Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Back in Japan! Why it’s Nozbe’s second home.


Back in 2010 a person known as ZonoStyle in the Japanese Internet wrote a book about creative lifestyle and productivity with iPhone and iPad… and in the first chapter wrote about Nozbe. This is how my love affair with Japan began… and now I’m back here (on vacation with my wife), admiring the views and the first cherry-blossoms:

Back in Japan! Why it’s Nozbe’s second home.

My Japanese story…

Here’s my Japanese story in a nutshell: Zono’s book resulted in many Japanese users signing up for Nozbe, me contacting him, him eventually writing the first ever book about Nozbe (in Japanese), me coming to Japan in 2011 exactly for the biggest earthquake ever and falling in love with Japan anyway. I came back again in June 2011 and this year, after three years I’m back here again - and apart from spending time with my wife and showing her around, I will be meeting Nozbe users in the coolest place ever - Apple Store Ginza. Yes, I still love Japan. Here’s why:

Japanese Nozbe users are amazing

In the beginning we had only our Nozbe site in English. When we discovered the interest from Japan, I quickly hired a Japanese-speaking person (Zofia) to help us translate the page and offer customer support in Japanese. Japanese users quickly proved to be amazing.

First, they were complaining less, and asking constructive questions more than any other people on our service. Second, they have no problem paying for service that brings them value… (but are also very demanding, so if they are disappointed - they do ask for a refund). Third, they’re also usually very courteous and nice to deal with.

Yes, I’m generalizing - but that has been our experience thus far.

Being in Japan in person helps

I managed to experience everything in Japan: my first press event, my first big-time media interviews, the terror of an earthquake and helping people there, seriously - everything. I wouldn’t manage to pull it off without a tremendous help from Zono, Kiran and Toru, Shigotano and many other people along the way.

The food is great

Yep, it is. Sushi, Tempura, Beef, Shabu-shabu, Lunch-boxes, you name it - Japanese food is simply amazing and I love eating out here. And in general Japanese people are thin, so I’m hoping not to get fat here :-)

The country is beautiful

Yep, and during this trip I’m more of a tourist than a business-guy… so I’m enjoying traveling with my wife, meeting friends and sight-seeing: visiting shrines and amazing places in Kyoto and Tokyo. Just wow. For a person from a western culture things are so different and so new… like all of the time. We keep on discovering something every single day. Follow me on Instagram for updates,

Doing business in Japan is challenging… and amazing

Just think about it: a guy from Poland, Central Europe, running a global cloud productivity app is helping the most efficient nation in the world get things done even better thanks to his tool. And he’s even trying to inspire these folks with a local productivity magazine.

Yes. It feels surreal. Every time. To me. Yet it is just great, rewarding and amazing. And I simply love being here. I love spending time with my Japanese friends. I’m just so happy Nozbe’s second home (after United States) is Japan. And I’m even happier I have the opportunity to experience this now yet again, together with my wife.

Greetings from Tokyo, Japan!

Question: Have you ever been to Japan? Why not yet? :-)

Thursday, March 27, 2014 /big-in-japan/