Keep your ear to the ground

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Keep your ear to the ground

The founder of Nexon, Korea’s top video and online game developer and operator, Kim Jung-joo, warned that even an industry leader like Nexon could collapse overnight. The usually low-profile head of NXC, the holding company of Nexon, is poised to become the third wealthiest Korean after the Tokyo-headquartered Nexon goes public in Japan next month.

Yet addressing students in a special lecture at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Kim said he and his executive peers are running the company with the determination to survive each day. We should all pay heed to his warning and sense of urgency.

The global society, especially the corporate world, is quickly changing in the 21st century. One could easily be replaced if one dozes off. One misstep could send a successful company off the ledge.

The cycle of rise and fall in the corporate world has shortened a great deal. The world’s top cellular phone maker, Nokia, having failed to react to the current smartphone technology, had to undergo layoffs and mergers and acquisitions over the span of just a couple of years.

Japanese game producer Nintendo, which drew envy from President Lee Myung-bak with its popular DS and other portable game gadgets, faltered against the recent trend of smartphones. Due to the rapid proliferation of smartphones and increased sophistication of game applications, Nintendo incurred major losses in the first half of the year. The company shaved the price tag on their portable systems by as much as 40 percent, but the game may be over for Nintendo DS against fast and cheap digital phone game software.

Their failures have one thing in common. Nintendo used to boast it was paving the way in creating a new market and didn’t need to survey customers. Nokia also maintained that its standard defined the market. They fell not because of their competitors but because their self-indulgence caused them to fail to read and react to the changes in the corporate habitat.

Nexon remains alert at its corporate peak. Its readiness will help the company to ascend further. We hope other local companies will stay awake and continue to recreate themselves.

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