One of the time-honored approaches to business in Japan is, watch for new business concepts cropping up in the U.S. and Europe then adapt those ideas as quickly as you can. This happened with online auctions (where Yahoo Japan still reigns, having beaten eBay out of the auction market here), with pizza delivery (Dominoes revolutionized the industry in the 80s but upstarts Pizza La and Pizza Hut successfully copied their business model in Japan), and with Netflix-style DVD rental-by-mail (which bookstore chain Tsutaya operates). I’m a big fan of Yelp!, and I use it all the time when I’m in the U.S. to hunt up good places to eat. This business model has been imported to Japan, too, in the form of popular restaurant review site Tabelog, which helps you find good food in any part of Japan. I wonder if some Japanese business concepts couldn’t be brought to other countries? I’m a fan of Japanese “Daiko” services, a taxi with an additional driver who drives your car home for you after a night of drinking. And maybe Japanese love hotels could be exported? Or maybe that’s asking too much.
I like Tabelog’s logo too.