Monday, May 11, 2015

Everything Korea: May 11 Episode, Startup Culture

Summary and Links
Just back from NYC, so I wanted to share the link to The Korea Society presentation.  Nikita Desai and the team did a wonderful job hosting and then professionally producing and uploading the event.  You’ll want to set aside some time to watch the recorded session.  I have included the YouTube link in week’s copy.

The topic of Korean startups seemed to come up lots last week.  We touched upon it in The Korea Society interview, but it was a subject of discussion in several of my high level meetings while in the City.

I feel it is a “talking point” that I will be elaborating more on in the next few weeks, but frankly entreneurialism and the roots of Korean style entreureurialism has long been a subject of my study, writing and work. 

In fact, my first book was titled, The Filleys: 350 Years of American Entrepreneurial Spirit

A second book Intrepid Americans: Bold Koreans—Early Korean Trade, Concessions, and Entrepreneurship

As well as Chemulpo to Songdo IBD: Korea’s International Gateway,
 and Hyundai Way: Hyundai Speed all approach entreneurialism from different perspectives, historically and culturally.

So today, just as an introduction to the topic of Korean startups, I see the major challenge with Korean startup is culture.  Let me explain, what has evolved in America regarding startups is they tend to hub in cities like Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco, Austin, TX, and NYC, although more and more scenes are emerging like here in Golden, CO…

Within these communities I have witnessed an amazing synergy not only in day-to-day interactions and dialogue, but also in resources.  Actually spending an hour and listening to the chats and even pitches for funding in edgy Caffe Centro on a South Park  Street in San Francisco (the couple of blocks once referred as Ground Zero of the, where concepts like  Twitter were launched and scores of tech companies and startups now call home  ) one quickly sees why locating in one of these scenes is key ….

Noting this, where the gap between US and Korea occurs is primarily in mindset.  Today the entrepreneurs, angel investors and VC who launched Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Shopify continue to look for, invest and provide mentorship and guidance to what they hope will be the next success story…. In most cases they are investing resources in multiple ventures…. 

This said they know and accept that failure is part of the process…. As Biz Stone (Twitter, Square, Xanga, Medium…and a bunch more) said at SXSW…  “the failure of one venture, Jelly, led to success at a venture, Super.”

So getting back to Korea the real challenge is not in lack of ideas, innovation, and talent, but in allowing and fostering a culture for an acceptance of failure. And this is where I will take up in the next episode of Everything Korea and share some an exciting developments, which may be the very answer…so stay tuned.

Until next time….

Link to The Korea Society

Link to Don’s Books

For some fun with your iPhone

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