Pasi: Our paths crossed in Tokyo this time. Stuart was having meetings with local players and I headed to Tokyo Slush to see where the venue is heading after missing last year.
The biggest question I always have in mind is how entrepreneurship resonates with local culture. If you ask at the random university lecture of 500 student how many consider being an entrepreneur after studies, how many hands will raise? Peter Vesterbacka (Rovio/Angry Birds) asks that on regular basis around the world. During the years of Nokia 10 years back in Finland you'd get few hands rising now at least half.
So how is it in Japan? My street study during Slush was the answer "hardly any" hands would rise said the locals. Someone said that all his friends are entrepreneurs but he could not speak Japanese.
So what is their ideal work after studies? Start as a consultant in a big consultant company and then get a higher position in corporate world, said someone.
It seems like Japan has a long way to go in terms of developing entrepreneurship mentality. My belief is that mindset is required in every position in very near future.
Tokyo was crazy about cherry tree blossom. Late in the evening parks were crowded with loud office workers in suits getting blasted sitting on a plastic mattresses without shoes. When leaving the park nodding to each other, no trash was left behind.
There is quite a few things in Japan that I'd import to western world.
Drinking under the cherry trees in the park. Loud noise could be heard a mile away.
Always be prepared. Helmet's are around in the offices to be ready for any emergency drill.
The reminder of short life. Cherry trees blossom one week only. What a sight and crowd!