Sep 14

Fragmentation of Information in Korean Startup Space

fragmentation-infoI moved out here to Seoul Korea 4 years ago. I had trouble early on because Korea isn’t really a foreigner friendly place. Out of Asia’s major cities, I’d rank Seoul be last on the list. I speak Korean, but it was still hard. A lot of factors for why this is, but I want to blame the Korean internet.

Seoul has the world’s fastest internet speeds. It has the largest mobile smart phone market penetration. Yet, the Korean web is filled with old tech such as ActiveX. Trying to buy something online is a huge pain in the ass. You have to enter in all of these security codes and have certain software installed etc…

Google isn’t a major search engine here. Everything is pretty much Naver. This poses a serious problem for English speakers. This day and age, we are all dependent on getting info from Google. If Google can’t find some relevant info, what are we to do?

I recently launched a new startup in Seoul. Trying to find info about the startup scene here is taxing. Naver sucks and if I want to use it, I have to have get a native speaker on my team to help me. If I use google, I don’t get much. Cause there aren’t that many English based content about Seoul’s startup scene.

So it all boils down to content. Information. Fragmentation of information in the Korean Startup scene is one of the issues that my Startup is trying to fix.

1. The info that is available isn’t organized. It’s hard to find. It takes too much time to sort out and digest.

2. There isn’t enough content available for Google to crawl and index.

Starting with these two points, my team and I are in the process of building a platform that addresses these problems. I feel a need for it personally. And if it can help other Startup founders…Great.

Sean Lee out!

Aug 14

The future of mobile payments, Apple, Google, Amazon

iphone-fingerprintIt’s no secret that big corporations are planting the seed for the next generation of payment processing solutions. It’s a big industry to tackle. If you consider the fact that coins ruled for thousands of years. And paper currency for about a hundred years. Plastic credit cards have held firm for a few decades. The next generation will be even more secure and easy to use.

Right now there is a lot of talk about bitcoin. I personally like the concept of cryptocurrency, but the adoption rate is low and it will take a strong tech giant, or a partnership of these giant tech companies to execute the infrastructure and protocol. It’s too fragmented and only the tech savvy are playing around with this type of currency.

So, what will the future hold? Theres only really 3 players in this game. The three companies that can build and execute on the next generation mobile payments are Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Google already tried and failed with Google wallet. But Google is a trusted brand with deep multi device OS penetration. People trust Google. People already know how to use Google services. It’s just a matter of people getting onboard.

Amazon and Apple are two companies that hold the most credit card info of consumers. This gives these two companies a big head start. Both have a lot of money to execute.

If I was a betting man, I’d put all of my money on Apple. Here’s why.

1. Apple already does payment transaction on iTunes.

2. Apple is a trusted brand when it comes to security and consumer experience.

3. The integration of the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone was a big hit. It created a perception of security and it’s the best case example of user experience.

4. Recent iBeacon tech can possible payment processing and ease of use to the next level. Hardware to setup iBeacon payment stations are cheap and will be widely available in the near future.

Can you imagine visiting a coffee shop or a department store and just selecting your purchase and putting your finger on your phone to complete the transaction? How awesome is that? No need to carry a wallet. We already have our phones with us at all times. It’s secure and simple.

Note. I left out Paypal or Square out of this because in the big picture, they will merely be vendors or partners in this equation. Going into your phone and launching the Paypal app is already too much work for the future. I feel that the feature will need to happen at the root level. This gives a big advantage for Apple and Google.

Sean Lee out.