Despite the "10 easy steps" structure of this article, it's full of good information and useful advice. The focus is on starting up in Japan, but it really could apply to any other culture (other than Silicon Valley). For example:
We would not have come up with the idea for myGengo if we weren't living and working in Japan. We simply would not have understood language as the massive, unsolved problem that it is. So the company's conception is partly due to our location. People â€˜get' the translation problem here, whether they are running a billion-dollar company or a ramen shop. Being in the heart of the problem space is good for us.
However some things about Japan are hard, so if there was no longer a compelling reason to be here (or if we had started a service that would only work in the US), we wouldn't sacrifice the company for the country, we'd move. Since a startup is probably 100% of your focus it would be crazy to stay just because you like onigiri.
EXPERT TIP: Do not come to Japan in order to start a company. That is insane. You will fail.
The article is long, but very worthwhile. Have a read.
Interestingly, he suggests raising money from Silicon Valley angels even if your startup is on the other side of the world. Perhaps that's what we're doing wrong in Europe.
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