The True One-Stop is Decentralized

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

Many organizations promote themselves as “one-stop”. There are so many “one-stop” centers — that means that the one-stop often covers one topic in one place, but there are always entrepreneurs stuck in holes that nobody covers.

They need a support that allow them to pivot, adjust and accelerate.

The support must be agile, flexible and lively.

Lively support must resonate with the dynamics of startup world — in other words, the support must catch up the latest startup trend.

Multiplying the knowledge of different experts

One-Stop-Shop is not a centralized institution. It comes with the overlaps of several practical experiences, support of community and the combination of due processes.

Although the procedures at government offices are often tedious, I also found several supporters in different sectors are trying to find HOW we can make it happen in order to get over this process.

They know what practically works, what is legally unacceptable, and what could be the easiest path to get it done.

We have many “consultants” (including myself), but startup founders who failed once, launched businesses, raised capital, expanded their business, increase the valuation of companies, and went through all the processes know much more than the random consultants.

More importantly, all startup founders are very supportive. I met lots of leaders in Clubhouse — leaders that I would have never been able to meet offline. We know the best seller book “Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success”, but the title would turn to “Give and Give” for the startup leaders around me.

Right now Clubhouse is the best source of lively startup information for me, and my top recommendations are as follows 🎧

  • Pitch Your Business in 60 secs! Meet Investors & Advisors 🔥
    (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 8am JST)
    happening in the US 🇺🇸, but global entrepreneurs pitch their ideas.
  • グローバル人材が語るスタートアップ奥義
    (Sunday Morning JST)
    follow his twitter 👉
  • Founded in Japan: Uncommon knowledge about starting up🇺🇸🇯🇵
    (Monday lunch time & 21:30pm JST)
    follow it 👉

After we listen to these clubhouse sessions 2–3 weeks in a row, I am sure we all know how to start a conversation with investors and the basics of how startup system works in Japan.

Startup ecosystem in Japan is still small and it’s easy to meet international founders, and Clubhouse made it even accessible for everyone targeting Japanese market from all over the world.

Meet “Connectors”

My bible is “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”. The author is Malcolm Gladwell, and he emphasize the role of connectors.

Connectors are working on different industries and sectors on different levels, and if we briefly talk with three new people around us, we always end up with meeting the connectors.

Another important people are called “maven”. Mavens are knowledgable and sociable, and they are selfless. Always support the others just to help them.

In combination with connectors and maven, we get to a tipping point, the moment that dramatically influence people.

Tipping point is like how virus spread as we experienced in 2020.
People spread the word, and a movement starts.

We cannot create a tipping point with paid advertisement. People deliver information through word of mouth, find what’s the source of trustworthy information, and suddenly the power of information creates the latest trend.

Paid advertisement does not create a solid community, but people build a solid community based on the information delivered by mavens and connectors in the same area.

Find the trustworthy information

Some of the most knowledgable friends once told me “you should not just bump into people at random events, but read.” After this suggestion, I started to read books before randomly gathering information without having any background knowledge about the topic.

We often spend a few hours or a day to create slides to present in front of the audience, but we cannot write a book within a day. Some people spend a few months or even a few years to finish writing a book. The time commitment to write a book is not replaceable, and the writers do write after multiple elaborations.

Working with international startups to start a business, we need legal knowledge on the field of immigration, incorporation, tax, or investment (learning one by one), practical experience of expecting the timeframe of the entire process, and several communities to help each other.

I had no idea what’s going on around immigration procedures, so I read a few thousand pages of books around immigration.

If we read a few hundred pages, we can cover a book. We know what the author of this book know, believe and pursue.

If we read a few thousand pages, we can compare the knowledge of five+ different authors. We can at least see what’s common, which is their personal opinions, and each author’s expertise.

Read, compare and make a decision

Many founders ask “could you help me connecting with investors?”
Let’s start with reading The “Perfect” (Pre-) Series A Pitchdeck: An Investors Wishlist.

Startup leaders are often selfless and want to share their experiences with the new comers so that they do not have to go through the same challenging path.

Thanks to internet, we can access to so much information with free of charge, and we are gradually getting good at picking the right information from trustworthy connectors.

The true one-stop = multiple communities supporting each other

As all of startup founders know, One-Stop rarely solves the entire process of launching a startup. I cannot solely solve everything, but now I know who are the selfless mavens and who are the generous connectors without ego.

Some people can create an emperor, but not a community.

Without a solid community, we cannot go through this complicated and tedious startup journey in Japan. I want to build a solid community starting from Shibuya.




Startup Work Inc.

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Miho Tanaka

Miho Tanaka

Startup Work Inc.

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