Met with a great guy named Tom today. In fact, everyone in the group was very cool. I had missed being surrounded by this type of crowd (intelligent people).
Tom is the first guy I’ve met who knows much about Japanese culture, and understands the differences in the ways of life vs American (er, western?) life. The fundamental values of everything are different.
I could speak for ages about this, but the most important thing that came out of tonight is this:
I should go to Japan, and learn all about it. For 1: It makes financial sense. Japan is the 3rd largest economy in the world. That’s fucking huge. Japan is a ‘hard to grasp’ market with incredible reward potential. Another way to think about this is such: America breeds ridiculous amounts of entrepreneurs. There are products sold left and right. Japan breeds no such thing. Life is more about other things than making the big bucks in any way possible. But thats precisely an advantage for me. Why not make use of this tremendous asset I have instead of throwing it away in a b attlefieldwhere it doesn’t matter?
Tom also kept suggesting I go back to japan for myself. I’ve always shunned my Japanese side (which is entirely, utterly different from my American personality) because it showed me a world that could not be shared with the rest of my life (American friends). This I find very depressing, much like how I think of academia, or at least what I call academia.
For example, politics scares me quite a bit because it matters less who’s right than who’s marketing the best (or who has the most money TO market & pay for PR professionals and mass analysis). In this world, truth, or “who’s right” matters not. People will continue to believe what they want to believe. One great example I came upon recently was a documentary film maker who wanted to show the world how utterly ridiculous Vampires are. That Dracula is named after somebody with absolutely no association to blood sucking people. Yet this film maker was extremely discouraged and stopped filming. Why? Because he realized that publishing this documentary (even with such absolute evidence) would only serve to create MORE believers.
How does this relate? Because so many things I care about don’t matter. Knowing the truth means nothing. It has no impact on the world outside academia. I have been afraid to embrace my Japanese side because my entire life until now does not relate to it. I would be completely distancing myself from my previous life, because nobody would ‘get it’. That was scary. Now, though, I realize that it is quite an asset.
I can only imagine what kind of trust I could develop with Japanese business partnerships that would be largely impossible for others.
So Japan it is. Perhaps very soon. Perhaps not. But thinking about this in terms of Anuva is very important.
After all, my mom’s friends all see the magic and beauty in it. Having 6 bottles to choose from. Which will I choose? Its all great fun. But I have no idea how marketing works there, and I need to live there to figure it out. The most challenging is to learn how to speak professionally in Japanese. I can pick up on the social cues, but I can’t speak in response to them. There are words never used in casual speech that I have no way of knowing, like: “cost analysis”, “projection”,”business plan”,”profit margin”,”operating expense”.
Lots to learn, and hope that Japan doesn’t crumble in the meantime.