For the Korean startup ecosystem to flourish, Korea needs more and more entrepreneurs to try new things. Therefore it is important for entrepreneurs in Korea to always be open to trying new startup ideas. Even the Korean government is more open to trying new ideas such as implementing a UBI in Korea. For many workers in Korea that are working the typical Korean office job, it is still possible to come up with great new startup ideas at work. We all know that most of the day working for these Korean companies involves a lot of dead time. Don’t waste it suffering on the internet or chatting with friends. Instead, use this time wisely to get your creative juices flowing. One idea can set you on the path to starting your own company.

Here are some tips for coming up with a great idea at work! Or for those that are content with working for a Korean company, coming up with great ideas can still help you climb up that corporate ladder and make you stand out.

5 Easy Ways to Come Up with Great New Startup Ideas

Entrepreneurs in Korea1. Think of ways to improve an existing product or service.

Spend about 15 minutes out of your day thinking about ways to improve an existing product or service. Customers are different all around the world. What works in another country might not work in Korea. There have been many successful Korean startups that got their idea from the United States. Think of Coupang, Naver, Snow, and even KakaoTalk. They took an idea and changed it ever so slightly to make it fit with the Korean market.

A tip would be to think of ways to improve a product or service with technology that does not exist yet. How? We all know those big players such as Amazon, Apple, Google, etc. are working on new technologies. So let them do that part of the work. Your job is to find creative ways to leverage these future technologies into existing businesses. These are the ideas with the greatest potential. Technology will always be improving. Don’t wait for technology to emerge but rather try and predict the right technology to improve a problem.

2. Get Involved with the Startup Communities in Korea

There are startup communities in Seoul that have passionate entrepreneurs looking to grow the community. Spend a least 15 minutes a day at work interacting with the community online. This will give you a window on what others are working on and more importantly will keep you up to date on future meetups and events. There is no better way to get your creative juices flowing than to be amongst a group of like-minded entrepreneurs.

If you are working for a Korean company, encourage your team or your division to join as well. These communities are a great way of reaching new potential customers or partners in Korea. Just because you are not part of a startup does not mean you can’t be involved in the startup community.

3. Think of Ideas for Marketing

Entrepreneurs tend to only focus on the next great product or service. However, spend some time thinking of new ways to market those products or services. If you are working for a Korean company, time spent on better ways to market your company’s product or service can really make you stand out in the company. Increasing brand awareness or gathering leads is an aspect that is not heavily focused on by entrepreneurs. However, those who have startups understand that marketing and generating buzz are key to raising capital. VC firms in Korea are always looking to join early-on startups that have great marketability. This will play a major role in helping the startup raise its next round for bigger valuations.

Furthermore, through this, you will be able to find out which products or service is marketable. Marketability and knowing what works and what does not work will help you come up with a great product or service that is highly marketable. Therefore, when coming up with new startup ideas, remember to ask yourself just how marketable is the product or service. How much can you hype this up to attract additional investors? It might seem shady but that is what the startup game has become.

4. Add more Skills to your Personal Brand

It is hard to come up with an idea if you don’t know a lot about that industry. That is why it is vital for entrepreneurs to always be self-learning. There are new products or services coming out every week. Try and stay up to date and add new skills via online courses or books. Spend about an hour a day learning new technologies to expand your knowledge. For those working for Korean companies, I know it is hard to get them to change their ways. However, learning about your company’s integration with outside systems and partners, and finding ways to improve it can lead to your own great idea.

The skills that are in the highest demand are in cloud services. We did an article on how to become an AWS Cloud Solutions Architect, but learning the skills of services offered by big companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google will help keep your skills up to date.

5. Keep a Problem Journal rather than an Idea Journal

Many entrepreneurs in Korea keep an idea journal. However, many don’t have a “problem journal”. A great startup solves a certain problem. Therefore throughout your day write down any problems you might be facing. Don’t worry about a solution yet. Instead, keep writing down some problems or challenges. As the list grows throughout the week, spend an hour over the weekend to go over those problems and try and find a solution. If you can’t find a solution, don’t worry, just move on to the next and check back the following week. That journal should be filled with problems at the end of the year and will keep your mind always looking out for the right solution.

All of these 5 tips are aimed at either finding great new startup ideas, increasing revenue, or decreasing cost. These kinds of questions can lead to ideas that can really move the needle. You don’t have to implement all these ideas. However, the fact that you are spending some time each day trying to think outside of the day-in and day-out grind, will allow you to step back for a few minutes and unclutter your mind. An uncluttered mind is a great mind for coming up with great ideas that could ultimately help you and your company move forward.


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