(keitai-l) Re: Looking for work in mobile dev (near native Japanese)

From: Nik Frengle <nfrengle_at_gmail.com>
Date: 03/23/07
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
A sarcastic jab at certain members of this list, actually, Nik E. not being
the intended target. ;-) My employer was generous enough to hire me into a
sweet job in a mobile company, and I am grateful to them. Can't say much
about employers over all, except that in the realm of content, there is a
general reluctance by the biggies (Cybird, Index, et al) to hire foreigners.
That is really no different than any other industry in Japan, so no big
surprises there. A likely more profitable, but consequently more risky,
avenue is to go into business for yourself. The downside of this is the
byzantine rules and hurdles it takes jumping through to get to be an
official provider, which you definitely want to be if making money is your
aim. I used to manage the group responsible for processing these
applications at one of the carriers, and a few of the things to keep in
   - You will need to have a K.K. (kabushiki kaisha) (ok, there are
   know-it-alls who will say that it doesn't say that anywhere in the stated
   rules, but I have actually seen the UNSTATED rules (which in true Japanese
   fashion are of course written down), and it says it clear as day there)
   - You will need to have capitalisation of at least 10 million yen, but
   preferably 20 (this is a bit of a moving target)
   - You will need to prove that you have the capability of 'supporting'
   the application, which basically means that you have an office with
   sufficient employees available to cover 24/7 support
   - You will basically need to have something so original that it is a
   bit of a category-defying one, as category managers seem to see their job as
   protecting the big content providers in their category. Alternately,
   identify individual category managers, and do the Japanese thing, which is
   to try to form a relationship with them. Not that easy as everyone else is
   trying to do the same, but not quite as difficult as you might think--they
   are just normal guys, and as succeptible to a free lunch or a pint as
   - You will need a really good content proposal, in a format that is
   expected. This basically consists of pages and pages of screen shots, and
   lots of sales copy that uses loads of exclamation points! to push home the
   point that this is the bestest content ever seen. Colour is good, but you
   better optimise for black and white: I know for a fact that Docomo and
   Softbank mobile both don't consider these proposals of high enough value to
   print them out for internal use in colour.
   - You will need to not say 'no' to any stupid suggestions from
   carriers. You say 'yes', make the changes that they suggest (if they even
   bother--it has all become a bit of a grind now, and you would be lucky to
   get suggestions out of most of them), and then a month or two down the line,
   return the site to the way you wanted to do it in the first place. Nobody is
   keeping close track.
   - You will need a site, up and running, preferably with a simple URL:
   A lot of the guys working on this are more comfortable going onto the site
   and looking around than looking at a content proposal. The content proposal
   is the 'tatemae' of the process, the  sample site is the honne. Both are
   necessary, but the sample is what grabs.
   - Oh, and did I mention that you have to have been in business for at
   least two years? Best to move a foreign company to Japan, as this is
   sometimes forgiven (yes, we have been in business for two years, but we have
   just opened our Japanese office this year).

So, if you are a rich, supremely patient guy with a great content idea, I
would reccomend at least considering going into the content business. (which
you are in, it sounds like. Am I the only pervert whose mind naturally
jumped to the conclusion that one handed content must be porn?)

I assume your comments where taking a sarcastic jab at some Japanese
> employers rather than Nik E. :-)
> And no, I don't believe that it the intended innuendo for the
> One-Handed Apps ;-)

And I apologise for making light of job-searching: I really hate doing it
myself, and wish you all the luck in your job search.
Received on Fri Mar 23 14:58:51 2007