Michael Eckhardt — Managing Director, Chasm Institute


Japan has historically excelled at world class manufacturing.  It’s a hardly disputed fact that no other country matches this amazing capability.  Manufacturing lends itself to incremental improvement through quality principles like kaizen, decentralized shop floor decision-making, and keiretsu-based value chains … manufacturing traits embraced and optimized by Japan’s large companies. However, what worked exceptionally well from 1970-1989 in driving Japan’s economic miracle and prosperity faltered with the bursting of the “Nikkei Bubble” in 1990.  What happened?

In 2 words:  Digital Disruption!

1 Waves of Digital Disruption


Tech Innovation in Japan

Over the past 25 years, new technologies have fueled business model innovation and category re-invention around the globe – but not in Japan.  These powerful disruptive forces demand new skills and approaches to innovation that go beyond traditional manufacturing process improvement.  And Japan has largely missed out.

During the past 2 years, we have spoken with many Japanese industry executives and tech leaders who are actively working on impressive innovation projects — but struggling with the transition to actual success in the market.

We know that there is no shortage of innovation in Japan.  Japanese technology leaders and industry experts consistently use all the right buzzwords when talking to us like IoT, AI, VR and AR, machine learning, cognitive computing, and big data.  Innovative thinking is in the air.  What is missing in Japan are the skills + capabilities for successfully bringing the following types of innovations to market:

Capture 1In our work with Japanese executives and their teams, we are addressing the two root causes that have allowed many Japanese tech companies to miss major waves of technological innovation in the past 25 years:

(1)  A failure to successfully innovate, due to a traditional business culture averse to radical change and disruption.

(2)  A reliance on product-driven thinking — lead by engineering teams operating in silos — who often lack the customer insight, market knowledge, and go-to-market skills needed to capture and win new markets.

Our Chasm team has spent the past 15+ years helping many global tech companies to accelerate growth through technology innovation. We are the recognized Silicon Valley experts in helping companies launch + scale new innovations, and then transitioning them into dominant high-growth businesses — something we experienced first-hand in our work with GE tied to the rise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Our work in Japan is based on 6 key factors:

  • Our learnings from our 500+ client engagements during the past 15 years — with companies like GE, IBM, Google, Cisco, Adobe, Salesforce, Mitsubishi, and many other global tech leaders.
  • Our best-selling books from Chasm Institute Chairman Geoffrey Moore, a well-known Silicon Valley thought-leader, that are now newly-updated and available in Japanese, with over 3,000,000 copies sold worldwide:

Crossing the Chasm
Marketing & Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

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Escape Velocity

Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past

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  •  Our travels to Japan 4 to 5 times per year, where we provide advisory and consulting services … with content available in both English and Japanese.
  • Our actionable frameworks and methods for successfully launching and scaling new innovations into key markets worldwide.
  • Our additional services focused on open innovation, change management, and Silicon Valley best practices.

If you are interested in learning more about our work with Japanese tech companies, or have any questions or comments, please contact us at:

>>  Michael Eckhardt at meckhardt@chasminstitute.com

Can Japan Capture the Next Technology Wave?
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