Saying Yes to Japan: How Outsiders Are Reviving a Trillion Dollar Services Market examines the history and future of Japan’s service sector. Revealing analyses of the real estate, finance, health care, and information technology industries are coupled with up-close profiles of entrepreneurs from around the world who use their “outsider” perspectives to successfully identify basic customer needs, such as:
—Steven Gan, a trained CPA from Chicago who went from managing his family accounts to running a debt collection business with 700 Japanese clients, using American methodologies.
—Song Wen Zhou, a software engineer from China who became the first foreigner to list his company, Softbrain, on the Japanese stock exchange, and whose software earned 700 million yen in five years.
—Neeraj Jhanji, a graduate student from India, who created Imahima, an avatar-based broadband chat space business. Parts of its technology were sold to NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s leading mobile carrier, as well as AOL, bringing Jhanji annual revenue of just under $2 million.
Tim Clark wrote the Japan Entrepreneur Report (www.japanentrepreneur.com) and serves as Senior Fellow for SunBridge, a Tokyo-based venture capital firm. He teaches at the Portland State University School of Business.
Carl Kay has been founding, running, buying and selling service businesses in Japan and North America for over two decades. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard’s East Asian Department and lives in Tokyo.
“From financial services to funeral services, Clark and Kay provide a fascinating tour of important developments in Japan’s service economy. The opportunities for ‘outsiders,’ both Japanese and foreign, are enormous. Those interested in these opportunities would do well to study the cases Saying Yes provides.”
—Shinsei Bank Vice Chairman Thierry Porté
“At last, a book that systematically debunks the myth that Japan’s economy is a well-oiled machine. Clark and Kay provide a roadmap for other entrepreneurs in search of a challenge in Japan.”
—New York Times business writer Ken Belson, co-author of Hello Kitty: The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon
“Japan hasn’t merely overcome her lost decade, she’s on track toward a new golden age. No, it’s not about blue-chip exporters like Toyota and Canon; their global dominance was never in doubt. The real revolution is in domestic services. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand and profit from inside opportunities in the world’s largest creditor nation.”
—Merrill Lynch Japan Chief Economist Jesper Koll
“A highly enlightening read, full of ideas about how outsiders can make money in the Japanese market in spite of, or perhaps because of, its unique and remarkably closed nature.”
—China Economic Review
“As a Japan specialist, I commend the insightful analysis. As an author, I admire the writing’s clarity. And as a foreigner who has lived and worked in Japan, I can testify to the accuracy of the problem descriptions and to the power of the ‘outsider’ solutions.”
—International Herald Tribune