Ten years ago, everyone know that e-commence would drive most retail stores, especially specially stores out of business, and with the Amazon juggernaut plowing ahead, there were very few dissenters.
But something very interesting is going on right now. Many e-commerce companies are opening physical stores. Even Amazon, going against all economies of scale, is opening up brick and mortar bookstores in expensive locations with full-time staff. And there a good reason for this trend.
There is something very reassuring about holding a product in your own hands. And it’s something that can’t really be replaced with high- resolution photos and customer reviews.
Tomohiro Hagiwara of Aquabit Spirals has committed both his company and a large part of his adult life to bridging this gap between the physical and the digital world and is helping online retailers jump into the physical world.
Of course, Aquabit Spirals’ technology does much more than this, and Tomo tells an interesting story of how it took his company more than six years of work before they closed their first deal and became an overnight success.
It’s an fascinating discussion and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Show Notes for Startups
What is SmartPlate, and why is it important?
Why e-commerce offline needs to come offline
How to close global deals as a small startup
The difference between going global and being global
Why Tomo abandoned his first business to follow his dream
The value of accelerators in Japan
Why founders can’t work at big companies
Links from the Founder
Learn about SmartPlate
Follow Tomo on twitter @hagi_w
Friend him on Facebook
SmartPlate explainer video
Coverage on VentureBeat
Leave a comment
Transcript from Japan
Disrupting Japan – Episode 54
Welcome to Disrupting Japan – straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for listening.
Ten years ago, it was a common knowledge that e-commerce would drive most retail shops especially small specialty shops out of business. With the Amazon juggling up, moving it full speed, there’s no reason to really doubt that opinion. But something very interesting is going on right now, many e-commerce companies are opening physical stores at expensive locations with actual products and full-time staff. Even Amazon is opening up Brick and Morter bookstores across the United States
The truth is, there’s something reassuring about holding a product in your own hands. It’s something that can’t really be replaced by high-res photos and online reviews. Tomo Hiro Hagiwara of Aquabit Spirals has committed his company, in fact, committed a large part of his adult life to bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. But before I’ll introduce you to Tomo, let me introduce you to someone else.
I want to tell you about Justa, I’ve known these guys for years and I’ve been recommending them long before they became a sponsor. Justa is really the only recruiting site that gets bilingual start-ups, — whether you’re looking for American engineers, Japanese sales staff, or the other way around, — Justa can help you out. Unlike recruiting companies, their price is very start-up friendly, and unlike job boards, they’re an active part of a start-up community here. They’re trusted by some of the best talents Japan has to offer. So, drop by at justa.io and see what they’re about.
Now, Tomo once had a thriving, profitable app development business that employed over 30 people, but he was committed enough to his vision of connecting the physical and digital that he turned down work and laid off most of his staff so he could focus on it. After working on it in obscurity for 6 years, he’s now becoming an overnight success. But,
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