Platform as a Service (PaaS) has been a difficult startup business model in the US, but Wayland Zheng, founder and CEO of Mobingi, has found a way to make it work in Japan. His approach involves a combination of leveraging both a unique feature set and some unique aspects of Japanese technical buyers.
Wayland also shares his story of what is probably a record for the fastest time to startup launch for any foreigner in Japan. Within two months of landing in Tokyo, and unable to speak the language, he had settled on a startup idea, found a Japanese co-founder, and been accepted into one of the most competitive startup accelerators in Japan.
Three years later, Mobingi has an impressive and growing list of clients and investors.
We talk about how he made all this happen, the importance of accelerators, and how you need to tailor your startup not just to a rational business model, but to the business culture of the market.
It’s a great discussion and I think you will really enjoy it.
How Mobingi saves it’s customers 80% on AWS services
Why DevOps disciple has been slow to develop at Japanese companies
The important difference between security and compliance
Why cloud sales in Japan requires face-to-face meetings
How to start a company after only two months in Japan
The important differences between Japnese and American startup accelerators
Why China is a better expansion market than the US
What is the future of PaaS and middleware
Why simple honesty is sometimes surprising among founders
Links from the Founder
The Mobingi Homepage
Mobingi Facebook page
The Mobingi Blog
Mobingi on Instagram
Friend Wayland on Facebook
Check out his blog
Join a Mobingi Meetup
Leave a comment
Disrupting Japan, episode 93.
Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for joining me.
You know, I get asked a lot about the difficulty of starting a company in Japan as a foreigner. I always have trouble answering that question because although I’ve started a number of companies in Japan as a foreigner, I have nothing to compare it to. I mean, I’ve never started a company in Japan as a Japanese person so I only have my own experiences to base a judgment on. Well, I’ve got good news. All foreigners who are griping about how hard it is to start a company in Japan can now officially stop complaining. I’ve got a pretty amazing guest and a pretty amazing story to tell today.
I’ve got a pretty amazing guest and a pretty amazing story to tell today.
Wayland Zheng started Mobingi only two months after arriving in Japan and he’s made a success of it. He attracted a co-founder, joined an accelerator, on-boarded customers, and raised funds all without speaking Japanese. Of course it wasn’t exactly easy. As you’ll see during the interview, it’s not even fair to say that he made it look easy. It was hard. But Wayland explains how he managed to overcome the language barrier and well, several other barriers as well.
We’ll also dive pretty deep into startup accelerators, how they differ between Japan and the U.S. and what founders should reasonably expect out of them, because Wayland’s been to a few and sometimes, they did not work out as planned. But you know, Wayland tells that story much better than I can. So let’s hear from our sponsor and get right to the interview.
Tim: I’m sitting here with Wayland Zheng of Mobingi. Mobingi is a platform as a service company but I know it’s so much more than that. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about what Mobingi is?
Wayland: Okay. First, thanks for visiting my company. Mobingi is a software as a service. It’s a solution for helping companies to manage their application on the cloud. So basically, what it does is it helps engineers to automate their cloud applications workflow when they’re trying to …
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