To answer that question, I am really excited to be sitting down today with Shin Iwata, founder and CEO of Miraise, a seed fund exclusively focusing on engineer-led startups.

Now if you’re wondering what such a fund mean, a quick trip to their landing page will give you a very clear answer:

Engineering salaries in Japan have had a reputation of being really low compared to other parts of the world, especially Europe or the US. But with 3 to 5 positions open for a single candidate, the big question remains: why?

For this deep dive into salary levels for engineers in Japan we sat down with Drew Terry, founder of OpenSalary. Drew is on a mission to give engineers more leverage during salary negotiation by answering a simple question: how much do engineers make in Japan?

Want to improve something? Measure it.

Welcome Drew! So, can you tell us what OpenSalary does?

I’ve been in Japan for…

I’ve been running pitch sessions and product design sprints with Le Wagon Tokyo coding bootcamp for the past 4 years, and it’s been an extremely enriching experience. Over that period, I’ve listened to over 250 product pitches, helped with the UI and UX design of more than 60 web applications, and listened to hundreds of product pitches, from very first features development to Demo Day.

As a very entrepreneurial-focused bootcamp, we want to make sure that each web application pitched by our students addresses a pain, and that the solution they offer is the most efficient and user-friendly possible.


Of all the collaborative practices we put in place as part of our flat organization at Officience, the advice process might be the most challenging, and yet the most critical to understand. When smoothly applied, you will notice that even the biggest decisions can be made within a few hours.

Advice Process 101

To make sure we’re all on the same page, here is a quick step-by-step overview of the advice process:

  1. State your intention
  2. Collect feedbacks
  3. Make your decision

Yep. That’s it. There are a few subtleties and variants, but if you keep that in mind, you should be alright. …

It’s almost become a ritual for me, sitting down in my parents’ living room, looking at our gifts-heavy (probably some books in there) Christmas tree blinking, and writing about what I read in the past year.

Now I must confess: I did not read a lot during the first half of 2016. Then I moved to Tokyo, and I started making the most of the commute time to jump back into books. Without further ado and no particular order, here is my 2016 book year in review!

Business first

Work Rules!, by Laszlo Bock

During my first couple of months discovering Tokyo’s startup ecosystem, I mostly focused on two aspects that I think are critical: spaces and communities. Impact Hub Tokyo shines as one the very few places successfully combining these aspects, and I really wanted to dig deeper into their philosophy and vision. Who better ask than one of its two founders, Shingo de la Morandière? I was expecting to sit down with him 30 minutes to run this interview, but the discussion went deep into open organizations, systemic approach of our Society, and of course… Coworking!

The genesis

Impact Hub Tokyo started in February…

“So my idea is an app…”

That’s how some entrepreneurs I meet start pitching their world-changing concept. As much as we want to transform our partners’ ideas into concrete stuffs, I am sometimes in an awkward position: Should I relentlessly sell a new mobile app development project, or should I try and help them save a dozen thousands bucks?

Even then, a few of these partners are not always ready to hear what we want to say… Especially when it starts with You don’t need an app for that. …

Plus some personal “oh-did-you-figure-that-out-yourself” thoughts!

I’ve settled in Tokyo for exactly a month now, and after joining events, visiting coworking spaces and talking to several people, I thought about sharing a bit of my journey into the startup ecosystem here. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list and is mostly aimed at those who’d want to quickly jump into the city. I am sure there is still a lot left to discover, and I’ll be more than happy to collect inputs too!

Communities & Events

The most striking point so far has probably been the lack of large communities. One reason I struggled to…

In June 2013, after yet another visit from potential Japanese customers, an old dream of mine resurfaced: Making the leap and go settle in Tokyo. I had already visited the country in 2008 as a solo backpacker adventure on my way back to France from Vietnam, and the feeling at that time was difficult to describe, an odd mix of bustle and peacefulness. Five years later, here I was pondering how to make a first step.

Meeting people is easy

I started talking around about the idea to spend a couple of weeks there, and something interesting happened: a lot of people I already…

I first heard about Bruno and his Hazang project when his product got featured in La Fabrique Aviva contest, an initiative to encourage social economy and innovation. He ended up with a small funding, and 3 months later, he’s now bringing his product to life through a Kickstarter.

So what is Hazang?

“I spent 6 months in Vietnam a while ago, working for a furniture designer” starts Bruno, “and that’s where I discovered local bamboo craftsmanship, in a small village near Ninh Binh. I was amazed by the material itself, and also by how the whole village was organizing itself and living from bamboo…

Sylvain Pierre

Founder of @LeWagonTokyo — Bitten by the #Asia bug, #NoManager, #startup, #Japan, #Vietnam and influential authors — Pink, Sinek, Godin

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