호롱이 월드

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비즈니스, 커뮤니케이션, 디지털, 책, 그리고 삶의 단상들
by 호롱이
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Two months ago, I had a small opportunity that makes me think of my personal trait.

Am I a political garbage?

A collegue who seat next to me emailed me that I am being political when talking to boss. Even though I caught some nuance of joke from it, it makes me angry and I returned the email with showing my furious emotions. It's because it hurted my self-dignity and resolutions.

At that time, I came to reach the conclusion that no matter how I deny someone's image, it was his or her own perception and I cannot control it. In other words, if image is really far from reality, or identity, the ability to see the extent which image and identity match accurately varies depending on people.

However, after time has passed, I felt that I should have listened my colleague's words, given the fact that she has been with me for more than 1 year.

I am not a natural-born politician. My dad was a typical representitive of strict and strong father, so I had to adapt to and overcome the big environment in a way of pleasing him. For this reason, I easily acquired many good skills when meeting seniors including appropriate words, facial expressions, and right timing to show my insistence. I hate to admit the ability, but it has been played as one of my weapons especially in Korean formal society.

When I serving the military duty at NIS, a Korean CIA that, in my view, is the traditional bureucratic organization, it was awful to see the people who stopped keeping his dignity and is being political for his own interests. I remembered that I firmly decided not to live like that.

Yes, I am good at politics.

But, I will use the power only for righteous cause or organization's sucess, not for my interests.

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为人民服务 (For the people's benefit)


'Others' 카테고리의 다른 글

Am I a Political Garbage?  (0) 2007.12.31
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At the risk of sounding strange, I have not heard about Spanish company before. So, The first time when I happened to know that Zara that I had seen in Shanghai and Tokyo is a Spanish clothing retailer, I became curious about what is the factors making the company to be a global brand. (Zara would enter into Korean market through Lotte Shopping next spring.)

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Zara Store

After reading a few articles about the Zara's success story, I found out some interesting facts.

When it comes to corporate strategy, all strategies can be categorized into two groups - differentiation or cost-leadership. The key factor that impacts business success lies in that how effectively and efficiently a company drive the strategy that it selected.

Zara grabbed a success and became a multinational brand by accentuating differentiation to today's fragmented market. Li & Fung Group, a Hong Kong based global retailer, has also grown into a global comapany with focusing on cost-leadership. The two companies have one thing in common - Both of them revolutionized their distribution system by fully exploiting IT technologies. They achieved their strategic goal not through branding, advertising, but through supply -chain management.

Zara took unusual path to make differentiations. The spanish company started doing holistic supply-chain management that means taking control over every part of business including procurement, design, manufacturing, and distribution. It was a quite different movement, given the trend in fashion industry that emphasized outsourcing.

It is widely known that the company can deliver new clothing lines within two to three weeks, compared to the fact that other fashion brands need 9 months to do that. (It is Dell in the fashion field.) So, customers can always browse new clothes at Zara store.

To react more quickly to changing customers' needs and fashion trend, it fully utilized new technologies. According to HBS article issued in 2005, the company have separate design, sales, and procurement and production-planning staffs for each clothing line. (It is similar to Li & Fung's organizational structure.) IT technologies links between them. With this technolgies, information that increase their agility and flexibility can ceaselessly flow through the dynamic structure of the organization.

Likewise, Li & Fung Group made a quantum leap towards becoming a global comapny by ochestrating global supply chains. The asian company's boderless manufacturing system that reminds me of one of the Roma's competencies that is letting each region do what it can do best contrubuted its cost-saving greatly. It means that the total cost savings amount including all the extra transportation fees caused by manufacturing each item (zipper, button) in different geographical areas to make one finished product (pants) outweigh the one from assigning one factory. IT technology enables it giving a basis for real-time communication with customers, and between headquaters and country offices.

Like circulating blood in our body, only the company who has a good heart - an strong initiative for building an advanced SCM system - and vessels - IT technologies based on flat organizational sturcutre - can grow into a global company.
We are getting overwhelmed with proliferation.

It is much more than just thinking over which books I should buy at a large bookstore. The modern technologies crossing time and distance such as Wikipedia, Blog, YouTube, iTunes make everyone to become whoever they want to be including author, producer, reporter and professor.

As we might be unconcious of it, we see ourselves in need of 'criterion' more than ever. However, there was little advancement in criterion field compared with speed of proliferation. Let's say that you visit the YouTube site, the site gives the four criterions including Feature, Most Viewed, Most Discussed, and Top Favorites. Even though YouTube has a quite good searching technology, it can not provide what you wanted for. What if you feel like to watch the qualified video that make well-recognized artists smile?

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YouTube Main Page

As you can notice above, most of the criterions in online sites have stopped evolving from the belief that the total number of particitants guarantee quality of contents at some extent. But, it didn't work as well as they hoped. Think about the most read news artice in NAVER. The articles always have good information? No, it is really far from the quality.

Today, people tend to rely on brand. It is natural for us to find new good contents sources and to memorize them by names. However, it requires time and efforts under the limit of options of criterions. We want a man with knowledge to do it instead of us. Suppose that you are doing research about African history. You type the words in the search engine box. Even though numerous artciles, news, and reports come out, you don't have any idea which one you should pick up. So, you aggregate the things from well branded sites such as NYT, FT and Economist first. But, you want more than those. In this situation, a well known professor who devoted his life in researching the field gave you an offer to sell his favorite sites list. How much can you pay for it?  

The online service providers at the pick of dot com boom has entirely focusing on gaining new subscribers, so that they couldn't help but giving contents for free. That is the main reason why so many trash-like contents are made and scattered. We already accustomed to automatically selecting good information by our own methologies or brand.

But, the upcoming proliferation when threre is no clear line between information sources and receivers increase users' needs for new criterions or the service providers compiling the good contents sources.

TNM, a Korean pioneer in blog business, has been keeping my eyes. The company has partnered with qualified bloggers and make an environment for promoting their activities while protecting their independencies. It was totally differs from other meta blog sites, given the fact that they spent so much time in screening out good bloggers, focusing on 'quality'.

I believe these kinds of new sites can be good models during the time without the workable alternatives to current number-based criterions.
I have been interested in China including history, architecture, business and kung-fu, since when I happened to read Jin Rong's The Legend of the Condor Heroes' at 9 years old. (He is one of the most influencial Chinese novelist in Korea. And, so many young people were crazy about his work.) So, I could grab the chance to go to Shanghai for a new business from my mentor, and spent my whole senior year to prepare the retail business with learning Chinese, reading various books about China. The dream for establishing my own retail chain all across the China had to be postponed by failing to gaining seed money. However, The business that I attempted turned out to be successful; I learned Mandarine through the meeting with various Chinese people, experienced the business on the stage of real world, not on the book and had my own perspective for understanding China.

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중국이 뒤흔드는 세계

My friends have been asking me which is the best book to understand China for beginners. Everytime when I got this kinds of questions I recommended the book that I had recently read. However, for a while, I can stronly recommend an excellent book, China Shakes The World - The Rise Of A Hungry Nation by James Kynge.

A few weeks ago, I recommended the book for my firm's book club, cellebrating its opening. (Flanckly, I organized the club to introduce the book to more colleagues.)

Whenever I read the books about China written by Korean and Chinese authors, most of them were under the influence of the East's way of thinking. There were few books that have both oriental and western perspectives. Kynge has a balanced perspective about China; He speaks Mandarine fluently and has been watching China for a long time as a FT journalist.

The book begins on German, not China. He illustrated the reason why Germany's largest steel plant when World War II finished could not escape the destiny of being dismantled by Chinese workers. The author went to China to find out the reasons and   managed to have an interview with the CEO that had acqured the german plant. He  explained the purchaser's long journey about how he became one of the successful Chinese business leaders overcoming the limits that a poor village worker had, with illustrating China's big economical turn arounds. Kynge is a great blend master mixing the individual things like personal stories and the social things such as China's historical moments in economy, society and culture, in the eyes of global citizen.

Kynge's eye was not fixed at business; He explores various areas such as ideology, piracy, corruption and environment. One of my favorite chart is China's intangible limits brought by the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to control everything around the China. (When I read the part, it suddenly occurred to me that I asked a few things about the party's movements to my Chinese friends during my stay in Shanghai, even the most liberal one closed their mouth and tried to change the subjects.)

A few years later, the influence from China will prevail in Korea more than any other time. For anyone interested in leveraging the influence, this book will be a corner stone to have a balanced eyes on the axis making world to shake.

'Book Related' 카테고리의 다른 글

China Shakes The World  (0) 2007.10.14
If someone asks me who is your most favorite journalist, it would be Nicholas D. Kristof.

I got to know him through my best mentor about 5 years ago. At that time, I often read his columns to improve my language ability. But, there was something different in his writings, especially in terms of passion. His words smells like a strong scent that reminding me of a man of actionalbe intelligence.

As you can see the below URL, his biography is quite diffenent from others. He has a bird's eye view combining the deep perspectives from the East and the West gained from learning foreign languges, and talking with real people, not just reading some books.


His current interest is focused on agonies in developing world, especially in Africa. Last year, I happened to see that Mr. Kristof gave all the people in the world an invitation to his 'Win a Trip' contest through which the selected people could accompany him on a reporting trip to the Africa. This year, he also held the annual contest to turn people's eye into what is going on in the other world.

He and his two chosen people have been doing a great job. The three people have been hanessing the power of blogs and video to make those who did not recognize the existance of the being suffered think of them. (Please refer to the URL below.)


Reading his articles, I was quite shocked and felt the Africa's sorrow. And I came to think that why there were relatively little young people in Korea who get attention to the other poor world, not Korea.

I think that it maybe related to scarce opportunities for them to see the outside, except rich countries.

Mr. Kristof asked a question in his article, "Where's the best place to get an education?" Harvard or Yale, Oxford or the Sorbonne? But he urges you to add one city Ndjame to the list, one of the poorest country in the world, saying that Utah is one of the cosmopolitan states because so many young Mormons spend two years abroad as missionaries. (If my memory serves me correctly, a well-known Harvard professor Clayton Christensen who is famous for the book 'Innovator's Dillemma' was also served as missionary for Mormon church in Korea, when he was 19 years old.)

I hope that, sooner or later, some Korean journalists or any type of leaders impress young people to see and feel the other world, not Paris, but Darfur, to build his/her character through delightful suffering.

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언제부터인가 내가 읽는 책의 거의 대부분이 역사, 경제, 비즈니스에 국한되어 있었다.

그러나, 지금은 그 때 그랬나 싶지만... 고등학교 그리고 대학 2학년때 까지의 나의 모습은 새벽 2시에도 음악을 이야기 하고, 당시 국내에 들어오지 못하던 일본 영화를 신촌에 찾아가서 보고...작곡을 위해 샘플러, 모듈레이터, 키보드를 충동적으로 구매한 후... 카드값에 8개월간 힘들어해보고... 밴드연습을 집에서 하다가 아버지께 친구들이 보는 앞에서 크게 혼도 나보고...

그 당시에는 무엇인가 삶을 풍부하게 만들기 위해... 또는 그 순간만을 생각하기 위해... 젊음을 투자했는데...

어느 순간 감수성을 잃은 채 삶의 균형을 잃기 시작하는 것이 아닌가 하는 생각이 문득문득 든다...

그럼에도 불구하고 가끔이나마 내가 다시 소설로 눈이 가게 하고, 음악을 듣게 하는 것은... 오로지 내 주위에 있는 사람들 덕분이다... 아직도 락페스티벌이라면 하던 일을 모두 남긴 채 해외로 바로 출국할 수 있는 ㅎㅁ, 어릴 적 꿈을 위해 일본 유명 게임회사에 지원해 다음주면 출국하는 ㅅㅈ, 아버지를 설득해 뉴욕에서 새롭게 도전을 하고 있는 내 동생 ㄷㅇ, 9년 연상의 그녀와의 사랑을 완성하고 올해 12월에 결혼하는 ㅁㅅ...

그리고, 무엇보다도 항상 내 곁에서 내 삶을 항상 돌아보게 만들게 해주는 그녀, 아롱이.

공자께서 汎愛衆 而親仁이라고 하셨다는데, 모든 사람을 사랑하나 나만의 따뜻한 향기가 나는 仁한 친구들과 함께 한다면 삶에 힘들고 치이더라도 항상 그 자리에 있을 수 있다는 확신이 든다...

Daughter - John Mayer


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나를 그 자리에 있게 하는 건  (1) 2007.10.07
No one can deny that 'The Long Tail', the book introducing a new theory that our economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a few hit products, 'head', toward a massive number of ones, 'tail',  is one of the top sellers in business book last year.

Applying the theory into the web 2.0, web 2.0 companies who have to promote users' participation for their survival such as YouTube, Facebook, Second Life, Digg, and Flickr, might consider making huge number of anchoring points in their platform in order to get participation from most users.

However, there're something to be considered first.

A few days ago, I registered for Facebook to communicate my friend in Hong Kong conviniently. Not long after finishing setting up my account, I could see the major difference between Facebook and Cyworld, the No.1 Korean social networking site.

It was applications created by many participants that makes the site richful and gives the ability to users to customize according to their own styles. I had exact the same feeling when I enter the world of Second Life. I am a huge fan of computer game, so I had a lot of chances to go into the online world such as Ultima online, World of Warcraft since about 10 years ago. Second Life seems to be very similar to those kinds of massive multiplayer online games, but it also has a siginificant differentiation; users can make every object constituting the world.

<Making Second Life Guitar>

With the help of those who has high commiment for the site, Second Life could step towards becoming a more realistic world in terms of diversity. The fact that the web 2.0 companies giving users more power like opening their algolithm to everyone makes them evolving with a hugh momentum.

What we should look at is the importance of 'leveraging' in the world of web 2.0. The companies that fail to leverage those who are willing to spend their precious time and efforts can not last long.

However, the number of them is quite small. Less than 5% of users create video for YouTube, generate contents for Wikipedia, and develop applications for Facebook.

It boils down to this. To make huge number of anchoring points in web 2.0 platform, web 2.0 companies should focus on giving differentiated benefits to a small number of users, 'head' first, not 'tail'.

The companies can develop two strategic approach to each 'contents producer' and 'contents consumer'. For example, they can provide lots of chances for 'contents maker's action to be easily noticed while streamlining the process of that contents consumer give thier feedback to the maker contructively.

The long tail follows Pareto's law in the era of web 2.0.
Frequency of use of certain words is a good way to see what people are looking for.  I think 'contents' is one of the most popular words these days that was less common before. As contents become a crucial thing among the companies who have to depend on people's interests to survive, many of them from portal to PR agency need to develop their own methodology to make contents that can draw attention and can be reproduced into  various types through users' commitment.

A few months ago, when I was checking the iTunes store, I could see top popular video podcast that was 'Flight of the Conchords' from HBO. My first thoughts after waching it was that HBO always satisfies my expectation. The TV show that was based on two men's story who visited New York from New Zealand for buiding the better music career.

The related URL: http://www.hbo.com/conchords/about/index.html

The guys have their unique musical style covering rap to fork and full sense of humor.

(I really enjoyed the video and watched it more than 10 times) 

The two genious musicians have successfully put their music into the show in harmony.

I guess many of you might see this TV show is real something new. Actually, HBO has been making lots of experiments when planning TV shows. Sex and the City, Rome, Six feet under and etc...

Everytime I see the contents from HBO, I am getting more convinced that the most assured way to make good contents is making defferentiation through innovation. However, I see lots of online ads agencies, even PR agencies, use a series of gimmick to catch peoples eyes on their vacant contents.

Given the proliferation speed of contents especially in online world, I believe, that kinds of trick works no longer.

I asked one of my mentor who is most influential to me the question; "Could you explain to me 'Strategy' using just one word". (He specializes in business strategy.)

His answer was 'differentiation'. The formula of 'first imitation and then innovation' is not applicable in making contents.

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Recently, I happened to read an interesting article about marketing at HBR.
The related URL: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5783.html

The professor of HBS, John A. Deighton, suggested that the prediction of direct marketing that was prevailed about 4-5 years ago has turned out not to be applicable anymore. Followers of direct marketing believed that, as technologies improved, marketers could find new tools to interact more directly with consumers. However, the professor said that they missed one thing. Consumers can communicate with consumers with much more convienience as new tools including online platform come out.

During my university days, many students who have interests in marketing were crazy about IMC, especially from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern university. In my case, I was not totally convinced about that. I still remember that I gave a different opinion to the IMC evangelists with two points. IMC that stresses the importance of customer data that can be utilized for customizing each consumers' needs to get a life-long relationship has still a long way to be adopted by many industries. A few industries who are in good condition to aggregate the data easily, such as card companies, large retalilers, would develop a system like eCRM, while lots of industires can see that the existing STP strategy is still quite effective when it comes to opportunity costs. Plus, as more and more companies kicked off IMC campaigns, there is little differentiation in the services they provide. Everyone has at least 3 to 4 membership cards and is given special promotion email everyday. After changing the mobile service operator from KTF to SKT, I feel no difference at all.

I believe that the 'eye' is much more important that not only just understand a consumer, but feel him/her as a 'person'.

Given the increase in consumers to consumers communications, I think that the best way for the marketers who want to find their place in these new trend is to become one of them, not marketer, but 'person'. The companies who make a series of experiments for approaching to consumers with more personal and friendly way through new tools such as corporate blog, web platforms will take a leadership in the era of new marketing paradigm.



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