Korean Startups: Think Global or Die Local

Going Global

Most startups in Seoul need to think about expanding the Korean market and going global.  Not to say there are disadvantages to starting out locally for Korean Startups.  It is great to start local and test the market in Korea and make sure it works first.  Then you can start going into other markets like Japan, China, etc.  Usually from what I see this will take about 3 years to fully test the market locally.  But there are times when there is no need to start local and in fact, you might be wasting time starting in a local market and even worse another company might see that you are having success in Korea and steal your idea!  This happens all the time!  So if you can go global right from day one then that is the right strategy.

Is your Company a Global Company?

So look at your company and see if you truly have a global company.  Most VCs not only in Silicon Valley also in Asia are hungry for startups with Global potential.  They are looking for that next big unicorn in order to pay back these huge funds.  When I say “global” I mean more than one market.  No company is truly global.  Even Google is not fully global.  As long as you can expand out of your local market…you will become global.

Lastly, when you go global you will come across a lot more competition and you might think this is a bad thing but competition is what drives innovation.  Competition can only make you stronger and you can learn from other companies to end up making your company truly special.  Those that stick to just the local market will have a hard time innovating and improving.  The key to any startup is constantly improving, learning, and evolving.  The best way to do that is to go global from the start and learn right away if you can compete with other global companies.

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Foresting.io. Email = john@startupradar.asia if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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