Cash goes mobile and electronic. First to market in Japan and then what? (TTI-Vanguard conference keynote)

The organizers of the legendary TTI-Vanguard conference series organized a conference on “Futureproofing” in Tokyo, and invited me to give a keynote on Japan’s creativity and first-to-market for many technologies and business models, and Japan’s difficulties to capture global value from this creativity, a phenomenon often called “Japan’s Galapagos syndrome“.

The organizers, and particularly the legendary Bob Lucky and organizer Hal Levin made great efforts in assisting me to plan and prepare my talk. Although I was given about 30-40 minutes for my talk I was asked to present the conclusions in the first slide at the beginning of my talk and then essentially be prepared for open discussion during the 30-40 minutes instead of giving a traditional talk.

I picked electronic money, near-field payments and mobile payments as an example to demonstrate Japan’s Galapagos syndrome.

I started my talk with the following conclusions:

  • Conclusions 1: Japan has invented and first brought to market many new technologies and business models in today’s hottest areas, and Japan has been terrible at capturing global value from this incredible creativity
  • Conclusions 2: why does it take at least 10 years to reinvent the wheel in London?
  • Conclusions 3: WHAT is holding Japan back to capture global value from fantastic inventions?