Great news for all Japanese entrepreneurs - Zynga Buys Tokyo-Based Startup Unoh


Congrats to my friend Shintaro Yamada, founder and CEO of UNOH, for (reportedly) successful exit with Zynga!!

Not only for Shintaro, but also to all entrepreneurs in Japan. There has been lots of talks about why there aren't enough successful Japanese startups, and I said in my 2008 book "Paradaisu Sakoku" (Seclusion in Paradise) that the biggest problem, although not often mentioned in Japanese press, is that there is no exit, except for IPO - Japanese big corporations just don't acquire startups. IPO is a high hurdle, particularly these days. In Silicon Valley, the most common exit is the acquisition by a bigger company.

Now, this precedent will HUGELY encourage Japanese entrepreneurs. Even though Japanese companies don't acquire startups, US companies can.

Shintaro has lots of friends in the Valley. It is not a luck. He worked really hard to make it happen, not just by building services, but also by building human relationships in the Valley. He knows what is important in this world.

Hope many more will follow his trail.