I spoke to a group of Japanese students last night about entrepreneurship. They're on an exchange program with the University of Washington. One of the students wants to start a business that provides funeral services for dolls. When I first heard the idea, I thought she was joking. She wasn't! I inquired further. It turns out that of a class of 25 students, approximately 50% of the 20 year old students had a doll that they cared for regularly. Furthermore, the students that did have a doll overwhelmingly thought that this students idea was a very good business idea. I don't know if it is or not but I thought this was fascinating. Further evidence that understanding culture is critical when doing business. Funerals for dolls....mmm. Makes you think doesn't it!