Thursday May 29, 2008
Thursday May 22, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on May 22, 2008
Good. Companies should have to court talent because that helps promote a cycle of creativity, innovation, and competition. That's the first thing I noticed when I came here. I didn't see a talent market. But if the raw -- and obvious -- shortage of engineers in Japan helps wash out all the old traditional companies that would be wonderful for the future of the Japanese economy. It's good to see innovative companies looking elsewhere for talent, though, as the article cites.
Thursday May 15, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on May 15, 2008
Monday May 12, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on May 12, 2008
Sunday May 11, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on May 11, 2008
Take one step at a time. And small steps are best. The tiny, continuous improvements add up, though, and this is actually a very efficient way to just get things done and better in the process. Kaizen.
Monday Apr 28, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Apr 28, 2008
Good economic news about Japan is rare, but this article above cites the possibility that Japan may dodge a recession (due to the slow down in the US) because some key Japanese industries have diversified into rapidly expanding markets in China and throughout Asia. That's cool. And perhaps other Japanese companies here, and even entire industries, will take a lesson from the manufacturing and auto guys and learn how to be a "showcase for how to implement globalization." We'll see. The results will be obvious either way.
Thursday Apr 03, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Apr 03, 2008
Wednesday Apr 02, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Apr 02, 2008
I found Matt's blog being discussed on the Tokyo Linux User Group list -- [tlug] "Open source: Made in Japan?" blog -- today where Curt Sampson was talking about the language/culture barriers in Japan and also how Japan is home to more NetBSD developers than any country outside the United States. I didn't know that, but I'm not surprised I didn't know since Japan is a country absolutely determined to down play its role in just about everything possible. It's exactly the opposite behavior of the United States, which tends to over play its hand in just about everything possible.
Anyway, I agree about the language/cultural barriers. They are big. Generally, I find very few in the west interested in software development taking place in Japan, and I also find very little interest here in exploring anything outside of Japan. It goes both ways. It's tough to look inside, and very few here are looking outside. There are obvious exceptions, of course, but I've been quite surprised by the size of the east/west divide for a market so big. See Matt's blog for the exceptions, by the way, which are all very encouraging.
I think similar issues were present in China, as well, but recently when I go to China and visit the universities I find the students much more willing to learn from and engage with the west. They are loud and enthusiastic and bold. I'm no expert on China, and I could be seeing only one part of that market because they have so many students in computer programs now, but it seems to me that the trends are clear and distinction with Japan is now very big. Whereas the language/cultural barriers here in Japan are the same as always (and I can find no one to dispute that), they seem to be going away in China.
Another factor for Japan may be that this market is mature and expensive and suffers from under exposure because massive attention and resources are flying to China and India because those guys are rapidly emerging and sucking up all the publicity. I was also thinking that some of this may be just a mis-understanding since the west and east view "community" and "contribution" and "individual motivation" somewhat differently. Who knows. Some good opinions on the Tlug list, too. Check out the thread.
Friday Mar 21, 2008
Thursday Mar 20, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Mar 20, 2008
Agree 100%. You can't win in the long run by playing defense and getting distracted by reacting to a competitor.
Sunday Feb 17, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Feb 17, 2008
Monday Feb 11, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Feb 11, 2008
Friday Feb 01, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Feb 01, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Feb 01, 2008
Sunday Jan 27, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 27, 2008
I agree. And these trends argue for sweeping changes in Japan. I mean, really. If not now, when? I would love to hear anyone argue that nothing ought to change on this island. To me, all of these global economic trends are wonderful opportunities for the Japanese to grow in new ways. Bottom line: Japan will change or it will be changed. Period.
Friday Jan 25, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 25, 2008
Thursday Jan 24, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 24, 2008
It took about 2 hours to get home tonight. It's a 40 minute trip. Gigantic delays due to "personal injury" as they say here in Japan. That generally means someone jumped. Suicide. It happens all too often here. Very sad. But who knows the real reason. The point is that I was stuck on a slow moving train that eventually just stopped. And there I was. Me and hundreds of Japanese. Waiting. And standing, of course. It was rush hour. Fortunately, I had my phone and some reading material (I was reading about Bernanke and his Federal Reserve, believe it or not). From time to time I peeked at the women on my right since she was watching TV on her cell phone. Nice reception. And the guy on my left was watching TV on his phone, too. I need sound to keep my attention, though, so I couldn't follow it. Not that I could follow much of the Japanese, anyway. And others were just reading or sleeping. One guy was studying Korean. Beautiful typography in his textbook.
But what got me was the silence. We all
just stood there. There was very little talking and no complaining. Yet there were hundreds
of people stuck together quite literally inches apart. Some people called home to say, "Go ahead and
eat dinner," and such, and I was able to pick up bits and pieces of
various conversations. But when people talked on their phones, they
got off the train and stood on the platform and cupped their hands over
their mouths. The two girls behind me were talking a bit, but they
clearly knew each other. Other than that, it was dead quiet. Total silence. For 2 hours. Amazing.
Monday Jan 14, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 14, 2008
This article articulates a trend that can only lead to one result: the further isolation of a closed network.
Sunday Jan 13, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 13, 2008
Very interesting article about many Japanese coming to grips with the reality that China and India are moving much, much faster, and leaving Japan behind. To compete in the future -- a global future -- Japanese education will have to change rather significantly. This piece focuses on Indian education techniques in Japan. English, computers, math, and science are big parts of it, too. Japan is absolutely a country that loves fads. But I hope this is not a fad. The more diversity and global awareness here the better.
By Jimgris-Oracle on Jan 13, 2008
This doesn`t surprise me at all. The place is totally wired with all sorts of funky electrical gadgets. Even the toilets are plugged in. In fact, I can operate all the features of my toilet from the other room with a convenient wireless handset. Now, the fact that my toilet has features and has to be plugged in is nuts enough, but the wireless bit takes the whole experience to an entirely new level. And my bath? Well, it talks to me. In Japanese, of course. At least that one is not wireless. Yet.
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