Weekly VentureSquare Stories are summaries of some of the week’s top posts relating to the Korean startup and venture Industry.
What does everyone think about angel investors? There are those which simply provide initial capital in the hope that it will pay off without being involved in the management of the company. There are also angel inventors who after making some capital don’t take part in management but offer advice as a mentor to the company. But do ventures really view these investors as ‘angels’? Or do they see them as a hunter’s dog? Or are they like a wolf dressed up like a sheep, tempting them with wads of cash? On Tuesday afternoon more than 100 people attended an event at the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation in Seocho-dong where a panel of investors, venture capitalists, and members of the KEF discussed important issues and ways to solve some of them. Ringblog‘s Myung Seung-eun tweeted live from the event.
Devices to Look Out For
2011 was a busy year for mobile firms. Steve Jobs passed away, Google acquired Motorola, and Samsung and Apple have continued to exchange lawsuits in a number of countries. These were all unpredictable events and likewise 2012 will no doubt bring us a number of other unexpected changes. There are also changes we can predict and here are some of the upcoming items to keep an eye on over the coming year.
Apple iPhone 5 – There is a lot of speculation about the iPhone5 and if it will actually be called that or a different name. Other features which are being talked about are the size and resolution of the screen plus the CPU speed and how this will affect the battery.
iPad3 – Continuing with Apple products, the original iPad came out in 2010, the iPad2 in 2011, so it can be expected that another version of the device will be released next year. One aspect to look forward to would be the improvement in screen resolution to 1280X1920, but this would require a lot more battery power.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2 – Amazon may also be one to keep tabs on. Selling the Kindle Fire at $199, next year’s model will also be sold at the same price. It may come to be that the tablet market is split into high-end tablets and affordable tablets, the benchmark for affordable being set at Amazon’s $200.
Other devices to look out for will be Google’s own reference phone and tablets, a new Nokia model and fasion brand smartphones similar to the Prada phone which was released by LG in 2007.
Startups in Korea – BRID’s Awesome Note
BRID are a Korean startup who have had great success with their app ‘Awesome Note’. Since coming out in 2009 it continues to be popular and was first released in English. Many overseas users are not aware that the app was made by a Korean company. The app is a diary type app which allows users to keep notes, dates, lists and reminders of things-to-do. The interface is extremely user-friendly and easy on the eye. Awesome Note currently has two versions of the app available for download on the App Store. Awesome Note can be purchased for $3.99 and Awesome Note Lite can be downloaded for free. The company has also recently released iPad versions of the app called Awesome Note HD and Awesome Note HD Lite.
Where have music consumers gone?
Opinion – Muzalive
It seems the Korean music market has a strange phenomenon that when people enter their 30s or 40s they stop listening to the music they always listened to in their 20s and as teenagers. Are these 30-40 year olds who are high spenders too busy living their lives mundanely and giving up on their culture? In contrast to Korea, the U.S the 30-40 age group lead the music market in various genres and outlets. In contrast, the Korean music industry is rapidly switching to digital music and it is becoming a market in favor of idol singers. Unlike established singers, Idols put out music which is designed for the streaming and digital music market. Rather than sweet melodies ㅡ addictive and catchy songs with strong visuals win over fans. It appears that the market for 30-40 year olds in Korea has slowed and may not continue to grow in the future.
Information Security – What counts as a crisis?
Opinion – James Chung
Recently, another major internet company was hacked and some 13 million subscriber’s personal information was leaked. But is this crisis of leaking personal information which corporate Korea has been experiencing really a crisis? In the end, the answer seems to be uncertain and that it is no different from other crises that other companies encounter. Why would they think this way?
1. By definition a company crisis occurs internally and in these cases private information of the company itself was not exposed.
2. Related employees and the CEO or C-suite in charge of making decisions regarding information security have little understanding and experience.
3. Before a crisis arises, CISO or CIO’s of companies carry great confidence in their companies information security systems.
4. Even if a crisis does arise, it would be viewed as problem with the company in general and the CISO or CIO would not be singled-out.
5. Investigation into companies involved in the recent leaking of personal information found it difficult to place sole responsibility on the company.
Due to these factors there is a high possibility that companies may not internally regard the leaking of customers’ information as a serious crisis.