[Scrap]Can Google Be Beat? They Already Have Been in South Korea…

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Can Google Be Beat? They Already Have Been in South Korea…Written by Richard MacManus / July 12, 2007 / 15 comments

The International Herald Tribune had a good article recently about the search market in South Korea. It points out that local search company Naver.com has more than 77 percent of all Web searches originating in South Korea, according to Internet market research company KoreanClick. This is largely due to user-generated content – specifically Naver’s “Knowledge iN” real-time question-and-answer platform, which gets “an average of 44,000 questions a day”. Second in the South Korean search market is another local product, Daum.net, with 10.8 percent share, followed by Yahoo’s Korean-language service with 4.4 percent. Google has only 1.7 percent of Korean Web searches.
The IHT has more info on Naver Knowledge iN:

“Naver has so far accumulated a user-generated database of 70 million entries. Typical queries include why North Korea is building a nuclear bomb, which digital music player is best, why people have hair whorls and what a high-school boy should do when he has a crush on a female teacher.
Lacking the full-time editorial oversight found on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, some Naver entries are of dubious veracity and attract vigorous rebuttals. But many respondents, keen to build and maintain an online reputation, do careful research to provide useful answers.”

Interestingly, this has some similarities with the approach of Viewpoints, the online reviews company profiled yesterday by our own Phil Butler. But what also struck me about Naver’s approach is that it is essentially what Yahoo is attempting to do, with its heavily-promoted Answers product. If you look at just about any Yahoo content site, you’ll see an Answers section displayed prominently.

Of course, the Q&A format hasn’t escaped Google’s attention either (nothing gets past Google). The Mountain View company is experimenting with Google Answers in Russia. Also, as SearchEngineLand noted, Google has tried making its UI more attractive in Korea in order to get more market share. If this kind of experimentation (Q&A, UI innovation) sounds familiar, it’s because it is precisely what our network blog AltSearchEngines talks about every day πŸ™‚

Pic c/o SEL
Of course Q&A won’t be the answer for every market – Google is very entrenched as the number 1 search engine in the US and most other english language markets. But the South Korea example does show the benefits of a) localizing your product, and b) actively using and promoting ‘next generation’ search methods. Also don’t forget that as mobile phones begin to be used more in the US and similar markets, user-generated content and personalization will be used more by Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask and other companies.
I do think this is Yahoo’s best chance of making ground on Google, because they are strong in both user-generated content and mobile. Although as yet Yahoo Answers is nowhere near as compelling a product as Naver is in Korea.


Interesting & meaningful article.

‘But the South Korea example does show the benefits of a) localizing your product, and b) actively using and promoting ‘next generation’ search methods’

Key Elements of Strategic Thinking

β€œStrategic thinking is action and performance oriented”

Β β€œSuccessful business strategies results not from rigorous analysis but from a particular state of mind. In what I call the mind of the strategist, insight and a consequent drive for achievement, often amounting to a sense of mission, fuel a thought process which is basically creative and intuitive rather than rational. Strategists do not reject analysis. Indeed they can hardly do without it. But they use it only to stimulate the creative process, to test the ideas that emerge, to work out their strategic implications.”



– Kenichi Ohmae, The Mind of the Strategist, 1982

[Scrap]So You Sold Your Company For Millions, What Next?

Original Article : Read Write Web
Written by Emre Sokullu / July 6, 2007 / 23 comments

What would you do next if you sold your company to an Internet giant for millions of dollars? Existing examples show 4 different types of Internet millionaires:

  • Serial entrepreneurs – keep doing the same
  • Dreamers – expand their horizons
  • Midas – invest and help multiple entrepreneurs grow new businesses
  • Consistents – stick with their jobs

Now let’s look into each of these types and illustrate them with some famous examples.

Serial Entrepreneurs

Serial entrepreneurs know how to raise money, pick the best people and execute their company towards an acquisition or an IPO. Their fellow investors love them and are ready to give their money to this type of successful entrepreneur, because they are sure that he or she will make it happen again. Note that most serial entrepreneurs are also investors in parallel.
Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis
Kazaa, Skype and now Joost. These North European stars haven’t stopped disrupting decades-old businesses and changing the way we use our computers, using P2P. Their latest venture, Internet TV service Joost, raised $45 M from high profile VC firms like Sequoia Capital.
Marc Andreesen
He was the founder of Netscape and now he’s on the web 2.0 bandwagon with Ning – a network of social networks. Also, keep an eye on his great new blog http://blog.pmarca.com
Joe Kraus
Excite anyone? JotSpot was the second venture of Joe Kraus, and it eventually got acquired by Google for an undisclosed amount of money; Joe is now a Googler, but I suspect that a new idea may flame his passion for founding another startup.
Mark Fletcher
His first success ONEList became a part of Yahoo in 1999, but that was not enough for him – he then founded Bloglines, which eventually got acquired by Ask.
Reid Hoffman
He was a member of the board of directors at Paypal, but he is now preparing for possibly the biggest IPO of the web 2.0 era (unless Facebook does one too) with his professional networking venture, LinkedIn.
Pierre Chappaz
Founder of the shopping comparison engine Kelkoo, which became the biggest hit of Europe after Yahoo bought it, he is now heading Wikio – a mix of Digg and search, focused on Europe.


Dreamers know this business very well, but they choose to pursue bigger dreams and take bigger risks. They usually go out of the web business and run after more scientific projects. As for funding, they are not as lucky as their serial entrepreneur peers – they usually need government grants, since the chances of getting a return is relatively much lower.
Elon Musk
From the web to space. Elon Musk’s new ambition is to conquer space with his company SpaceX, which recently accomplished a successful rocket launch to space.
Martin Roscheisen
Co-founder of eGroups, he is now in the green energy business with his solar power company NanoSolar.
Marc Cuban
Started with broadcast.com (acquired by Yahoo for billions) and now heading the NBA team Dallas Mavericks. Well this is not scientific, but definitely a big dream!
Carl Page
The elder brother of Google co-founder Larry Page, Carl not only helped his brother to build Google – he was also one of the co-founders of eGroups, which was acquired by Yahoo. And now he’s the CTO of HandHeld Entertainment, a mobile entertainment gadgets company.
Trevor Blackwell
He stated a company called AnyBots, focusing on humanoid robots in his peaceful office in Mountain View. He was a co-founder of Viaweb, which was sold to Yahoo.
Mark Shuttleworth
His new target is Bill Gates and Microsoft. South African Mark Shuttleworth, ex-founder of SSL certificate company Thawte (now Verisign) is currently leading Ubuntu – which recently succeeded in becoming the 1st Linux distribution to be bundled with Dell computers.
Michael Robertson
Similar to Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Robertson is also in the operating systems business. The founder of of mp3.com (which was acquired by French Vivendi Universal), he is now leading a controversial Linux company, Linspire.
Sabeer Bhatia
The founder of Hotmail (acquired by Microsoft for $400 M) is now trying to rebuild Silicon Valley in India – with the name Nano City.


This list is perhaps the most crowded one; because almost every venture capital company contains one or more successful entrepreneurs in the team. However we will limit ourselves with just a few examples. These Midas list members, instead of focusing on a single company and idea, share their experience and money with new entrepreneurs – getting equity in return.
Peter Thiel
Along with Ken Howery and Luke Nosek, the founders of Paypal are now leading the Founders’ Fund VC firm, which invested in Facebook, Geni, Powerset and Slide.
Paul Graham
Paul Graham is helping young entrepreneurs with his funding program Y Combinator. His successful investments include iminlikewithyou, reddit, Scribd and Justin.TV
Josh Kopelman
Founded half.com and sold it to eBay. Now he’s heading First Round Capital – a seed stage investment company with a rich portfolio including Wikia, OpenAds, Powerset and Riya.
Magdalena Yesil
This Turkish-Armenian entrepreneur sold her company CyberCash (a pioneer in eCommerce) to Verisign. Now she’s an angel investor and partner with US Venture Partners (USVP).


Consistents are usually those who succeeded in taking their companies to IPO. For example, Jeff Bezos was the founder of Amazon.com and to this day continues to head his company. Similarly Pierre Omidyar is founder and still chairman of eBay. But the interesting point is they both reinforce their technology passions by investing in younger companies too. For example Jeff Bezos’ investment in 37Signals and Omidyar Networks’ investment in SocialText.
It’s very rare that an acquired company’s founder remains committed to their new company. Scott Shambarger, who was with eGroups, is still with Yahoo. Sometimes, as in the case of MySpace, the founders of the acquired company may demand aggressive compensation just to stay with their new company.


None of these entrepreneurs are solely motivated by money. After all, there are safer but still very profitable ways of making more money. I think their continued investments and entrepreneurship can only be explained by the pursuit of new technology and creating things.
Al of these people do what they think they are good at and keep bringing value to our society. That is perhaps the primary condition of being successful at your business; if your motivation is spending your time at the Caribbean, then you may be on the wrong path. It seems that what kept the above entrepreneurs coming back for more, is their passion of technology.


Few years before, I might choose the β€˜dreamer’.
But with my recent experience – startup my own business – teach me that it should be strictly depended on business circumstances.

Don’t choose this kind of job β€œif your motivation is spending your time at the Caribbean.”
It really is.

July 7th, 2007

1 Chronicles 29:11~12

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

In Christmas 1995, my mother gave me a bible with her own handwriting on front page.