Thursday, June 5, 2008
Infinity Ventures Summit Spring 2008 in Sapporo, Japan
I am attending Infinity Ventures Summit Spring 2008 in Sapporo, Japan. It is an invitation-only technology conference for technology start-ups. This year, about 320 CEOs and COOs of Japanese technology start-ups are attending. According to Mr. Masashi Kobayashi, a well-known venture capitalist who organizes this event, attendants from overseas more than doubled to 35 this year. US web 2.0 companies such as meebo, seasmic, admobs and others are here, and established tech companies from Taiwan, mainland Chine, and Korea are giving speeches. I spoke with a couple of Chinese entrepreneurs; they are SOOO interesting! One of them told me that the US companies will not be able to "rule the Chinese markets." According to him, a Chinese search company is way ahead of Google China in terms of search market share, and some top management in Google China left the company already. One Korean attendee told me that the US companies don't understand the local markets. "They hire English speaking local people who have had no experience in local tech industries, just because their English speaking ability. So most of them fail miserably." One Taiwanese company said Apple's iTunes have no significant presence in Chinese market. What matters in online businesses is community, and in order to establish self-sufficient communities in local markets, you have to understand the local culture, he said.