Bill collecting in Japan

Tim Clark has a great new piece up on JER about how an American is starting to change how bills are collected in Japan. The short story is that either lawyers or the mafia collect bills in Japan, and the lawyers are too busy lawyering to collect bills, so an American has found a way to do it and the market size is $800 billion ?!?!?

“Japanese firms have accounts receivables of 90 trillion yen–more than
U.S. $800 billion–for ordinary commercial transactions. And that’s all
completely separate from the loan sector,” he says. “There’s room in the
market for at least another 500 agencies like ours.” The typical fee for
a successful collection is 35 percent; assuming that five percent of
outstanding bills become delinquent and 40 percent of those are
collectible, that’s an untapped market worth more than U.S. $16 billion.

Japan Entrepreneur Report No. 17 March 2004


high-end electronics

The NY Times covers the high end of electronics, speaking with reps from Runco, Bang and Olufsen, Marantz, Faroudja labs, and a few others.

Tom Edwards, senior vice president for consumer electronics at Pacific Media Associates, a large-screen display research firm in Menlo Park, Calif., said: “The middle has evaporated; people will spend more money to get what they perceive to be a better product.”

This rings very true to me. I have seen this trend first-hand.

Indeed the cachet of exclusivity – of buying products that are not made by a large electronics company or made in Asia – is a significant draw for wealthy customers. “If a product is distributed broadly,” Sam Runco said, “it’s unlikely that my customers would want it. They wouldn’t own a Sony, or Zenith, or RCA product.”

Electronics That Enhance an Image (Yours) []


Panasonic Toughbooks

If I ever buy another Windows machine with my own money, it will be a Toughbook. I love my Powerbook, and it is much stronger than the older titanium version, but I still consider it a fragile, expensive item. The Toughbook is cheaper and MUCH stronger.
BW Online | April 11, 2003 | The Humvee of Laptops


Jerry Colonna on Tripod

Jerry Colonna shares with us some of his experiences with selling off Tripod and Geocities. The shame of all of this is that those home page hosting companies never amounted to anything.
Madeleines: Boomtime, Part One []


Monex & Nikko Beans

Monex + Nikko Beans = Monex Beans?
No comment except to say that they could have chosen a better name.
IHT: New online brokerage leader seen for Japan []