Jerry Maguire's Mission Statement

I became curious, due to my friend Dale. What was the memo? I found it, "The things we think and do not say: Thoughts of a sports attorney", thanks to Google and probably more appropriately to Internet. Be careful not to give it to kids. With some adult lines, it is a Hollywood-style mission statement, but I like it anyway.


To all innovators - Here’s to the crazy ones.

I really like this video. It reminds me "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (attributed to George Bernard Shaw)

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world… Are the ones who do.


Korean edition of True Professionalism - Translator's preface

The Korean edition of True Professionalism by David Maister has just been published, which I had worked on together with Innomove colleagues. The book has both aspects like a father who strictly persuades us of the meaning and the value of doing things right, and one like a mother at the same time who warmly encourages hesitant us saying that doing things right is ultimately beneficial for ourselves. I strongly recommend this book to people who think themselves as professionals, or want to be professional.

Translator’s Preface

I set a rule of not translating books unless they are meaningful to myself or to the firm, Innomove, partly because I’m not a professional translator, and also partly because I find translation quite difficult. True Professionalism passed the rule. Though the book is written mainly for traditional professionals, I think it gives a great value even to people who want to be professional in any parts of businesses.

Now “Professionals” as a traditional definition of “people who serve clients with professional knowledge” cover from traditional professionals such as lawyers, accountants, business consultants to newer ones such as IT consultants, architects, advertisement planners, marketing researchers, fashion designers, insurance agents, financial advisors in banks/brokerages/investment management companies, interior designers, and etc. Sales people in most industries are transforming to consultants. Also the understanding of professional service providers from a buyer's viewpoint is critical, because every business uses professional services in some ways.

I encountered True Professionalism first when I was thinking deeply about professional attitude and philosophy as a business consultant. Do we add real value for clients? Do we need to decline projects even when we can get the deals? Why do we do consulting as a job? My thinking evolved to the question about life itself and ultimately to “what is success?” My conclusion was that enjoying and being proud of what you do is the most important. When you think success only from a result, you’ll find very few successful people. Not everyone can be a world champion or a billionaire or a first prize winner. However, when you define success as the process itself, everyone can succeed. People who enjoy their work and believe that they are doing something of value to the world are eligible to be successful. Besides, enjoying what they do leads them to a better chance of fame and fortune as well. There is a saying that genius can’t beat the trying and the trying can’t do the enjoying.

This book helped me settle on my own conclusion about success and start a new venture to do what I would enjoy and be proud of. While giving or recommending the book to people around me, I came across that a Korean edition would be needed for more readers, and got on this translation work. The author, David Maister, is an influential consultant for professional service providers such as lawyers, business consultants, accountants, advertising planners and etc. Recently, I was struck by Dr. Maister’s website, which he upgraded with such new web technologies like blog and RSS, even though he doesn’t belong to the so-called Internet generation. He’s actually practicing what he’s preached in his book; keep learning something new and improving yourself. Several interactions with him gave me an impression that he’s nice and humble.

Many people helped. I thank Mina Park more than anyone. She did the first whole draft translation. She must have had tough time between her role of a mother of two kids and her work at Innomove. Many thanks again and hope she has a great time back at Harvard Business School from this autumn until graduation. Also thanks to Joonghyun Kwon, Mina’s husband and my friend, who supported her for working with Innomove. Dr. Maister deserves my appreciation for writing this amazing book and introducing the publisher to me. Jeongho Park at Kyobo Book Center had led all this process from the very beginning to the very end with warm kindness. All the Innomovers from Kiyoun Cho, my partner who is leading Innomove together, and to Donggoo, Youngho, and Leanne were involved in this work directly and indirectly. I deeply appreciate their commitment to Innomove, when they definitely could live a more comfortable life elsewhere. And sincere appreciation to Minhyuk Kim who was a former intern and now is serving a military obligation, Jaechul Cho who was more than just an intern, Eunjung Lee and Sehyoung Chung who were with me in the early days of Innomove, and Jinho Yoon who was the first intern. And thanks to everyone – juniors, seniors, colleagues, clients and supporters - that I can’t name individually here but shared my time in the past and gave me a great experience.

At last, my infinite thanks and love to my family. My parents who are still caring and praying for their son, my wife who supports and encourages me to take this difficult journey, and my two lovely kids who gave me great happiness from just seeing them grow up.

August 2006

Hyokon Zhiang


Two things I noted from Seth Godin's entry about Wikipedia

One, the head is pretty short. Two, there are many sex-related articles. The former shows we are changing, and the latter we are not...

Here is link to Seth's blog. Have a look at the wikipedia data.


Don't know the name of a song? Call!

You know what it feels like when you know a song (and can sing a phrase) but you cannot name it. You go to a Karaoke and you cannot remember a song that was your favorite a few years ago. It is even more frustrating when you hear a music that you really like and you don’t know the title or the artist.

I have been expecting that there should be a solution for this, and it seems that there are some now. Companies like Shazam and Gracenote are providing the solutions. Some telcos, especially mobile carriers, seem to have launched services using the solutions. In Korea, KTF is providing Search Music. How does it work? When there is a music playing, you call the service number, put your handset close to the speaker from which the music is playing, and in 15-30 seconds the service will find the music and send information as SMS. Basically, it seems based on some kind of music recognition technologies.

One problem is that it does not work for a live music. Only prerecorded music. I guess it is probably easier to search pre-recorded music in a library of pre-recorded music. It clearly means that you cannot hum to the phone and expect that an answer will pop up. You will have to encounter your mysterious music again! So, it is not perfect, but still is a major development forward.


Suggestion to Amazon - POD for international buyers

I was an early adopter of Amazon.com. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 and the service was launched in 1995, and I think my first order at Amazon.com was made in 1995 (or 1996) from here in Seoul. Once or twice in the early days, books came torn or damaged. I remained as a customer because they made sincere efforts to fix the problems. Over time, they became better and better. The packaging has become notably good, and now I never worry about the condition of the ordered books. And they have been introducing innovations continuously, including very intelligent recommendations, what others bought, rating, digital media, used books, Amazon Shorts, etc. And many of them have inspired current Internet economy.
One idea that I hit upon a few years ago is POD(print on demand) for international buyers like me. Actually, I had not heard of POD back then(around 1997). I just thought "why don't they send files electronically to Korea and print it here?" Currently, when I order a book from Amazon.com, the book comes from somewhere in the US. To reach a buyer in Korea, the book is first printed in the US, goes to the Amazon warehouse, sits there for a while, gets packaged, takes an international air flight, and takes a truck (or maybe multiple trucks). Well, I thank the efficient network of international distribution system for making this possible at all and making the total cost of delivery affordable to me. However, it still has inefficiencies. See the information from Amazon.com.
Shipping time and charge (to Asian countries)
Total delivery time Shipping charge per shipment Shipping charge per book
Standard International Shipping 11 to 40 business days $6.99 $4.99
Expedited International Shipping 7 to 23 business days $9.99 $6.99
Priority International Shipping 2 to 4 business days $29.99 $8.99

It still takes quite a long time to receive a book. Yes, I can get it in a week (i.e. 2-4 “business” days), but it becomes expensive. So usually I would wait for a while to order together with other books that I want to buy, to save the shipping costs. But note that I pay another cost, which is “waiting time until I bundle,” a different kind of waiting time. In summary, I still feel pain as an Amazon.com customer.
Alternatively, this could happen. Amazon sends (or just gives access to) the digital file of the book to a POD contractor here in Korea, the POD contractor prints out the book, package it, and a truck delivers it to me. Or, if the POD contractor is nearby, I could stop by and take the book. If we compare all the resource used until I get a book from Amazon, I think the difference is clear. I have a table here to analyze this.
Resources used
 Current physical deliveryDigital + POD
PrintingO (offset)O (POD)
US transportationOX
US warehouseOX
Unsold booksOX
International transportationOX
Korean transportationOX
Time (counting only shipping)2 to 40 business days2-3 actual days (probably)
Digital file and distributionXO

I have not done any calculation of the costs, but it seems clear to me that POD in Korea will make it much cheaper for Amazon and for me. I don’t know why an innovative company like Amazon has not tried this yet. Is it because they may not have come up with this idea? I think it is unlikely. I believed (and hoped) that no one had thought of this yet, when I first imagined this idea a few years back (sometime 1997-2000). But time has changed, and a lot of things pointing to the possibility of this are happening in and around Amazon.com.
Second, they may have thought about it, but the target market is too small to bother to make this change. But this does not sound like a good reason. They already go through all the complex logistics to sell and deliver a book to me in Korea. And economically POD makes more sense in a smaller market. As the volume grows, the traditional way becomes more efficient. In fact, for a big market like Japan, they can set up a subsidiary and have its own inventory to make the shipping time shorter for customers. (I have a strong belief that even in the domestic online bookstore case, digital + POD should be more efficient eventually, but I don’t want to deal with that issue now.) The point is, a smaller market where Amazon needs to send books one by one cross-continent is where the POD method can have more value.
Lastly then, they may have operational headaches to implement this business model. A trustworthy POD partner is one. But Kinkos, a Fedex division and provider of copying and binding services, is operating well in Korea, and they already have an alliance with Yes24, a Korean online bookstore, for providing POD service for out-of-print books. And there are other companies that seem capable. Then what other problem is there? I am guessing that their main issues are about copyrights, dealing with book publishers. The book publishers may be scared about this idea, just like they are scared about any “digital” distribution. And the fact that a POD player, like Kinkos, is an industrial “photo-copier” probably makes it even scarier. Imagine one customer orders a book from Amazon.com, print it POD, and before it is bound she photo-copies the book to sell to others! How horrible!
If these things are what Amazon is worried about, my advice is "do it anyway". If this idea is any good, somebody will do it someday. And that will win eventually. You could start from a limited area, where the risk is small, like non-bestsellers or non-textbooks. Yes, I am biased as I will benefit from this change. But I am confident that it will be good for Amazon as well. I hope that Amazon will consider this.