10 Things I Learned in Seoul

Some tech observations related to my first trip to Asia.

Estimated reading: 2 min

I recently keynoted the Cannes Lions Creativity Forum in Seoul, South Korea. Picture below.

While I didn’t spend too much time in the city, I did learn a few things. Here they are:

  1. The Internet is crazy fast here. The hi-def final episode of Breaking Bad I downloaded took under seven minutes. Yes, they were seven long minutes.
  2. The Internet is at least partially restricted here. YouTube videos often wouldn’t play and Amazon Instant Video isn’t available. Normally, I wouldn’t care, but see #1.
  3. Samsung is huge. Bigger than Apple, even.
  4. Yahoo! is not. I asked all 200 conference attendees to raise their hands if they used Yahoo! Zero hands went up.
  5. I also asked all 200 attendees to raise their hands if they didn’t own a smartphone or tablet. Again, nary a hand went up.
  6. It’s common practice to give your business cards to someone as you’re meeting them. This is a bit different than in the US. I normally hand out a card after a brief conversation.
  7. The people are incredibly friendly. Just saying “Hello” earned me major points with everyone.
  8. I can’t recall getting better hotel service, ever. Keeping tourists happy seems to be critical.
  9. Golf is really important here. The hotel sported a driving range, and probably ten percent of the channels featured the sport. There is a public course five minutes from ICN.
  10. Action movies are very popular, especially American ones. No wonder Hollywood is content to churn out boilerplate flicks rife with car chases.

That’s about it. Did I miss anything?




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