[FOUNTAIN]Imagination, confidence and honestyIn the age of uncertainty, it was a pleasure to discover Kim Young-se. The 54-year-old is a successful industrial designer. He has the rare honor of having received gold, silver, and bronze prizes from IDEA, the Industrial Design Excellence Award, which is to the design world what the Academy Award is to the movie industry. In 2000, BusinessWeek chose one of his designs as the best product of the year. Recently, he began supplying his Taeguk designs to be distributed through the Acme Studio, an internationally renowned design company.
Mr. Kim is a rare example of someone who has achieved success in the market without compromising himself. He has the kind of character the market wants.
His biggest virtue is imagination. He is a powerful source of ideas without being discouraged by others. It comes from his high self-esteem, his love for others and devoted professionalism.
At age 16, Mr. Kim was stunned by a design magazine he read. He has treasured the image from the magazine. His imagination took the coincidental introduction to design into the choice of a major at college, and then extended it to a fateful career. Imagining a future working as a designer, he walked the frontier alone.
Another virtue of Mr. Kim is his honesty and devotion. He is a diligent man. He never chased time, but time chased him. Ultimately, the market chose his tradition-bound personality. When he hires employees for his design company, he puts a priority on honesty among the qualifications he looks for in candidates. He believes that inspiration, hunch, and research ability come after being an honest designer.
The third virtue of Mr. Kim is his confidence. The market is a system of trading trust. If you cannot trust yourself, the market will not trust you. Those who wish to participate in the market must have self-confidence. He has faced his share of complications, but he never allowed them to overcome him. Through hard work and training, he solved his difficulties and grew in confidence, as he wrote in his book, “A 1.2 Billion-Dollar Napkin”
The market likes values such as imagination, honesty and confidence. Mr. Kim has proven that you have to have these characters in order to succeed in the market. Young Koreans, especially students, should work to foster these virtues.
by Chun Young-gi
The writer is a deputy political news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.