Ever since IT (and now it’s ICT) and creative entrepreneurs have come along together, the very soul of the most eager-to-take-risks, yet future-promising business designers has been Silicon Valley. Have they developed the perfect ecosystem where entrepreneurs are exposed to fully-loaded opportunities to mingle with fellow entrepreneurs, develop their ideas to the next level, and find someone to grow their business together, entrepreneurs from all over the globe are marching into the Valley to take their own chances to be the next Amazon.com and LinkedIn.
It’s a great thing, on the one hand, to have a perfect playground for future business masterminds with great potential. On the other hand, however, the possible shortcoming associated with having such a specialized and closed community is the biases it may grow: the part becomes the whole, the Valley becomes the World. And it may lead to a great deal of missing opportunities.
Korea is one example.
A Geneva-based arm of the United Nations, The International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”), has released its new research on the world’s most advanced ICT economies, in terms of the level of ICT access, and use and skills of the residents, in its latest published report called “Measuring the Information Society 2011.” The ICT Development Index (IDI), which they officially call the measures, shows a strong correlation between ICT level and income levels and the significant upswing in the number of the mobile-cellular telephone users while fixed telephone/broadboad users decrease. And on top of the list, of the world’s most advanced ICT economy, was easily Korea.
For the real-world corporations, Korea has been the core of their Asian operations since while back for its market characteristics where the customers are of the most sophisticated tastes and very responsive to trends. The C-levels of global operations have known that they could dominate the Asian market if they could in Korea. From the most prestigious brand, LVMH, to FMCG brands including Johnson and Johnson and many others, they all have been reinforcing their focuses in the market by developing specially-tailored products for the Koreas customers’ tastes because the market had both the buying power and the cultural influence to all other Asian customers. It’s a well-known fact that Korean Pop culture, known as K-pop, is dominant in all Asian region, and also in other regions including Europe and America. Hadn’t it been Coke and Hollywood films that made American culture perceived to be “Cool” in the global scale? And Asian market is inarguably the next big thing.
Given such the real-world circumstances combined with her being the leader in ICT advancement and the infrastructure, Softbank from Japan’s recent heavy investment activities in Korea is not at all surprising; they in the partnership with KT, one of the leading mobile/fixed communication service providers, are now building a massive data center in Busan, Korea. Mike Gitig, VP of Business Development at Gobbler, has also said that Korea is the optimal place for cloud computing technology in terms of her infrastructure, and that Gobbler wants to (aggressively) expand its business to Korean market.
We all know that starting up a business is all about anticipating the next trend and getting in the favor of the luck that prefers the prepared. Cloud is obvious the next computing model, and the future for the associated technologies including web-centric computing, and applied data mining and data processing is now brighter than ever. Korea’s customers are the most responsive to, and willing to try the new offerings and spread the news if they liked it. Many of Korea’s entrepreneurs with the top-notch competencies are already trying to exploit the opportunities in the just-primed business, and the nation’s most sufficient infrastructure including her policies is there to back the business up.
Looking at the CLOUD, the next big thing? It is obviously the time to go pitch at, or get pitched by, Korea. What do you think?