#Asia #Japan Show 40: Why Gay Rights Are Good Business – Koki Hayashi


Koki Hayashi of Letibee is walking a difficult path by combining a startup business with social activism, but he just might pull it off. Japan is very rapidly becoming more accepting of those who are openly gay, and 2015 was a year of extremely rapid progress for gay rights.

Letibee has plans to capitalize on this movement, and to hopefully do some good along the way.

Letibee is an online gathering place for Japan’s LGBT community, and they generate revenues not only by selling advertising to companies wishing to reach the gay community, but by providing consulting services to Japanese corporations who increasingly want to understand how to better interact with their gay customers and employees.

The speed at which these changes are happening in Japan comes as no surprise to long time listeners. We know that, contrary to popular wisdom, Japan changes very quickly.

Koki’s an interesting guy, and I think you’ll enjoy the interview.

Show Notes for Startups

The driving force behind Letibee and Nesty
LGBT corporate consulting in Japan
Why gay marriage is suddenly acceptable in Japan
Coming out to his parents
Why is hard to be openly gay and have a career in Japan
The advantages of being an outsider in Japan
Why conservative politicians are pushing for gay rights
The risks and rewards of mixing politics and business

Links from the Founder

The Letibee homepage
The Nesty LGBT portal
Follow Koki on twitter @basshi11
Friend him on Facebook

 Leave a comment
Transcript from Japan
Welcome to Disrupting Japan. Straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for listening.

I’ve always been of the opinion that business and social activism don’t go well together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very pro business and I’m very pro social activism, many people are. But, when you setup an organization that tries to pursue both goals, the conflicts of interest usually bring each other down. It’s like ice cream and barbecue, separately they’re wonderful, but they just don’t work well when mixed together.

Koki Hayashi of Letibee however, has other ideas and in his particular case, I ‘m inclined to think he’s right.

Letibee has launched a product called Nesty and is rapidly becoming the online hub of Japan’s LGBT community. We talked in detail about his company and his business model of course, but we also talk a lot about how gay rights in Japan are changing and how the experience of being LGBT on Japan is changing. Like many changes in Japan, this one has been building up for a long time and is now happening very quickly. And Koki’s company is receiving more and more requests from Japanese companies wanting to better interact with the gay community and better understand their gay employees.

It’s a fascinating discussion and I don’t want to give too much away, so let’s get right to the interview.



Tim: So, I’m sitting here with Koki Hayashi of Letibee. Letibee runs Letibee Life, a media site that focuses on LGBT news, events, awareness and the Letibee app community portal. But, I think can describe your service and your company much better than I can. So, why don’t you explain to everyone what Letibee is.

Koki: Okay. Letibee is developing the app called Nesty that is the community app for LGBT people. Main feature is community that used to be existed in Mixi. Mixi is the social network and website that was really popular in Japan.

Tim: Right, very similar to Facebook until Facebook came in to Japan.

Koki: Yeah.

Tim: Now, Facebook kind of took over.

Koki: Yeah. When we decided to make the app we interviewed some LGBT people in Japan. Some of them are getting bored of gay apps like Grinder or Jack’d such gay for hooking up apps.

Tim: Ok. What is your business model?

from Disrupting Japan http://ift.tt/1oTBB01

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