The British co-founder of popular Tokyo-based tech startup company myGengo has recently shared his thoughts on how to be successful when launching a company in Japan as a foreigner. His pointers, some of which appear obvious but are still overlooked a surprising amount of the time, offer a handy insight into what it is like to strike out on your own and make a success of it.
myGengo, for those who are unfamiliar, solves one of the major problems faced by folks seeking to do business or gain information from countries where they do not speak the language. It works by allowing a user to enter text that they wish to have translated and then crowdsourcing the work to professionals in that field in a fast and ultra-convenient way. The service is available at their site here.
The company has been getting increasingly recognized around the world for its work, with coverage in places such as Cnet, Techcrunch and the Financial Times. Of course, there are still plenty of challenges for startups and lots of companies fail, but reading what he has put down helps you get an idea of what pitfalls to look out for.
Here is his top 10. Find out what he says about each one after the jump.
- Know what a startup is
- Have a relevant reason for being in Japan, and always evaluate location
- Use the culture, learn the language
- Learn to straddle timezones
- Don’t worry about the local economy
- Figure out how to raise money
- Create a hiring strategy
- Consider creating a US entity