Too Late to “Start Up”? Step Up!

It has been a long time since last movie review. This time, I’d still like to focus on international titles! Also, to prepare my new venture, watching K-drama series “Start Up” on Netflix would be rewarding for me, I supposed. My “indulgence” in the 16 episodes of this tech-based rom-com was meant to explore such a globally evolving streaming platform, as well as life inspirations.

Start-Up (TV Series 2020– ) - IMDb

1- From Start-up to Scale-up

From my past courses in National University of Management, a startup would mean simply a new business or one that are being created or up and running. In the last decade, the term seems to have now evolve to rather designate a technology-based new enterprise (if not, business). Regardless of these different definitions, all “startups” seem to take a common direction, from a simple (product) idea to a scalable and sustainable business model, with cost/resource efficiency. The series perfectly outlines just that pattern, with all its twists and turns, struggles and joy. You may even find some jargons simplified in action or pop-up texts such as “heckathon“, “elevator pitch“, “burn rate“. What stroke me most in the first few episodes is this statement: “If you succeed, you are called a CEO. If you don’t, you are called a fraud”.

2- Drama Series Re-Defined

As that was my first time following such a streaming series, I found its format different from other countries. Each episode takes over 60 minutes, compared to 45 minutes per Thai or Chinese episode. Although its intro and outro remain there, they tend add up subtle interesting information from each previous episode. Still, I find the dramatic axes a bit overrated in such a tech-based content! Kindness to strangers and sister feud, despite its plausible justifications, seem rare these days. On the bright side, rarity highlighted by celebrities may infuse more humanity in us?!

3- Business and Life Lessons

If you manage to complete all the series, you’ll find different lessons in different episodes. Below are my personal takeaways from “Start-Up”:

  • “Happiness is a choice.” Dal-mi chooses to be happy in poverty, yet determined to change. Her sister, In-jae chooses to live rich as a sign of happiness.
  • “A contract is a Bible to live by, of course, with its consequences.” Near the end, Do-san and Dal-mi decide get their startup acquired without realizing its professional consequences over their next steps.
  • “A healthy business will first be loved, then profitable.” This principle seems stretched over the whole plot, as Sam-san Tech, later incorporated into “Chung-myung Company”, bases their concept on care for vulnerable people.
  • “Even though startuppers need a mentor, they still need to make their own decision over their business direction.” As Ji-pyeong mentors Dal-mi to elevate a CEO’s share as much as possible, she decides to own up less. She confidently rationalizes that her decision may affect only him as a mentor!

Overall, it feels like a nice and complete package for my current situation. The future is unavoidably streaming. We only need to prepare our present for the best to come. Until I wish you all a happy and safe New Year. Let’s (re) start up 2021 together!

PS: My next post will be about my life lessons from my 40 years on Earth!