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What You Don’t Know about Japan’s Sharing Economy – Anytimes

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Fewer than 1% of Japanese consumers have ever purchased a product or service from a sharing economy platform. It's actually quite puzzling. Social and economic factors all seem to indicate that Japanese cities would be ideal for sharing economy businesses, but for a number of reasons sharing economy startups have not really taken off here. Today we unravel a bit of this mystery as we sit down with Chika Tsunada, founder of Anytimes and the Director of the Sharing Economy Association Japan. Anytimes is a P2P sharing economy startup with a unique and participatory business model. Chika explains why she chose that model and the challenges it presents. Even under ideal circumstances, building a P2P marketplace is hard. It's one of the most challenging business models to execute, and to succeed today requires doing something truly unique. Chika has chosen an unusual path both for herself and for her business. It's a great discussion, and I think you'll enjoy it. Show Notes The best strategy for building a two-sided marketplace Why even Japanese entrepreneurs discourage their children from joining startups How to start a web-startup when you are not a programmer or designer Is it better to go deep or go wide in creating a marketplace? One technique for fighting online review fraud Why the Japanese labor market is unique in regards to the sharing economy Why freelancing has not yet taken off in rural areas The spark that will ignite the sharing economy in Japan How licensing and administrative guidence stifles innovation in Japan Links from the Founder Friend Chika on Facebook Follow her on Twitter @chikageena Check out the Anytimes homepage Anytimes for Andriod Anytimes for IOS [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I’m Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. You know, when I run startup workshops and classes on entrepreneurship, by far, the most popular business model used by the students for their startup ideas are two-sided marketplaces. Everybody wants to be a marketplace. Why not? There’s a lot to love about being a marketplace if you can pull it off. Aspiring founders imagine themselves running a platform that matches up buyers and sellers and takes a small piece of each transaction. They imagine dozens of other ways to monetize both the relationships they have with the participants and the data and the insights they gather about the market itself, and they all scale up easily and can be run with a relatively small staff. Really, online marketplaces seem like the ideal business model, and on paper they are. The reality, however, is that marketplace businesses are hard. I mean, really hard. Sure, once you have millions of users, marketplaces can be insanely profitable. The problem is getting that first 1,000 or maybe 10,000 active users. That’s hard. To do that, you need to be doing something unique. Well, today, we sit down with Chika Tsunoda, the CEO of Anytimes and the director of the Sharing Economy Association of Japan, and she explains how she’s been building a P2P services marketplace with a unique Japanese twist. It’ been a bit of a crazy journey for Chika so far but she thinks that Anytimes is positioned to take advantage of a unique aspect of the Japanese labor market. But you know, Chika tells that story much better than I can. So let’s hear from our sponsor and get right to the interview.   [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1404"  info_text="Sponsored by"  font_color="grey" ]   [Interview] Tim: I am sitting here with Chika Tsunoda, the director of the Sharing Economy Association in Japan and the fearless founder of Anytimes. Thanks for sitting down with me. Chika: Thank you for coming and thank you for interviews. Tim: Anytimes is a skill-sharing and a skill-matching platform bu...

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