I'm glad to see some change in younger generation's thinking about their careers and future. The power of technology once again proved that its influence has a huge impact on how we perceive the world. It's kind of scary thing to think about, but we cannot ignore the impact... As I read through your post, I came across a couple of questions/thoughts. First, it seems that the younger generation, especially those who are in their late twenties, started to think about running their own business in the near future. Are these young men and women truly equipped for success or set for failure? I know that this question is somewhat extreme, but is an interesting question. Based on my recent research study on Korean ESL learners and recent articles published in Korea, college students in general suffered severely from the lack of creativity, originality, and critical thinking. The lack of training for these skills in both school and home created adult learners who have no idea what to do with themselves when they are not directed by their parents or teachers. As you already know, Korean education mainly focuses on exam-driven didactic teaching methods. The external force from the parents and school to give up on their personal dreams, but to pursue what the society dictates has impaired the flexibility of young adult learners today. This begs a question: what are the chance of running a successful startup organization for these young men and women?
Second, Korea is a small nation that offers limited job opportunities for young men and women. You have probably noticed during your trips to Korea that there are so many businesses in various sectors such as consulting, finance management, gaming, and so forth. From time to time, I wonder how these businesses can possibly survive in the highly competitive marketplace. Sadly, not all businesses thrive. In fact, many of them fail shortly after opening. The new businesses usually replace the empty seats. This negative pattern repeats itself. Among these startups, how many of them actually make business deals with established companies and become recognized as reliable, competent, and profitable? Unless they possess some special merit, startup companies may have a difficult time staying in business due to the fact that established companies probably pay a very little attention or have the patience to watch them grow up to be reliable or competent. This observation/assertion presumes that their choice of doing business is through making business deals with big companies, rather than by serving individual customers. At the same time, it seems that working into channels with existing and established players is the best opportunity for a small start up in Korea to differentiate from the competition.
As you know, in this global/international business era, business requires textural understanding of the market beyond offering competitive product and service. Are these young men and women, who want to run their business, truly ready for what they are up against?
I would like to say, "Kudos to these young men and women for their courage and ambition." At the same time, checking and rechecking their business plan to look for a thousand hidden opportunities for innovation would serve them well, as well.
Thank you for sharing another awesome post, Don!
Many thanks to Jennie for her thoughts... DS
Chunghea (Jennie) Oliver shares that she grew up during the wild days as South Korea sought to shed its image as the Hermit Kingdom and to engage the hyper-modern world of global business as an engine of technologic wonder and manufacturing excellence. She travelled to the Philippines and to America to study, work, and discover a life for herself.
Along the way, Chunghea has earned degrees in both business and education, which culminated in her successful defense of an interdisciplinary dissertation looking at the question of cultural competence and second language acquisition in order to complete the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership offered by Argosy University/Hawaii.