America is just waking up to the vast potential of the wireless Web. In Japan, nearly a third of the population already works, plays, and shops with wireless, continuously connected to a universe of data, services, and communities. The force responsible is a young company with a name that means "anywhere" in Japanese: DoCoMo. Another case study that examines a specific corporation for management lessons it can share with others, DoCoMo--Japan's Wireless Tsunami
takes a riveting look at the worlds second-largest mobile phone service that has, after only two years, a customer base as big as AOLs. Dont think of this book as an apology for the languishing telecom industry. Instead, its an inside look at how creativity and innovation were nurtured at one of the worlds stodgiest companies--Nippon Telephone and Telegraph--and how a small team of committed visionaries never said "Never" and created DoCoMos extraordinarily popular I-mode technology.
For those who've read of the importance of "intrapreneurship" in corporations, here is a real-life exploration of that principle in action. Noted business strategists John Beck (The Attention Economy) and Mitchell Wade give us story upon story of the dynamic personalities behind I-mode, from NTT Chairman Kouji Ohboshi--who saw DoCoMo through a series of crises that would have meant early death for most U.S. startups--to CEO Keiji Tachikawa, whose post-WWII childhood gave him a keen grasp of the economics of disparity.
With chapter headings like "People-People Who Need People" and "Passion Is Destiny," this book sends the strong message that every successful business model depends so heavily on the human factor--a point that seems lost in the venture-capital-dominated model of the West. With lessons for all business leaders, in any industry, this book stands as a testament to the pivotal role of conviction, integrity, and personal passion in business success. --Charles Decker
From Publishers Weekly
NTT DoCoMo is among the most exciting and profitable companies in the world. In three years, it has sold Internet wireless telephones to 29 million Japanese residents, despite a recession and low consumer spending. DoCoMo's I-mode phones are not just, or even primarily, for talking. They can take and transmit pictures, access the Web, send and receive data and transact business without credit cards or currency. When the company announced plans for 500% market penetration (by selling wireless services for pets) and replacing paper currency, no one laughed. DoCoMo is working hard to replicate its success outside Japan, and in March listed its stock on the New York and London stock exchanges. As a spinoff of the stodgy Japanese national telephone company, DoCoMo has unrivaled appeal for trendy hipsters and geeky gadget-heads alike. It spends $10 billion a year on research and development, a field most service providers have abandoned. Unfortunately, this book on the company written by two thinkers from Accenture's Institute for Strategic Change is outrageously padded. It provides only the sketchiest information about I-mode and the company's history and strategy. There are two pages about scheduling an interview with Chairman Kouji Ohboshi, but the interview itself is a six-year-old newspaper reprint, short and far from incisive. Much of the book consists of sidebars, such as a table of 1998 world steel production by country and a World Bank analysis of land redistribution in Japan, information seemingly irrelevant to DoCoMo and not referenced in the text.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.