You may recall that I happened upon a company, IA Global, while surfing a couple weeks ago.
IA Global is a San Francisco-based firm that made select investments in Japan-side businesses that catered to the Western foreign community there. Either together or in succession, they had done business with internet promoter Terrie Lloyd, Peter Wilson and Erik Gain of GaijinPot/G Plus Media, another firm involved in the selling of communication bandwidth and one (maybe the same) that sold call center services for things like gap insurance.
One post quickly attracted the attention of Terrie Lloyd, here, and another fellow named Bruce Spencer, who I’ve never heard of before, but who had this to say. The same identical comment was offered under a screen name “Maid in Japan”, so I decided to pick the comment that seemed to have a real identity behind it.
I responded to both gentlemen–I believe I did it fairly and clearly–but they disappeared.
Sometime later I found this comment at the Japan Probe website:
While Hoofin seems to compare himself to Debito, after reading through some of Hoofin’s writings, it is clear to me that Hoofin is no Debito. While both can be rather annoying with their rants about Japan and the myriad of “injustices” (these two would do well to read up on Harry Browne’s Identity and Burning Issue Traps), and boogeyman conspiracy theories, the latter lacks the edge of bitterness that exudes from Hoofin’s rants. As misdirected as they might be, Debito’s “causes” generally have something to do with his perceived rampant discrimination in Japan against gaijin (oh, forgive me, I think “foreign resident of Japan” is the proper term?), whereas Hoofin seems to direct his rants toward any foreigners or businesses in Japan enjoying any degree of success. These obviously Poppy Syndrome-induced attacks, largely based on his stealth, information-gathering fact find missions (what most of us would call “googling”), seem to indicate that Hoofin has had a long run in Japan, but has gone back to the wonderfully-devoid-of-injustices Obama led U.S. after things didn’t quite work out as expected here in Japan. Therefore, he has taken it upon himself to fight for the cause of Joe the Ex-English teacher, or Joe the Didn’t Quite Make It, or Joe the Tax Payer (lol), or perhaps most accurately: Joe the Downtrodden, who has been swallowed up and spat out by Japan Inc.
Let me just sum up the above in the form of a formal request to Debito, Hoofin, and any other down-with-Japan conspiracy theorists: Give it a rest, contrary to what you might think, Japan does not need you and, honestly, we just don’t care.
I can only assume that his “Maid in Japan” was the same Bruce Spencer, posting from the same IP address in Switzerland. Switzerland!
(Makes you wonder how he gets this “we” he spoke about.)
I went back and once again reviewed my IA Global post. I don’t see any “conspiracy theory” in it. IA Global was making stock-for-stock investments in internet-based business that apparently weren’t worth a fraction of what the stock transactions suggested. Terrie Lloyd sold to IA Global in a complex, seven-figure transaction that was unwound a mere five months later. Erik Gain and Peter Wilson sold a 25% stake in GaijinPot’s G-Plus Media parent for about $1.3 million in shares. Eighteen months later, it was valued at $75,000. (You realize that this would have made all of G-Plus worth $5.2 million at the height. Does anyone really believe that?)
Where did these figures come from again? “Googling?” No. They came off 10K reports, which must be filed with the American SEC. What they clearly show is that these internet-based businesses weren’t worth the valuations that were being put on them by the parties involved in the transaction. There are a number of falsehoods spun on the internet, but simply because you can get a 10K off the net nowadays does not mean that the 10K wasn’t really filed!
I would have been very happy to read about IA Global over the last couple years, in its dealings in Japan. But none of the Japan-side online media guys saw fit to report on it. When AOL bought out Huffington, Huffington Post had something to say about it.
I am only left to conclude that the gentlemen protesteth too much. It sounds like something was puffed up big, and then it deflated. The balloon is probably still deflating–which is why they are too sensitive to have someone else (other than them) talking about their industry.