Thursday, December 09, 2004

Why is Japan always the future?

ASIAN POP The Gadget Gap / Why does all the cool stuff come out in Asia first?
Here in the U.S., corporate buying tends to drive innovation -- technology goes where business wants it to go. In Japan, technology is largely driven by individual consumers. They save a lot, but when they spend, they buy the best. I mean, Louis Vuitton racks up over a third of its total global sales in Japan, and that's true for a lot of the luxury brands.'

Young Japanese are tech crazy. It's not clear that their behavior increases income or leisure time, it seems to be that high tech devices are an end in themselves.

I wonder how much this is driven by the pervasive reality of Japanese existence -- limited space. Tech gadgets, especially those sold in Japan, consume very little space.

And so the Japanese gizmo market is far ahead of our boring, dull, tech market. Always has been, always will be. It's not clear to me that even the Koreans or Chinese will ever be as excited by novel gadgets.

By comparison, Americans are far ahead in ..... gasoline and fat consumption? Political bloviation? Hmmm.

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