When things go really bad

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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The boxer Mike Tyson famously said: “Everybody has a plan until they get hit”. Startups are no different; startup founders usually have a plan for how to make the company succeed, but rarely have a plan for what to do when things go really bad.

Buying the cow for a glass of milk

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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The biggest challenge I have when advising Korean startups is to keep the company's size in check. I talk, write and discuss this a lot – but despite all of that, Korean startups seem to be making this mistake again and again.

Korean startups and Partnerships

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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Korean startups have a partnership problem. I'm not completely sure what are the reasons, but it's quite evident: Korean companies, and especially startups, have great difficulties creating overseas partnerships. In today's connected world, this should not be the case.

Show, don't tell

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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Imagine you're going to an important business meeting to discuss a new partnership, and you're dressed with short pants, a t-shirt and flipflops. Showing up to a meeting with the wrong clothes does not guarantee you will fail to achieve your goals; it's certainly possible you will convince the potential partner about your technology and the benefits and that it will all end well. But I think it's clear that you're making it much harder on yourself.

Making promises you need to keep

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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One of my portfolio companies recently asked me a seemingly simple question; they are raising a funding round and received two proposals, one being substantially higher than the other. They thought it was an easy decision: take the free money, right? Not so fast. My answer to them wasn't what they expected to hear.

Why you shouldn't take Bill Gates as your mentor

Written by Sujung Kim on .

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Jack Welch is probably the most respected manager of my generation. He spent 40 years in General Electric (GE), half of that as the company's CEO, and brought GE to be one of the largest, powerful and most respectable companies in the world. Jack Welch is one of the smartest managers in the world, but I'm quite sure he will make an awful startup mentor.