Reverse auctions are almost ubiquitous and are being used daily to drive supplier prices down in a variety of categories of products and services. And, the results are stunning. That is why its use has become a standard in many North American procurement organizations.Continue reading
The Japanese are particular about things; they understand the “soul” of things.
We aim to develop products with soul. The idea that products have soul is perhaps only understand by the Japanese, the French and the Italians. The reason why the Japanese understand it is, I think, because they have such a long history of tradition. There are Japanese craftsmen who spend years perfecting lacquerware. Others protect the 1,500 year tradition of using red dye from the safflower. Others still are attempting new experiments using 21st century technology with traditional colors. And there are many people who are called “living national treasures”. The Japanese are particular about things. They like to embark on new adventures and think about the next idea while still retaining the soul of things. Of course, not all consumers are “living national treasures”. But this kind of thing is understood at DNA level. The Japanese are sensitive to things. They understand the goodness of our products, beyond their appearance or brand image. And for that reason, I think they are an important market for us.Continue reading
Since the 1950s, Japan’s labor markets have been characterized by several distinctive features. Perhaps the most notable among them is “lifetime employment,” the practice at large firms of hiring workers directly out of school and retaining them until a mandatory retirement age (originally age 55, now around 60 for most companies).Continue reading