Naofumi Tsuchiya dreamt of making his company Goodpatch the number one ‘user interface design’ firm in the world. But first he had to decide which market to focus on, what business model to adopt, and how to prepare this Japanese monoculture organization for international activities. Tsuchiya had to make sure to get the first steps right to make his dream come true.

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Based on field research; 13 pages.

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This case serves four main objectives: 1. To understand how the entrepreneur’s background influences the structure and operations of the company as well as its internationalization approach. 2. To understand the prerequisites for international growth – the importance of cultural and organizational differences. 3. To understand the expansion process – criteria and driving forces of expansion. 4. To understand the decisions and trade-offs entrepreneurs face when searching for funding/expertise to internationalize.


This case provides unique material for getting to understand the importance of cultural and organizational differences and their influence on company operations and structure.


Goodpatch, founded by Naofumi Tsuchiya, is a leading Japanese company in User Interface (UI) design. Ever since its foundation Naofumi Tsuchiya has dreamt of his company to internationalize and become the number one UI design firm in the World.

The lack of strategic intent on expanding internationally leaves that Tsuchiya has to make up his mind upon several dilemmas; how to grow, which market and products/services to focus on, and how to prepare the organization for international expansion given the current structure of human resources, relationships, the Japanese monoculture of the company, and the role and leadership of the founder, which will all affect the choices he needs to make. To make the decision on expanding internationally even more complex Tsuchiya has received an offer of Digital Garage, a web business and marketing company, which has offered to buy a 20% stake of Goodpatch for a price of ¥100M (approx. $1,000,000).

What are the first steps to take to make his dream come true? What factors should Tsuchiya consider in determining his growth strategy? And what response to the offer of Digital Garage would be beneficial for him?

Case Study