Weekly Column: 2017-11-10


In this time of fierce competition, it is not easy to succeed with only good technology. Even success in this severe atmosphere of competition, without being able to anticipate trends, you will quickly fall behind.

Recently, there is a noticeable increase in the number of Korean companies that are seeking to enter the international markets. Rather than fight within a limited domestic market, it is much more desirable to go into the larger international market, get real evaluations, get more buyers or investors, and maybe even make a connection into a partnership. In order to do this, they must first find government agencies that can connect them to the international market, go to a large event, or make connections with local well-known companies. Of course, they could try to do this on their own, but going into a new market without knowing anything about it is not the best idea.

Some enterprises have gone with this approach, met with good buyers, and were successful, but there have been too many cases in which enterprises with much better technology were unable to succeed. Seeing this, some people say that success depends on luck. Also, people are called unlucky when they are unable to come across these chances or let them slip by. It may be that luck plays a certain degree of success. While success cannot be wholly attributed to luck, we cannot simply dismiss luck.

While recently visiting Korea, I was able to see a case in which no matter how much luck was involved, it was highly unlikely that this particular enterprise would be successful. There is a good reason why there is no effect, no matter how good a plan or objective, or how much effort is put in. The enemy of success lies within.


I have found that the greatest problem with Korean culture lies in its culture of personal relations. No matter how good the objective of the company is, there must be that “something” that helps to keep things going forward; there must be a synergistic effect. But once again, we come across the problem of Korea’s culture of personal relations. The culture of hiring people because they are someone they know rather than because of their skills has been confirmed through connections or hiring them because it benefits them. In some way, this is a stumbling block from getting an accurate evaluation and is a huge hindrance to the business itself.  Also, because they cannot be properly vouched for, companies are not prepared to fail when they go international. Companies that are well prepared but fail, it's because they were unable to make the proper connections with the right agencies. Although they could simply put this aside by saying that they were unlucky, this is a case where no one could succeed even if they were lucky.

Water naturally flows down from high places. Leaving personal connections aside, think of what would happen if we seriously considered both sides, selected the proper companies, and distinguished the agencies that could lead these companies to success. This is a way to minimize the risks of failure and increase the chances of success simultaneously. And wouldn’t it bring better results if luck followed as well?

Nevertheless, if we connect with good people and companies through personal relations, that benefit one another, we can expect good results. It is, therefore, necessary to have a thorough vetting process to create this good personal relationship.


We must take care that we do not become the company that is unprepared or has a product that has been untested that brings about failure. You must ensure that simply because a business is international with the illusion of a professional name, does not bring about the failure of a verified company. With the proper vetting process, we can prevent many failures. If you think that the process itself is important, please remember that you must have proper verification for evaluating your results.