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Mixi IPO day 2 review (and my latest swipe at TechCrunch) September 15, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, IPO, IT, Japan, TechCrunch.

After posting a price of JPY2.95M at the beginning of the day and dipping as low as JPY2.56M in the early afternoon, the stock rallied to close at JPY3.12M, which translates to a valuation of JPY219B, just shy of $2B. Trading volume was 10,203 shares.

With approx 25% of shares held by VCs who aren’t subject to lock-up, it is certainly likely that there won’t be any supply side problems. It’ll be interesting to see if the 2 VCs offloaded a substantial portion of their holdings today.

Given this is the world’s first SNS IPO, and probably the biggest “Web2.0” exit thus far, it is surprising that TechCrunch haven’t felt this is a matter worth covering. You’d think that with their “Japanese Editorial Team”, they would have their finger on the pulse…..

Yes, this is my latest dig at TechCrunch regarding their reticence about giving us more details about TechCrunch Japanese, especially since they have not replied to my two emails. Maybe the problem is that I actually wrote to editor-jp@techcrunch.com in Japanese…. Maybe I’ll be bothered one of these days to redraft the letter in english and send it to Michael Arrington directly. Perhaps he is actually unaware of the fact that such an inquiry has been lodged with the “Japanese Editorial Team”. But then again, Gen Kanai did say his comment on TechCrunch regarding this issue was deleted…. Not the way I would have expected a self-proclaimed “Web2.0” blog media outfit to have handled this situation…..
Anyway, for those that read Japanese, here’s the original email I sent out…..






日本語版開始当時にMichael Arringtonに「TechCrunch本家や仏語版は記事の作者や翻訳者が明記されているのに、日本語版では翻訳・編集に関わっているメンバーの顔が見れず、Web2.0を題材にし、さらにブログフォーマットのメディアとしては違和感を覚えるが、どのように考えるか」と質問した経緯があります。その際、Arrington氏は立ち上げで多忙だが、いずれこの点に関しては対処するとの回答を頂きました。( Arrington氏曰く:”I totally agree that the “team” needs to be announced and hopefully it will soon. Let us just take our first steps.”)




“TechCrunch UK is obviously not a translated blog like TechCrunch France and TechCrunch Japan (although both of these blogs have lots of original content as well).”


“TechCrunch UKはTechCrunch France TechCrunch 日本語版のようなTechCrunchの翻訳サイトとは明らかに異なるもの。”






そもそも、日本語版には”lots of original content”があるのでしょうか。日本語版を読めない英語版読者向けの誇大広告のように映ってしまいます。(これは日本語版編集チームの問題ではありませんが)








I really don’t have anything against TechCrunch, honestly. They provide a valuable service to the community of users who are interested in the whole “Web2.0” phenomenon/trend/revolution/fad/bubble/whatever. However I happen to think that it seems to be such a waste to have a Japanese team and then not cover what is what would be a pretty big deal for “Web2.0” (if social networking is “Web2.0”, and I think the consensus is that it is) if there was an SNS IPO (or billion dollar exit of any nature in the Web2.0 arena) in the US.


1. Gen Kanai - September 16, 2006


Mike- where’s our “original content” for the Japan site? Where’s our introduction to your vaunted “Japanese editorial team” ?

2. matt - September 16, 2006

awe man, I just heard Mike speak at his Carson Workshop presentation yesterday – had I known this was an issue I would have asked him what the deal was!

3. Payara-Confessor - September 16, 2006


4. Michael Arrington - September 19, 2006

hah! I agree with everything in this post actually. The fault is all mine, not the Japanese editorial team. We should have covered this on techcrunch.com as well.

5. fukumimi - September 19, 2006


It is all well and good that you stand up to take the blame for the oversignt, but I am assuming this is in reference to the fact that Mixi wasn’t picked up at TechCrunch.

However, I can’t help but feel that this is symptomatic of a fundamental problem with TechCrunch Japanese.

Contributors to TechCrunch and its French and UK counterparts identify themselves. They all create original content, as well as introducing (translated) content from HQ as appropriate. (as far as French is concerned)

Having had a look at TechCrunch Japanese’s archives, there have been a grand total of 2 comments (from one person, and neither have had a response) and 2 trackbacks in the whole of September.

I can’t help but think that the lack of activity is related to the anonymity and the inability to function independently. A situation where comments left in Japanese have to be translated into English for a response (which is then translated into Japanese again, probably) doesn’t sound like a viable plan for a thriving community. (Of course, the fact that the translations whilst acceptable (give or take the weird mistranslation or two) have a rather mechanical quality probably doesn’t help.)

The Japanese Editorial team should be taking a more visible role, and to do so the team requires people who live and breathe “Web 2.0”, understand what it is about, and have a solid set of opinions which they should be willing to voice.

The team’s unwillingness or inability to do so thusfar would indeed seem to be a misjudgement on your part (for selecting such a team who did not already have the required skills/outlook to feel like a part of the TechCrunch brand from day 1), but I would have thought 3 months is more than enough time for the team to get up to speed and embrace the TechCrunch ethos, and the fact that they do not appear to have done so is in my opinion a failing of the team rather than of the person who selected them.

To be blunt, the Japanese content doesn’t feel like it is being managed (or to be exact, just translated) by people who share your passion.

Much of TechCrunch’s value comes from the many comments left by readers who share that passion, and as yet that value remains very much inrealised for the Japanese version.

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