The Founder IPO Letter was originally written in Japanese. To read the original, click here.
The story of Goodpatch began in 2011, the year I set foot in San Francisco. I remember the ardent passion of startup entrepreneurs, the early beta user interfaces already so intuitively designed, the ethos that sparked countless groundbreaking products, and most vividly, the blue sky above it all. I dreamt of creating products that would change the world from my home of Japan, and I dreamt of empowering those who were bold enough to do the same. This was the beginning; the beginning of my dreams of blue.
Goodpatch began as a software user interface design company. We’ve grappled with design challenges with our clients, working side by side since our very first days. Although I lacked formal education in the field, I committed myself to design day after day, and over time I became aware of its fathomless potential. As I came to see its ever-growing necessity in Japan, I was also forced to confront reality: the value of design wasn't recognized in Japanese business contexts, nor were designers acknowledged in them. However, I believed that we must create a world that invests in design. Sustaining that dream was a vision to push the world forward with design that moves people's hearts, and a mission to prove the power of design.
I don't believe there was anyone at that time who believed a design company could achieve public ownership. Many remarked that the value of design was impossible to quantify in business and that it was impossible to go public with the business model of a design company. However, I had faith that if the stock market–the symbolization of capitalism–were to recognize the public ownership of a design company, all who believed in the power of design would be inspired, and all who hadn’t would come to understand. Six years ago when we declared to prove the power of design, I resolved to make Goodpatch the first publicly owned design company.
We faced countless obstacles until realizing what could be called an absurd dream. Each time our spirits were about to fall, however, we took the challenge head-on. It was the unrelenting support of our team members and clients that brought us to IPO. Now that we stand at the starting line of a new chapter, we would like to restate our unchanging will.
1. To raise the investment value of design
Design is not the creation of surface-level beauty, it is the creation of value through experiences that reflect the essence of business goals and products. Design is not a short-term purchase, it is a long-term investment towards the brand assets of a corporation. At the moment, however, design and the designers involved are undervalued. We will therefore raise the investment value of design and ensure society’s high recognition of designers
2. To design for the challengers and for the challenge
We have partnered with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs with the drive to create change in the world. We believe in embracing each client’s challenge as our own. In transforming their hopes to realities, we bring our own passion to fuel theirs and overcome challenges side by side. We will expand the potential of design by pushing beyond present limits.
3. To move forward despite complexity and uncertainty
We have confronted countless challenges of great complexity and uncertainty, whether it be in business, organizations, or human emotions. Through design, we have unraveled structure within the complexity, grasped the essential, and discovered the path to solutions. However, we cannot foresee all, so when faced with complexity and uncertainty, we resolve to confront it head-on and carry forward.
We now stand at the starting line that other design companies have only dreamed to reach. Going forward, the significance of design will grow within Japan. Businesses will need to reevaluate their "why" and empathize with their customers, partners, and workers; because above all, to invest in design is to invest in the emotional experience of human life. Goodpatch commits to remain unaffected by fleeting trends, to find the essence within all people and things, to operate with sensibility, to build long-term trust, and to continually prove the power of design.
With the spirit of our early days, we hold onto our dreams of blue, and push the world forward.
Stay blue, go forward.
Goodpatch Inc. CEO