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Reside from South Korea — Steve Jang on Korea’s Exploding “Smooth Energy,” The Poverty-to-Energy Playbook, Ok-Pop, “Han” Vitality, Should-See Motion pictures, Export Economies, and A lot Extra (#707)


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“For Koreans, han generally is a drive to do nice issues, to bond collectively, to know one another, to empathize. However it could possibly additionally simply be anger and Ok-rage which, channeled accurately, lets you construct a complete business and succeed on the worldwide stage to create popular culture phenomenons that win Grammys, and films that win Oscars, and lightweight up the world to what’s occurring on this little nation that was poor, that was damaged after colonization and a battle.”

— Steve Jang

Scroll right down to the present notes part to see Steve’s must-see Korean motion pictures and must-do issues in Seoul.

Steve Jang (@stevejang) is the founder and managing companion at Kindred Ventures, an early-stage enterprise capital fund primarily based in San Francisco. He’s additionally a longtime buddy and one of many founder-now-investor technology of VCs that arose out of the final expertise cycle. Steve is without doubt one of the prime 100 enterprise capital traders on the planet, in line with Forbes Midas Listing of prime enterprise capital traders, and was ranked #45 in 2023. He’s additionally a Korean-American, a gyopo, who’s deeply invested and concerned in each the technological and cultural worlds within the US and Asia. 

Beforehand, Steve was an early advisor to, and angel investor in, Uber, after which an early-stage investor in Coinbase, Postmates, Poshmark, Tonal, Blue Bottle Espresso, and Humane, the AI system platform. He helped Uber, Coinbase, and Blue Bottle Espresso, amongst others, to broaden into Korea and Japan. As an entrepreneur, Steve co-founded corporations within the client web, cellular, and crypto area.

Within the movie and music world, he’s an govt producer, and his most up-to-date movie is Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV, which tells the story of the best Korean artist, and father of digital video artwork, and which premiered on the Sundance Movie Pageant in 2023. His subsequent movie is a documentary about Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum.

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Take heed to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastPodcast AddictPocket CastsCastboxGoogle PodcastsAmazon Musicor in your favourite podcast platform.

Delivered to you by Nordic Naturals Final Omega fish oil, GiveWell.org charity analysis and efficient giving, and Wealthfront high-yield financial savings account.

#707: Reside from South Korea — Steve Jang on Korea’s Exploding “Smooth Energy,” The Poverty-to-Energy Playbook, Ok-Pop, “Han” Vitality, Should-See Motion pictures, Export Economies, and A lot Extra<br />


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Wish to hear one other episode that includes a gyopo? Take heed to my dialog with streetwear artist Bobby Tons of through which we mentioned his double life as a parent-pleasing legislation scholar and clandestine artist, collaboration over competitors, rolling with the tides of fickle trend, vital disconnections, subcultural safety, hermit north stars, and way more.

#671: Bobby Tons of — Constructing an Iconic Streetwear Model, Making $7 Million in 40 Minutes, The Energy of Garfield, Why Korean Leisure is Taking Over the World, Sustaining the Thriller, The Fickleness of Fortune, and Creating “Nunchi”

What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know within the feedback.

SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

Kindred Ventures | Twitter | Instagram | Threads | LinkedIn

Steve’s High “Should-See” Korean Motion pictures:

Steve’s “Should-Do” Issues in Seoul:

  • Stroll and discover the previous city areas of Samcheong, Insa, and Hongdae. Meander round these hills and small streets and alleys stuffed with small outlets, cafes, and tea homes.
  • Headbob or dance with native of us at small DJ bars in Hongdae or Itaewon. Favorites are Cakeshop, Hills and Europa, and Gopchang Jeongol.
  • Eat at a Hanwoo beef specialty restaurant. Hanwoo is the Korean model of Wagyu.
  • Take a look at small artwork galleries, craft boutiques, and huge museums together with the Leeum. The artist neighborhood in Korea is a core component of Korean society, in historic, counterculture, and nice artwork spheres.
  • Eat lunch within the meals court docket of a significant division retailer like Hyundai, Galleria, or Shinsegae. Utterly completely different high quality than what you’d anticipate within the US.
  • Train on the outside park by the Han River. The colder the climate, the higher.
  • Get Tongdak (Korean fried rooster) and beer. In case you aren’t consuming subsequent to taxi drivers and ajummas, then it’s not OG.
  • Discover Dongdaemun Market, the biggest unbiased dressmaker market on the planet.
  • Exit for cocktails, makkoli (fermented soybean liquor), and karaoke (which is known as “noraebang” in Korean) in Apgujeong, the cool child space of Gangnam.
  • Join a Ok-pop boot camp for 3 months and pay to discover ways to sing, dance, and costume to be within the subsequent BLACKPINK or BTS.

SHOW NOTES

  • [09:37] Why has Korean tradition been globally neglected till just lately?
  • [13:36] In Seoul, the longer term is now.
  • [17:23] Gyopo and the Korean diaspora.
  • [19:15] Fashionable relations between South Korea and Japan.
  • [21:07] Christianity and Confucianism in South Korea.
  • [23:17] The depth of Korean (together with gyopo) hagwons.
  • [25:46] Why Steve finds Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko notably transferring.
  • [28:07] Japanese nostalgia.
  • [29:25] Seoul: the Bizarro Tokyo?
  • [39:49] Generations of Korean households traumatized by North/South separation.
  • [44:32] Class wrestle and cultural dichotomy in Korean cinema and literature.
  • [50:22] Activism in a chaebol-dominated panorama.
  • [54:25] How Korean tradition resonates on a common stage.
  • [56:50] How large cash funds the creative class wrestle towards large cash.
  • [59:57] Is the Ok-wave a fad, or is it right here to remain?
  • [1:05:24] Getting a deal with on the untranslatable han.
  • [1:08:13] Jeong and nunchi.
  • [1:14:38] What’s going to it take to treatment South Korea’s disastrously low delivery price?
  • [1:25:05] Why I’ve been so fascinated by the Ok-wave.
  • [1:36:02] How I’ve been studying the Korean language.
  • [1:47:04] Why so many Japanese ladies go to Korea.
  • [1:47:57] The profitable energy of Korea’s export economic system.
  • [1:52:07] Why the principle highway in Gangnam is known as after the capital of Iran.
  • [1:54:19] The actual motive Steve believes South Korea is so industrious on a number of fronts.
  • [1:58:02] How studying simply 10 sentences in one other language can essentially change your expertise.
  • [2:00:28] Korean meals!
  • [2:09:35] The unforgivable insult of leaving meals uneaten.
  • [2:11:25] Why you owe it to your self to see Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV.
  • [2:17:46] Why you owe it to your self to hearken to “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Korean psych rock band He5.
  • [2:18:15] How gyopo affect on the humanities bypassed dwelling censorship insurance policies.
  • [2:24:20] Why you owe it to your self to go to Seoul sooner relatively than later.
  • [2:26:30] Parting ideas.

MORE STEVE JANG QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW

“The North and South Korean governments at sure occasions, after they get alongside, they’ll attempt to do some nice olive department strikes to reunite households. They usually had the TV station movie it, and so they arrange a complete space and so they introduced buses down. And it turned out to be not cathartic in any respect, however reopening ache.”
— Steve Jang

“Class wrestle is the theme of so many [Korean] motion pictures, books, TV collection. It’s the struggling and the wrestle to maneuver out of their situation, and that society and the higher crust of society gained’t enable it. This pressure is in music, it’s in motion pictures, it’s in literature, it’s in TV reveals, it’s throughout. And also you may say, ‘Oh, no, it’s round each nation.’ Positive it’s. Nevertheless it’s actually robust and constant in Korean motion pictures and literature.”
— Steve Jang

“Han might be probably the most talked-about collective trait of Koreans. What it basically boils right down to is this concept of collective struggling that the Korean folks have by means of historical past, and manifests on this very difficult feeling of we’re struggling and we share that ache with one another, nevertheless it’s by some means not at all times a unfavourable. It will probably typically drive us to specific ourselves in robust methods. It will probably drive us to undergo collectively collectively.”
— Steve Jang

“For Koreans, han generally is a drive to do nice issues, to bond collectively, to know one another, to empathize. However it could possibly additionally simply be anger and Ok-rage which, channeled accurately, lets you construct a complete business and succeed on the worldwide stage to create popular culture phenomenons that win Grammys, and films that win Oscars, and lightweight up the world to what’s occurring on this little nation that was poor, that was damaged after colonization and a battle.”
— Steve Jang

“There’s this accelerated sense of ‘We should obtain one thing tomorrow as a result of we’re already behind.’ That may be a very Korean mentality.”
— Steve Jang

“Tomorrow just isn’t assured for South Koreans. There’s a well-understood pressure with North Korea that at any second this might all be over.”
— Steve Jang

“Of all of the cultural exports, Korean meals is an important one.”
— Steve Jang

“You get a thousand factors of credit score from any Korean in the event you attempt to communicate the language. They like it. It’ll clean all tough edges on something that you simply’re speaking about with them in the event you at the very least strive.”
— Steve Jang

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