Robert Kazutomo Hori, CEO of Cybird

He got millions in Japan--and soon maybe the world--for the likes of Beethoven ring tones

You could live without a cell phone that lets you download restaurant reviews and Daffy Duck screensavers. Yes, you could, but Cybird, a mobile Internet-content provider in Tokyo, is betting you won't want to.

CEO Robert Kazutomo Hori's revolutionary idea--to charge subscription fees to cell-phone users for online content--helped hatch Japan's mobile-Internet industry. In Japan, 57 million connect to the Internet on their cell phones, more than in any other country. Cybird subscriptions have jumped 55%, to 7.3 million, in the past six months; the firm turned its first profit on sales of $60 million in the fiscal year through March.


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