Fake Work

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Building a startup is hard; making the startup successful is obviously much harder. Almost everyone with some experience in the startup world knows these two facts.

Looking for a US partner? Stop looking

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In a recent Korean startup event in California I saw some great startup pitches. The startup founders showed some innovative technologies and mostly had existing traction (in Korea, and sometimes in China and Japan) and all of them came to pitch in California in an attempt to enter the US market.

Train your weak muscle

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When world-class successful people are asked how others can duplicate their success, they repeat one thing so often that it’s easy to miss: if you want to beat your competitor, you need to work harder than them. Your competitor can have more funding, more marketing power, more market presence; that’s not up to you. But your competitor cannot work harder than you unless you let them do it.

What kind of sign do you need?

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Despite living in Korea for almost 5 years now, there are still several things I don’t understand about the culture. That’s ok – a culture gap exists everywhere and I believe that anyone who has lived in a foreign country has experience the strange differences compared to their own native culture.

Doing both

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One of the most common things I hear from Korean startup founders is that “they are going after the US market”. However, they then immediately explain that at the moment, they are still selling in the Korean market. Soon, they claim, their startup will expand their marketing efforts and sell in both places.

Premature scaling

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Scaling a startup is both important and dangerous. Unlike regular companies who can afford to stay “stable”, startups either grow or die and this growth takes several stages; for example, the startup is different before and after it achieves revenue; it’s again different after the first Million dollars in annual revenues; things change again at $10 Million and so on.

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