Daum is Korea's #2 internet portal site, which also operates under Lycos brand in the US and Japan. (Daum acquired Lycos in July 2004 at US$ 95M). Daum also operates a blog aggregation site called 365bloglink.com in China.

Think of Daum as a Korean Yahoo: Both companies had been market leaders up until some years ago, but now they are chasing the top dog (Naver and Google respectively) and are seemingly more open to the external developer communities. In both companies, people are generally more friendly and less cocky, too. Could be my stereotyping, so take that with a grain of salt.

The company recently held its third company-wide developer conference. The venue was the country that reportedly creates two New York cities a year - China. (The first two Daum dev cons were held in Korea). These days, no one seems to doubt that China is the new US.

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Mr Jae-woong Lee, CEO of Lycos

Various technology seminars were held in multiple tracks. What caught my attention though was the keynote speech from the Daum founder and Lycos CEO, Mr Jaewoong Lee. Lee said "Attempts to solve problems of human society may from many different angles, but eventually it's technology that fundamentally changes the world. Whether it's global warming, shortage of food and water, education issues in third world, whatever - it's the technology that can address these issues."

Lee also said "But innovation is nothing if there is no underlying value in it - Innovation is actually defined as creating a new value. A company shouldn't focus on business model, brand, marketing, before it does on the value."

I cannot agree more with what Lee said. I mean, it all sounds so cliche, but the harder you try to develop a new service, the more you realize it all really comes down to whether or not you are creating a new, meaningful value. If you are not convinced you're creating a significant value for the customers, you really shouldn't roll out that new service. Because doing so would be to develop a new service for the sake of developing a new service.
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