover: Burning off our pages. A thankfully cool Photoshop provides the means.
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September 2000
No. 11

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September 2000 Issue


  Business Model Patents
They came suddenly from the United States! This new breed of patents is causing all sorts of headaches for Japan's startups and corporate giants alike, and many are starting to fight back with patents of their own.
  Keeping Tech Talent Happy
With the best engineers and managers picking and choosing companies these days, what kind of benefits are companies using to lure and keep them? Beer on tap, for starters. Stock options help, too.
  Five Hot Startups
Last month we told you hot startups were hard to find in Japan, so this month we decided to find a few.
  Besides Bit Valley
In our May issue we devoted 20 pages to covering Bit Valley. This time we take a look at the other high-tech areas of Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaido.


  Wireless Watch
A quick rundown of the more interesting strategies, developments, and applications in the wireless Web.
  Getting Crazy With the Keitai
The cell phone is hot in Japan, but do people really need it to surf the Web, pay for sodas, and operate the air conditioner?
  When Good Ventures Go Bad
VCs operating in Japan don't have much recourse when a Net company tanks, and judges will likely treat struggling startups with leniency.


  Peter Yip
His Chinadotcom is making moves in Japan, but this CEO says you can't take a one-country approach in Asia.
Shigeo Ozeki
The president of is keeping his eyes on prizes, which he sees as a great way to keep users coming back to a Web site. But can he build that idea into a business?
Katsunari Konya
The president of Gifty Gifty knows the odds are against any B2C play, but he thinks in Japan a site that helps with traditional gift-giving will work. And he's got B2B ambitions as well.
Atsushi Nakayama
The president of Crescendo Venture Capital aims to invest between $30 million and $40 million in tech startups in Japan over the next 12 months. He's keeping his firm independent, agile, and incubation oriented.
Naozumi Takenaka
This "Web art engineer" created a new method for fixing the time and source of all packets arriving at a particular computer. The result was a global opera featuring one of Japan's best-known composers.


  Joi's Diary
The markets are stupid. The current Internet valuations have very little to do with the actual value of the companies.


  Japan Studies
The Japanese workforce is overworked, stressed, and tired out.
(PDF-formatted file, Acrobat 4.0 or later required)
Why Bit Valley is still ground zero for Net ventures, and a look at i-mode users.


  Mobile Commerce
M-commerce is the next big deal, but is it a safe place to invest? We look at the key players in each category of this emerging sector.
On Our Radar Screen
Ventures we're keeping an eye on.
Q&A With a "Market Maker"
John Desaix of Nasdaq Japan on what's needed for a full economic recovery, on global trading, and on who pulls the strings.
Putting B2B to the Test
Can B2B reverse-auction sites make it in Japan? Branding will be key.
Risky Business
Covered warrants on individual stocks offer VC-like returns -- and risks.

In Parting

  Nobu Restaurant
Events Round Up
Upcoming tech events and conferences
  Art Department
Don't tell Atau Tanaka that computer-based art can't have a physical presence. He'll probably string you up.
The world's longest undersea tunnel -- the Seikan Tunnel, connecting Hokkaido and Honshu -- is getting its ass kicked by a ferry.

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