Life in Korea has its fair share of social pressure. From a young age most are told to study hard and aspire to be successful by making it into one of the large conglomerate companies or holding some other prestigious job title. However, a new generation of young people is emerging who are challenging themselves to actually go after their true dreams and passions. Brand&Maker is a Korean startup which wants to share the stories of individuals like these through it’s site, Dingadinga.
Brander&Maker was founded in August 2011 by Daesang Jang and Lewis Kim. Jang studied and wanted to make brands, while Kim was a maker and liked to produce things. With their titles of “brander” and “maker”, the pair looked to find enjoyable work that they could do together with the many other “___er”s around the world. What started as a project turned into the founding of a company as they started to discover more individuals reaching for living for themselves.
The founders say that they wanted to change the attitude towards dreams and goals after watching friends go to great lengths to gain certificates like TOEIC in order to achieve the “success” of getting into a conglomerate — a success forced upon them by society, rather than pursue their true goals. They set out to do this by finding people around the country who were actually pursuing their dreams. Nevertheless, the company does not just choose anyone for interviews.
“Before we film an interview there is always a pre-interview and several meetings. Through these interviews, those who have clear goals and value for their life become our interviewees.
The founders say that because content focuses on people who do things for a living which would generally be considered “going against the grain” in Korea, many people think that those who work at big companies are not included, but they explains that this is not the case.
“If someone has a goal of working at a conglomerate and they have joined a company to pursue their dream of being a head manager for the US area, then they can talk to us about that, no problem.”
Dingadinga aims to target those who can’t find their direction in life. The company would like these type of people to think once more about their dreams and goals, and challenge themselves by watching the lives of others who have done just that.
Videos on the site have also been accessible to foreign viewers by subtitling the videos in English. Jang and Kim say that they would like foriegn viewers to also be able to find inspiration in the videos, despite cultural differences which may exist.
“There are a wide variety of people on Dingadinga. We are not introducing someone’s job but we try to capture that person’s value. When overseas viewers watch our videos it would be great if they could see Korea as a place with a variety of lifestyles.”
The pair say that Brander&Maker is not focused on earning money but finding value and making enjoyable things with other “___ers” around the world. Nevertheless, they believe that while doing this, there will soon be a profit model which comes out of it.