Don’t forget the Dragon’s Den

Finally, Dragon’s Den day came! A day came to introduce our service, ShareShare to the people!

We started telling problems we faced everyday life. In terms of buying food for one person, Rachel threw away rotten vegetable. Yun showed failing to get friends to play basketball together. I told where I could friends who collaborate with designer students. In short, our system is a social problem-solving platform for students in Kingston. We designed this system to solve student’s daily problems. We identified these problems that result from being alone. It’s easy to underestimate however, those little frustrations could influence students physical and mental issue. Our problem is trivial at the same time so various. So it is difficult to solve by the single office like School union. It should be on-demand and peer to peer mechanism. We believe that this can work because we are the people who go through same problems. Also, we live in the similar area. Regarding our service, judges showed especially concern about pricing. We suggested subscription fee system and getting sponsorship from local shops and schools. However, in terms of a sustainable business model, we needed revision and improvements about this critic.

After finishing our pitching, I could enjoy others pitching. I got a lot of inspiration from them. I enjoyed Celine’s acting again! I could learn from OneMinute’s professional pitching style. I loved Hi-five’s and the group of Denis’s prototype which could give examples in very short time. I couldn’t miss Kirsty’s food! After all, we enjoyed ending of dragon’s den because we could get closer from a single idea to the real products. It will be one of the rewarding moments in Kingston. Janja mentioned the importance of student’s issue which we are targeting. So this comment was so meaningful to us that I felt like some kind of proudness and responsibility!

However, a rosy moment was too short for us because the judge gave low marks for our projects. Especially, regarding a presentations skill, it was from 1 to 2 from 5 scores. I was shocked and sad. It’s because of my poor speaking English and public speaking skill which I have to improve. However, it was not that big deal. I was really so desperate when I heard that Rachel had to drop the course because of her health. I felt I lost my arm T_T because she took up great portions of our project.  She is the one who insisted doing valuable service and could make this happen because she has technical skills. At this time, we lost our way and passion about this but we expect to overcome to collaborate with people as like we dream in ShareShare. We will see how it’s going in 2018!






Don’t forget the users!

Today, I want to introduce our service ShareShare which is a social problem-solving platform for uni students. We ‘Global Song’, Yun, Rachel wanted to make a service for our design thinking module. We brainstormed we gave several ideas and it was all about students. This is because we are students. We really were into focusing on problems. The first idea was an agent service helping students who want to get rooms. This was from my experience. Actually, I had to pay a lot when I failed to make a contract because I knew critical points at the last minute that the house was notorious such as rats, a security issue, and land load’s irresponsibility. So I lost huge money in that I told Janja I wanted to punish if I had a superpower. Anyway, we found it’s difficult to hire specialist.


We finally reached to making a social platform. This was designed based on our experiences as a person living alone, we’ve faced several problems. We’ve often found rotten vegetables and meat because we cannot eat them all within short periods. However, buying small amount could not be our choice because it’s much expensive than a bigger one. In fact, its gap is around 50penny but it’s too big for us! Yun also couldn’t play basketball because he didn’t have enough friends to play. Actually, his basketball is broken because he couldn’t play for a long time. Those can be solved just by gathering together. Also, Rachel wanted to support international students because she saw many international students who told pains and loneliness as an English tutor. There are people who want to help!


We learned that we have to focus on users. Regarding this, our unique value proposition came from this circumstance. This is our value proposition: “We help each other because we understand us the best and we can believe as students in Kingston.” We believe that our service could offer a chance to match people who go through same problems. Not only that this could give chances to have further experiences such as cultural exchange, academic improvements and so on beyond solving daily life problems easily by making friends. Back to the lesson! No users, No services! We should always back to the users! Don’t forget your users!

Me & MACE in 2017

What I’ve learned in 2017.


2017! It was supposed to be a fantastic year for me because my two dreams became a reality. The first wish is to study abroad, especially in the UK because I love British music and Agatha’s Mystery novels since I was very young. Another one is to live alone without family! However there was no proper reason, however, at this time, I don’t need any excuse. Even, I am here in (near)London! This creative city has a lot to offer!! Yeah~ Looking back 2017, I’ve sometimes felt good and sometimes not good. It was not easy at all. However, I think 3 months in MACE made me think, feel and learn more than ever. So, what have I learned in 2017? What I thought and felt?


What should we do?

In the middle of the first term, I had frequently to back to the moment when I got the first question from Janja. “What do you do if you have a superpower?” At that time, I just said I want to punish the land loads and agents who took away my money. Janja said something that I have to be positive. Be positive is one of value I learned here but I’d like to tell ‘problem-solving’ first. I think the question is meaningful because it reminds me that I have to focus on the problems which people feel pain or really care about. This made me think about what is the current issue, what is the important problem.


We’ve faced various problems in our daily life from environment to social issue. Most of all, sustainability is the global issue at this time. The Climate Change affects disaster globally like a significant flood, coldness and natural resources are running out. Due to the development and industrialization, pollution is threatening people’s life. Against this, UN set Sustainable Development Goals and all level of organization like nation, city, company, NGOs take part in this to save the Earth against climate change and develop further. I think the creative industry is not an exception too. I had a chance to look at efforts of film industry against Climate Change. Again, I’d like to shout out Sony Picture’s Spiderman 2 case. They fully recognized and used their impact on societies in terms of making and screening the film. They planted trees at the shooting location, flooded. They sent messages to people to be aware of sustainability issue and take action through Earth Hour marketing. I think this is so brilliant! In their website, they mentioned that they could save 400,000$ by making film in sustainable way. It’s effective as well as meaningful. I believe that thinking and understanding sustainability issue is important for start-up to stay in the context and to be relevant to people’s need. Also, for cultural startups, by focusing on solving problems related to sustainability issue, I think that there would be more opportunities. Regarding this, I’d like to quote UN Report on Creative Economy(2013), which stated “Investing in culture and the creative sector as a driver of social development can also lead to results that contribute to the overall wellbeing of communities, individual self-esteem and quality of life, dialogue and cohesion”


How should we do?


To have a clear picture of the business, we can use Business Model Canvas which can tell various factors of the business. In the class, I could learn that IP can impact on revenue as well as cost in a business. In this sense, for example, the Netflix should be aware of the importance of Intellectual Property Rights to stream various contents by making contracts with IP owners. Also, according to the recent report, they will invest in producing more original series like ‘Strange Things’, ‘Orange is the new black’. By making their own contents, they can have copyrights to sell, distribute and stream to others and this is going to be their core competency and revenue source as well as subscription fee.


After deciding where to focus, we have to consider how to solve problems and how to make products or services. I believe we need to apply ‘Design thinking and Lean Method’! Basically, two ways are the learning process to fit the needs. In the design thinking, a prototype can be cheap and dirty to show idea and get feedback from users. This is similar to Lean Method, a Minimum Viable Product which should have the basic function to test customer’s response. Like design thinking process, lean start-ups use a “get out of the building” approach called customer development to test their hypotheses. They go out and ask potential users, purchasers, and partners for feedback on all elements of the business model, including product features, pricing, distribution channels, and affordable customer acquisition strategies. I think this is a compelling process for startups because there is always a gap between the idea and reality. If we don’t get any feedback or review from users and customers, we could only have a self-satisfaction that we are working hard not related to customer’s happiness and we will fail big. Kelly brothers state that best way to get closer to the goal is to make a prototype in their book, Creative Confidence. In the book, ‘The Lean Startup’, Eric Ries emphasized this learning process with this sentence, “The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else’. According to several statistics, most ideas are failed so, using those methods seems inevitable for startups.


How to be creative?


Creativity seems to be one of key strength for start-ups. I think to get a customer for challenger we have to provide customer one of innovative, new or disruptive offer against previous products or services. In this sense, I think later offer should be differentiated from others. From my experience in Seoul in terms of enhancing creativity, I used to learn and focus on how to drag brilliant idea like brainstorms with post-its, visualizing an idea and etc. However, I think the meaning of creativity is closer to doing than thinking like we usually use bulb icon to represent creativity. I can understand that ‘Do something’ will not give and promise prompt success, however it will give opportunities to learn and raise possibilities for success. In Creative Confidence, I was impressed by Pulse’s story. Two university students had to make news reader apps within 4 days. During the process, they tested prototypes by several users and got feedback like ‘this is a crap’. In the end, they got huge success. One of the founders, Ankit says “It’s not about just coming up with the one genius idea that solves the problem, but trying and failing at a hundred other solutions before arriving at the best one.” Kelly brothers mention in their above book, to be creative start from observation and thoughts to deeds. Like this, I can understand that change can come from a small action.


Positive thinking

Back to the first question ‘how to use super-power’, I can understand Janja’s response to my answer now. We can feel angry and blame someone or system, however, if we stay there, nothing is going to change. If there is a problem or someone feels uncomfortable, trying to find a solution would be the more proper attitude for students who learned ‘design thinking’. This spirit is unavoidable for startups which are supposed to challenge and explore possibilities. I remember the time we checked Business Strategy Game result of year 14 when we lost private label market we expected to get. I felt frustrated really, however, Celine encouraged me to focus on the game again. I remember the moment to cheer up and think bright future. I am not saying about being naïve but putting up with failure. After I admitted that we were on the learning path and failures are natural, I could enjoy it and try several things. This lesson is going to be a valuable asset to me and I think I can apply this spirit to Design thinking module to make up Rachel’s vacancy next year.


Last but not least, I’d like to appreciate my classmates too. I learned from them in the class as well as in the canteen at unexpected moments. I just complained and whined, however, they said some nice words for me. Also, there were many moments that I got inspiration, stimulation and encouragement from them and Janja. One of the reasons I choose this course is to put in startup’s shoes. It’s not easy at all!! I’d like to make and develop opportunities together. Looking back 2017, I’ve sometimes felt good and sometimes bad. Overall, it’s great.





Ries, E. (2011) The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses, Portfolio Penguin

Osterwalder, A and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation. John Wiley & Sons

Kelley, T and Kelley, D. (2014) Creative Confidence. William Collins


Westcott, B. and George, S. (2017) Asia under water: How 137 million people’s lives are being put at risk. Available at   (Accessed: 22 Dec 2017).

Sonypictures, EcoSpidey and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Available at: 22 Dec 2017).

The Guardian, Hollywood broadcasting green-Does the film industry have a moral, or financial imperative for sustainability, like any other company? Available at:  (Accessed: 22 Dec 2017).

Nick Statt(2017) Netflix plans to spend $8 billion to make its library 50 percent original by 2018 Available at :

Sir Peter Bazalgette(2017), Independent Review of the Creative Industries

UN Sustainable Development Goal. Available at:

(Accessed: 22 Dec 2017).

Me & Finance

Finance is one of difficult and professional parts in terms of business. I used to Naver(Korean Google) finance terminologies when I got many questions about application foam in finance section from people working in Start-up about Seoul Start-up Contest Application. So, I had mixed feelings about expectation and challenge. However, Simon taught us business finance with several examples in practical ways. It was like learning arithmetic operations when I was very young.

Firstly, we learned Profit & Loss statement. Gross Profit is after the cost of sales and Gross Profit Margin is a percentage (gross profit is divided by Sales Value). Especially, Gross Margin can be a Key Performance Indicator which can tell a profitability of a business. So it’s important to maintain high Gross Margin. With Carl’s café case, I learned we have to look carefully influential factors to maintain a profitable business. Company’s profit can go down because of several factors both cost and price. Looking at the cost side, wage law can change. Suppliers can raise price suddenly or product is stolen.

If giving discount continues for a long time, revenue will be decreased. In Korea, a franchise has notorious because mother companies forced franchisee (individual owners) to pay all costs of sales promotion. This can lead to a deterioration of business operation.

Secondly, this finance statement is not just pure number or figure but quite subjective decision by companies. For example, when a company set the cost, expenditures can be included or excluded from y company’s decision. This can show it is possible to control P&L statement looking good.

EBITDA is another index, however, I used to see a lot when I bought stocks(??). EBITA is an abbreviation of Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation & Amortisation. In the news, we can see a lot this term related to the merging or acquiring companies. Also, up to the company’s decision about the value of fixed cost or depreciation, company’s performance can look better or less profitable.

Also, I learned these figures can tell the future of business. When it comes to the balance sheet, it can show a status of the present. Balance Sheet is a statement of what a business owns, what it owes, and its ownership equity at a particular point in time.(The balance Sheet Made Easy)  Looking at balance sheet in detail, we can evaluate it is bad if the asset is not enough to carry debt. It’s not about the size of the liabilities but the size of the assets. Simon explained that America is okay with significant national liabilities because of huge assets unlike Greece. I saw companies went bankrupt due to the bad cash flow and constant delays in paying bills. When I was in Seoul, I heard that an investor said that start-ups have to come earlier to fix a financial problem together before investors can’t help. This means we have to see this sheet carefully. Plus, Earning Per Share is a figure that Net profit after tax is divided by the number of shares in issue. This figure tells wealth creation by single share. Looking at this figure with the price of the share, we can see the future value of the business which stock market predict.

I enjoyed Simon’s class because I can get precious knowledge since I put my overall money in stock and fund market. So far, my investment style is to rely on instinct. So, I am losing it, however, from the class, I feel like being able to be more strategic not doing like a gambling!



Hulme, Simon (2015). The Profit and Loss Made Easy.

Hulme, Simon (2017). The Balance Sheet Made Easy.

Choi, J(2014), Caffe Bene Sued for Unfair Franchise Practice. Available at: : 20 Dec 2017)

Me & Intellectual Property Rights 2

I saw a lot of articles titled “Next Korean Joanne Rowling” or why we don’t have Joan rolling’ like in terms of telling the importance of the cultural industry. As many people know, she has had a huge success with Harry Porter. Harry Porter has created significant wealth with movies, character goods, museum and etc. Counterexample in Korea is ‘Cloud Bread’, fairy tale book. This creates over 4 million$, however, the writer only got around 1,000$ because she was new and gave her rights like adaptation right or overseas right to the publication company with small amount money first.

Also, Korean representative social media, Kakaotalk didn’t share revenue from selling product put characters with the character creator. Creator revealed he wanted to grab opportunity than money when he made a contract with Kakaotalk at that time. Kakaotalk has expanded their business to use characters such as character shop. So, finally, the company gave some money(confidential) to the creator since there were negative reports in terms of unfair contracts.




However, according to the recent investigation conducted by Seoul Metropolitan Government this year, still, this kind of problem is going on. 79 percent of illustrator, 36.5% of comic book author answered they gave up their rights and forced to make the unfair contract. However, in this Internet and globalization era, contents can create significant further wealth. So, we have to protect rights to get revenue from our own creation as well as to encourage to create competitive cultural contents.

Regarding this issue, I’d like to quote Taylor Swift’s comment. She has resisted streaming services without proper paying artist.

“It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”(2014, WSJ)

In 2015 Apple changed their plan which they won’t give royalty during 3-month free trial apple music after Taylor wrote an open letter to Apple on her blog.

On the other hand, we have to be aware of Copyright issue regarding that we can infringe others. I experienced this. I had to drop a plan making promotion video using Psy’s song ‘Champion’ because of budget limitation. However, if other’s copyright is correlated to the business it could be a serious problem and the business cannot be sustainable. In the last class, I introduced a youtube channel,  one millions uploading choreography. I was interested in the CEO, a choreographer after seeing her interview telling that she felt deprived her talents by others at K-pop agency as dance trainer for idols. So, she started her business as a choreographer and a dance academy owner. When I saw her videos, I was curious how she used famous songs like Shape of you

So, I googled and I found their channel shut down once because of accusation by copyright owners over three times. Their channel having 3 million followers could disappear easily. I didn’t find how they recover the channel but I can find some argument. “the song is not main contents bud dancing and its sound is not clear with mixing people’s clapping and cheering. Also on the youtube, there are many videos using the song” This example shows copyright issue can be a critical threaten for some business.

Law to protect copyrights should be implemented, however, I think it’s not enough. There is a famous maxim, “Those who sleep on their rights are not protected”. What I want to say is that people should be aware of their rights properly. Also, I believe that the government should protect actively like monitoring, consulting and legal supporting.




The Guardian(2015), Apple Music to pay royalties during free trial: ‘We hear you Taylor Swift’ Available at: 23 Dec 2017)

Ian Crouch(2015), Taylor Swift and Apple : Mad Love. Available at: 23 Dec 2017)

JACK LINSHI (2014), Here’s Why Taylor Swift Pulled Her Music From Spotify Available at: 23 Dec 2017)


Don’t forget to tell from the heart!

Speaking in front of the public is one of the most difficult things for me. If I have to speak in English, it’s perfect situation to make me miserable T_T. “Generally good interaction strategies but your nerves took over and you lost the audience towards the end.” This is the feedback I got at presentation part in the pre-sessional course in August. Literally, I was scared and forgot what to say. My brain was like blacked out and I couldn’t see the script I brought. I felt so bad for a while because I made beautiful presentation file. Actually, I considered seeing consultant or meetup to solve this phobia.

Unlike my miserable speech, I was highly impressed when I heard a pitching by CEO of Flitto, translation service in 18 languages through AI, crowdsourcing translation in Seoul Travel Startup Contest.  Actually, I was doubt why we have to use a start-up’s service at the beginning because of big portal translation services like Google translator, Naver. However, after I heard pitching, I wanted to get a private lesson from him because he delivered successfully their advantages that human involved translation is much perfect than big company’s AI translation. (I had a chance to hear his speech in English, it was so brilliant that I can feel his confidence too.).  After I came to the UK, I was surprised by Sanif’s presentation during the welcome week. It was so clear and strategic to emphasize their suggestion. They looked so professional and I regretted not to record their speaking.


Time flew and day of the dragon’s den came closely. Still, I wasn’t ready to speak in front of people. Thanks to Kirsty, I went a Bright Idea pitching workshop. During the class, we had to tell our plan to different people quickly within 2 min. I learned how to start from Clare. I learned better expression and how to pronounce ‘karaoke’ from Anthony (Carry + Okay).  After then, I could feel people could understand better than before. Surprisingly, repeating 5 times and embracing feedbacks, I could feel my presentation became much better than the first one. Frankly speaking, I wanted to leave after getting the tips for Dragon’s den. To deal with my fear, I learned I have to practice several times until I am comfortable without slides. This makes sense with “Use PowerPoint only if necessary and to show pictures (little or no text)” from Alice’s class.

Before the d-day, we gathered and practiced script in group study room with Rachel and Yun. It was not easy. Suddenly, Rachel said, “put script paper down on the table and just say some points from the heart”. Yun and I just did it. I felt much comfortable because our service is a solution to what we go through every day. So, our pitching strategy was telling from the heart! It was amazing! For me, it’s working. So, don’t forget telling from the heart! Then I won’t forget what I am going to tell!

Me & Advertisement

We can’t escape away advertisements even when we go to the movie theater, we have to sit tight and watch ads for over 15 minutes. Customers are getting annoyed because we are surrounded by many advertisements. So, creativity might play a critical role to catch people’s eye and make them enjoy ads and eventually buy it.

We learn some typical formats of advertisement and we did small projects which find 3 types of advertisement (slice of life, testimonial, demonstration) in the class. ‘Slice of life’ is showing something in the daily life. ‘Testimonial’ is to persuade by showing prestigious and famous people like specialists, doctors, celebrities. ‘Demonstration’ is to explain product’s usage or advantages. Below is what we found.

This Coca-Cola ad released on this month, responds to the recent change in Saudi Arabia which allows women to drive themselves. Seeing this, I was so touched that I felt like crying. This advertisement delivers cool drink’s taste and exciting of freedom to drive and warmness of family as well. I saw news reporting that there was a controversy that Coca-Cola uses this social advance to commercialize. I think we should approach carefully when we make advertisement which can provoke unnecessary negative responses. However, I really love this ad to celebrate social changes.

This is a Seoul promotion video which shows through BTS, a Korean famous boy group’s playful daily life in Seoul like walking Seoullo, enjoying sports in Han River, eating meats and dancing in Gangnam. Seoul targeted their wide fans in order to attract more tourists from East Asia and other areas since BTS has been successful worldwide. It seems successful to catch their fans and get the response at least so far seeing comments saying that hope to go Seoul on this video.

Airasia’s brilliant ad Whan found is to demonstrate how nice and less-crowded weekday trip would be rather than weekend trip.


Also, we made proposals for the British wine company which has a plan to export sparkling wine to France. France is well known for wine historically so it’s not easy to sell British wine to French.  I worked with Whan and she gave two terrific situations to fit with this. We set a situation that French girl brings her British boyfriends to have a dinner with her parents for the first time and they don’t like her boyfriend even British man with British wine for a gift. However, we wanted to express that the wine will not only break the uncomfortable atmosphere but also tastes great even though first time is always not easy and awkward. Regarding the casts, we picked young British and French actors, Taron Egerton and Lea Seydoux considering young generation in France. Phil said people would love to see the video and we won this little contests. (Yeah~~Whan well done!) But I loved other teams presentations which were all creative, cinematic, having humor and nice phrase!

After the class, I asked Phil how we can get a great result as a client since I was involved in several campaigns to persuade people to improve awareness of environment or hospitality, however, it was always difficult and horrible sometimes. He said being clear and simple and this can achieve by telling them more easily like talking to 5 years old children. Another is showing a big love towards products because enthusiasm can infect easily people around us. Additionally, Whan told me one thing is not ‘changing briefs’ since she had experienced in the marketing agency. It was enjoyable and rewarding time for me contrary to the popular belief like the pains of creation. Maybe this is because of getting a good result from the good collaboration developing idea together.