|Google chairman Eric Schmidt delivers a lecture at Seoul National University on Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
Google chairman Eric Schmidt told Seoul National University students what to focus on when starting up a company: teamwork, a long-term vision and doing what you love.
“Focus on projects you enjoy instead of what markets want. You should make products you are expert at and know why they are better than others,” he said in a lecture on start-ups at SNU on Thursday.
“Still, you need a long-term view and invest in something that will last 20 to 30 years,” he added. He cited Apple’s iPad that people did not believe in at first, but tablets including the iPad now outsold personal computers.
The lecture was the chairman’s fourth official stop in Seoul following visits to the National Museum of Korea, Google’s Big Tent and Samsung Electronics since Wednesday.
“You cannot be successful on your own however brilliant you are. There is almost no technology company which started from only one person. There was always a team. You need a team and know how to cooperate.”
Following the lecture, he answered students’ questions about their career and aptitude.
“I am personally a curious person. I always want to know why things are like that and ask over and over,” he said. “The human system is very complicated but media tends to make it simplified. Do not just believe what people say, but go and check what you are curious about.”
Schmidt, who earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in computer engineering, said he is a “strong proponent” of higher education. “In most Western countries, more education leads to greater earning,” he noted.
On his fourth visit to Korea, Schmidt noted that the country is the “best example of success, from the ruins of war to be a global superpower.”
“Business is focused and people work hard. However, it is important for South Korea to develop (its) software industry. In the future, every single business will have software such as big data for better service.
“The future of South Korea is good, but it will be even better with software.”
He foresees a future for technology where every device can talk to each other, and he said South Korea’s strong manufacturing sector can lead the way.
For Korea’s corporate culture, Schmidt suggested the country should be more diverse and inclusive of women, and the decision-making process should start from the bottom up.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)