My name is Ken Westin, I am the founder of a startup called GadgetTrak based in Portland, Oregon which develops security and tracking software for laptops and mobile devices. Given the nature of our business we work a lot with international partners and lately have been working with a lot of partners in Japan. Having studied in Japan and taking several years of Japanese I am keenly aware of the inter-personal dynamics of Japanese business culture. Many times business deals are closed based on the personal relationship that you develop with the client, as it is based just as much on trust as it is on your product or service.
A key component is to make sure that you don’t embarrass your potential client. Providing a background and bio about you and your company in Japanese is a great way to show respect, as well as provide them with confidence they are understanding you and your company without the risk of something getting lost in translation. This is why I wanted a way to have both an Japanese and English version of my About.me profile. I figured out a great way to do this by creating a secondary profile and linking to it from my English profile.
This then links to another profile I setup that mirrors my English bio in Japanese which also links back to the English version. A simple solution, but highly effective. I may add additional languages in the future as our company moves into more international markets.
Another great service I am using in combination with About.me is AudioName.com which allows you to easily record you speaking your name. Particularly given the increasing globalization of business is is a great tool to allow other people to pronounce your name. This is helpful in Japan as it helps avoid your client feeling embarrassed, giving them a chance to learn how to pronounce your name before you meet them. Adding your “AudioName” to your profiles on About.me just makes sense, particularly if you are going to be adding multiple language profiles.