i’ve been in seoul for almost a week now and have had a whirlwind of meetings. here is a quick summary of some of the cool people and companies i have met thusfar:
storyblender – this is the company founded by my friend, hyoung yong-joon, who is also one of the original founders of cyworld. storyblender is an online video editing platform that allows a casual user to either use their library of items or upload a user’s own items. yong is an alum of KAIST (korea advanced institute of science and technology – the korean MIT) and you will see me running into alot of KAIST alum on this trip:)
bluehole – bluehole is a game development company that is building a new mmo. their founder, chang byung-gyu, was also the founder of neowiz and KAIST alum. i was able to get a sneak peek at the bluehole product and i must say, i am really looking forward to when the game is released. byung-gyu is a very sharp guy and has come up with some interesting game play aspects that i think mmo players would enjoy. (he also has this cute accent when he speaks korean – he’s not from seoul, but my korean is not good enough to quite tell where he is from ^^)
musicshake – some of you may remember musicshake from techcrunch40 where their presentation wow’ed the crowd. they are still making great progress with their product – it looks very slick now. i stopped by their office and got to meet some inhouse musicians and play in one of their recording studios.
GOM tv – GOM tv is like our hulu, but with a downloadable player. the gom media player is one of the top 20 downloads on download.com. a great player but it is still windows only:( gom tv is also a great source of LEGAL!!! content in korea – like movies, dramas, etc. haha, thats hard to find these days, you know;) also, they have a very sharp team of perfectly bilingual folks heading up their global development (hi ethan and jp – who is also yet anothe KAIST alum).
also, went to this crazy random event yesterday after being invited by the Gom tv folks. turns out last night, youtube Korea was having a party to celebrate the launch of youtube in Korean. it was a giant party of over 1500 people with performers, dancers, singers and a red carpet in the front of the club. it was a spectacle not seen at a tech party since 1999=P steve chen came and said hi to the crowd and even gave awards to the creators of the famous youtube video creators, like the guitar player playing the canon – that was pretty cool. it was interesting meeting a bunch of the google korea team, but i was amazed with how far everything felt from silicon valley. google is having a very hard time entering the korean market because koreans all tend to all coalesce around the local companies like daum and naver. (but more on that in another post).
2 more days jam packed with meetings, so i will write more later.