LG Tamagotchis?


Remember Tamagotchis? If you have forgotten, and are perfectly glad about that, then I deeply apologize for bringing you today’s news.

LG has created a new line of smartphones with… personalities.

The company is calling them Aka phones (pronounced ‘ah-kah’) and, thanks to sleeve covers embedded with smart chips, the phone changes between four pre-set personalities. They have names.

Eggy is the yellow one, and he “falls in love easily,” said LG’s LTE product planning lead Ramchan Woo to CNet. Soul is the blue Aka, and he loves music and beer, while Wooky (the white version) speaks in slang. Worst of all, the only female Aka personality comes in pink, and her name is Yoyo. She gets her name from her love of soda and hamburgers, which makes her weight “yo-yo.”


When users wave their hand in front of the phone’s front-facing camera, the Aka personality makes a face or something. The UI of the phone is influenced by the Aka personality, changing the colors and style of the phone’s interface. And if you tire of Wooky’s newfangled slang, you can simply buy a new sleeve cover, embedded with a microchip, to switch from one Aka personality to another.

Users can get rewards for their Aka by buying more accessories or connecting with their real-world friends who also have an Aka phone. Aka owners will also be able to take selfies with their phone’s software-based personality, or post to the Aka’s Instagram account. (At first, I thought that was incorrect, but it turns out the Akas have Instagram accounts that their owners can exploit.)

The hardware is mid-range in every way, with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor running under Android KitKat, a 5-inch HD display, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera, 1.5GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (along with expandable memory via microSD slot).

LG’s silly new phones are only available in South Korea and are available starting today.



Reference: LG Just Combined Tamagotchis With Smartphones (http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/11/lg-just-combined-tamagotchis-with-smartphones)

SparkLabs to launch its internet of things accelerator in South Korean “Smart City” Songdo

SparkLabs, one of the leading incubators in Seoul’s rapidly growing startup ecosystems, announced today that it will launch its Internet of Things Accelerator in Songdo International Business District in early 2015. A $35 billion private real estate development that will contain 80,000 apartments, 50 million square feet of office space, and 10 million square feet of retail space when it is completed next year, Songdo is one of the world’s first specially designed “smart cities.”


This means that the city was developed with a technological infrastructure that supports connected Internet services and products in public spaces and residences. For example, the city is filled with sensors that can monitor temperature, energy use, and traffic flow, as well as amenities like charging stations for electric cars.


SparkLabs intends to use Songdo, which will have more than 35,000 residents, as a “test bed” for its companies. Its Internet of Things program will be based in Seoul and Songdo and is open to startups from anywhere in the world. It will focus on enterprise and consumer connected devices, sensors, data analytics related to the Internet of Things space, platform plays, and wearables, says SparkLabs co-founder and general partner HanJoo Lee.


Alumni from SparkLabs’ incubator program include KnowRe, an adaptive learning platform for math that recently raised $1.4 million from SoftBank, and Memebox, which also participated in Y Combinator.


“Songdo’s importance is to the overall tech ecosystem,” Lee tells TechCrunch. “Global leaders, such as Cisco and LG, and potential others are integrating cutting edge technologies into this smart city built from the ground up. It really provides a unique opportunity for companies to see how ubiquitous technology can be integrated into our lives without creating interference of distractions. Songdo is a giant petri dish for companies such as Google is to new startups.”


“Songdo provides our Internet of Things participants a very unique opportunity to plug them into a community of 35,000 people. This opportunity is unparalleled in the world,” he adds. “Working with such a wired city open to innovation allows our startups to test out their products at scale, not a field test with four or five friends. We picture a whole range of devices that will eventually be launched at Songdo, from new security systems for recreational parks to new healthcare devices to pet trackers to smart appliances.”


Located near Incheon International Airport, Songdo is already being used as a testing ground by Korea and U.S. tech companies such as Cisco Systems, LG CNS (an LG Group subsidiary that provides information technology services), andsecurity monitoring provider ADT Caps.


In a statement, New Songdo International City Development chairman Stan Gale said “With the IoT accelerator pioneering cutting-edge technologies in Songdo IBD, we are confident that our population of early adopters will embrace the new technologies that are developed by SparkLabs.”


Reference: SparkLabs to launch its internet of things accelerator in South Korean “Smart City” Songdo (http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/06/sparklabs-songdo)

Meet Travis



I guess there’s a bully in every industry.

There’s Jay-Z in rap and Donald Trump in real estate.

In tech there is: Travis!


Uber CEO Travis Kalanick acknowledged he tried to torpedo funding efforts of his biggest rival, Lyft.

In a profile of Kalanick for Vanity Fair, Kara Swisher reports the following:

“We knew that Lyft was going to raise a ton of money,” says Kalanick. “And we are going [to their investors], ‘Just so you know, we’re going to be fund-raising after this, so before you decide whether you want to invest in them, just make sure you know that we are going to be fund-raising immediately after.’” It’s part of what seems to be an unabashed effort to kneecap Lyft. In August, it was revealed that Uber was employing some dicey tactics by sending so-called brand ambassadors to order Lyft rides undercover and then persuade the drivers to defect to Uber.

Uber, if you’re not aware, allows people to quickly and easily order a car from their phone. Lyft does the exact same thing.

This quote from Kalanick is a vivid illustration of the nasty fight between these companies. They have tried to steal each other’s drivers. Uber is poaching Lyft executives. They have accused each other of other shady schemes like ordering cabs from the competitor and then canceling them.

We have never heard a CEO openly admit to trying to nuke a rival’s fundraising. We’re sure it happens all the time — we had just never heard anyone talk about it out loud.


Read more: Meet Travis (http://ofleadership.com/meet-travis)

Humble Beginning

A humble beginning…



In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen-year-old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church.


Four years later, he was looking for ways to grow his small magazine and started selling mail order records to the students who bought the magazine. The records sold well enough that he built his first record store the next year. After twoyears of selling records, he decided to open his own record label and recording studio.


He rented the recording studio out to local artists, including one named Mike Oldfield. In that small recording studio, Oldfield created his hit song, Tubular Bells, which became the record label’s first release. The song went on to sell over 5 million copies.


Over the next decade, the young boy grew his record label by adding bands like the Sex Pistols, Culture Club, and the Rolling Stones. Along the way, he continued starting companies: an airline business, then trains, then mobile phones, and on and on. Almost 50 years later, there were over 400 companies under his direction.


Today, that young boy who dropped out of school and kept starting things despite his inexperience and lack of knowledge is a billionaire. His name is Sir Richard Branson.


Reference: http://www.letssarm.com/startbeforeready

Quarter life anxiety

Twenty-somethings have a tendency to think that they need their lives figured out by 30, which can cause panic if their 30th birthday rolls around and their greatest aspirations seem far out of reach.

But there are plenty of success stories that prove otherwise — from celebrity chef Julia Child, who wrote her first cookbook at 50, to writer Harry Bernstein, who authored countless rejected books before getting his first hit at 96.


Scroll down to get some inspiration from those whose careers show it’s never too late.



  1. Stan Lee created his first hit comic title, “The Fantastic Four,” just shy of his 39th birthday. In the next few years, he created the legendary Marvel Universe, whose characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men became American cultural icons.‘
  2. Gary Heavin was 40 when he opened the first Curves fitness center in 1992, which ended up becoming one of the fastest-growing franchises of the ’90s.
  3. J.K. Rowling was living on welfare and divorced. At the age of 32, J.K. published the first Harry Potter novel after being rejected by 12 publishers. The series has sold over 400 million books and is one of the most beloved franchises in recent history. 


  4. Vera Wang was a figure skater and journalist before entering the fashion industry at age 40. Today she’s one of the world’s premier women’s designers. 


  5. Samuel Jackson has been a Hollywood staple for years now, but he’d had only bit parts before landing an award-winning role at age 43 in Spike Lee’s film “Jungle Fever” in 1991. 

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  6. Henry Ford was 45 when he created the revolutionary Model T car.
  7. Jack Weil was 45 when he founded what became the most popular cowboy-wear brand, Rockmount Ranch Wear. He remained its CEO until he died at the ripe old age of 107 in 2008.
  8. Rodney Dangerfield is remembered as a legendary comedian, but he didn’t catch a break until he made a hit appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” at age 46.
  9. Momofuku Ando cemented his spot in junk food history when he invented instant ramen at age 48 in 1958. 


  10. Charles Darwin spent most of his life as a naturalist who kept to himself, but at age 50 his “On the Origin of Species” changed the scientific community forever in 1859. 


  11. Julia Child worked in advertising and media before writing her first cookbook when she was 50, launching her career as a celebrity chef.
  12. Jack Cover worked as a scientist for institutions like NASA and IBM before he became a successful entrepreneur at 50 for inventing the Taser gun. 


  13. Tim and Nina Zagat were both 51-year-old lawyers when they published their first collection of restaurant reviews under the Zagat name, which eventually became a mark of culinary authority. 


  14. Ray Kroc spent his career as a milkshake device salesman before buying McDonald’s at age 52 in 1954. He grew it into the world’s biggest fast-food franchise. 


  15. Taikichiro Mori was an academic who became a real estate investor at age 51 when he founded Mori Building Company. His brilliant investments made him the richest man in the world in 1992, when he had a net worth of $13 billion.
  16. Wally Blume had a long career in the dairy business before starting his own ice cream company, Denali Flavors, at age 57 in 1995. The company reported revenue of $80 million in 2009.
  17. Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her later years writing semi-autobiographical stories using her educated daughter Rose as an editor. She published the first in the “Little House” books at age 65 in 1932. They soon became children’s literary classics, and the basis for TV show “Little House on the Prairie.”
  18. Harland Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, was 62 when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952, which he would sell for $2 million 12 years later. 


  19. Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, began her prolific painting career at 78. In 2006, one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million.
  20. Harry Bernstein spent a long life writing in obscurity, achieving notoriety at long last at age 96 for his 2007 memoir “The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers.”


Reference: 40살이 넘어서 성공한 유명인들 20명 (http://www.letssarm.com/successover40)

AsiafoundersㅣLeadership DNA


Are some people made to be successful and some not?

Is it just the will to succeed or the perseverance that exposes certain people to great wealth?


Fear is the greatest obstacle to all entrepreneur. Success requires discipline and faith.

However, every entrepreneur is a human and each has to battle their fears all the time.


1. Fear of Failure Failure is the most obvious fear for an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs never lose this fear but rather harness its energy to drive harder, faster and better. And the best know that a bad failure means a great lesson.

2. Fear of Inadequacy Many wonder if they are good enough and smart enough to accomplish greatness. Successful entrepreneurs become great learners so they can fill gaps intheir education. They also become masters of recruitment to fill gaps in their capabilities.

3. Fear of the Market Catching the market just right can be like surfing a giant wave all the way to the beach. But just like the ocean, if you miscalculate the wave’s trajectory, it will slam you into the sand headfirst and crush you. Successful entrepreneurs show a healthy respect for market forces and study the dynamics so they can capitalize.

4. Fear of Fraud There are few who gain success without some sort of exaggeration of capability or connections. Successful entrepreneurs are careful not to stretch the truth far beyond reality. Even an inkling of legitimacy allows them to maintain credibility.

5. Fear of Selling Although the practice of sales is a necessary requirement for success, most people detest trying to push something on someone else. Successful entrepreneurs want their product or service to be the obvious choice. And they effectively use marketing to attract customers so fewer sales pitches are required.

6. Fear of Public Speaking Not every entrepreneur is a natural evangelist. Some have great ideas yet struggle to articulate them in front of a group of people. Successful entrepreneurs share their vision clearly, powerfully and succinctly. They know that they mustbe confident on the podium to inspire others to follow the vision.

7. Fear of Leadership Being a leader is a choice that weighs much heavier than just being a boss or starting a company. Successful entrepreneurs know that leadership is their number one priority. They study, listen and sacrifice to make sure the people that follow are continuously inspired, motivated and rewarded for their efforts.

8. Fear of Competition The bigger you get, the more likely someone will come gunning for you. So many people ignore or dismiss potential competitors only to be later surprised and sometimes killed in the battle. Successful entrepreneurs respect and study their competition. They create long-term strategies to differentiate in ways competitors can’t follow easily.

9. Fear of Time Entrepreneurs like to be in control, and time is one of the few elements they can’t impact one way or another. Successful entrepreneurs understand time is a constant and learn how to harness its power through productivity and efficiency.

10. Fear of Embarrassment Entrepreneurs are proud people and they hate to be shamedin public. Successful entrepreneurs know that showing a healthy amount of humility is the surest way to maintain the respect they crave.

11. Fear of People Many entrepreneurs would do it all themselves if they could. But they can’t. Successful entrepreneurs understand that scalability requires the attraction, development and retention of great people. They make sure there are systems and culture in place that make the people the priority in the organization.

12. Fear of Futility No one works this hard or long just to be forgotten. Successful entrepreneurs know they need to make an impact to ever be considered a significant benefactor to society. They take society into consideration in all their work and design for their vision of the greater good.

13. Fear of Self Everyone knows his or her own demons best. Successful entrepreneurs commit time and effort to know and improve themselves. For they loathe to be the one who stands in the way of their own greatness.


Reference: Leadership DNA (http://ofleadership.com/leadership-dna)

Waygo is the way to go

This start up has a grand plan. To one up Google Translate.

Waygo, the neat augmented reality translation app, has just added support for translating Korean into English. That complements Waygo’s existing skills in Chinese-to-English and Japanese-to-English.

As with Waygo’s other languages, the Korean translation works best on signs, menus, and random text you see about your travels. You’ll still need to use a phrasebook on your travels to Japan, China, or Korea, but Waygo will help you in a way that a phrasebook cannot – by helping your eyes make sense of the text all around you. So if you’re in a restaurant with a Korean-only menu, the app can help you find the bulgogi (shredded beef barbecued at the table) and point to it with all the confidence of someone about to get a face-full of succulent beef.

This is what it looks like translating a sign on a door:

Waygo helps you hunt down some bulgogi with new Korean translation trickery

Ryan Rogowski, CEO and co-founder of the Sino-US startup, says that Korea is experiencing booming travel growth, which prompted the team to add in Korean as Waygo’s newest language. The app now claims to hold 1.5 million translations across its three languages.



See: Duolingo brings free English language learning to 5 new Asian markets


We first tried out the app in December 2012 when it started out exclusively for translating Chinese menus. The startup went through 500 Startups’ accelerator and later secured US$$900,000 in seed funding from 500 Startups, Golden Gate Ventures, and AngelVest.

Waygo is free to test out on iOS and Android, but lifetime use costs US$6.99 as an in-app purchase, or just US$1.99 for a week of unlimited use.


Reference: Waygo helps you hunt down some bulgogi with new Korean translation trickery (https://www.techinasia.com/waygo-translation-app-korean)

What’s happening around the world in tech?


One thing that everyone can agree on about the tech industry is that it never stops moving forward.

At every minute there is something happening in some parts of the world in the tech world.

As always, few things happened today and here are some of the headlines.

1. Facebook stock was down 10% last night after it announced its Q3 earnings. Its performance was solid, but guidance spooked investors.

2. The Antares rocket exploded seconds after launch yesterday. It was carrying over 5,000 pounds worth of supplies for the International Space Station.

3. Verizon has launched a tech news site. Its writers are reportedly banned from covering surveillance or net neutrality. 

4. Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed the reason why the company discontinued the iPod Classic. He claims they simply couldn’t get the parts anymore.

5. Marissa Mayer is reportedly close to hiring Amazon’s top ad executive. She may become Yahoo’s COO.

6. Video game publisher Electronic Arts announced its Q2 earnings yesterday. They blew away expectations.

7. Some MacBook owners have filed a class-action lawsuit over problems with their graphic cards. They accuse Apple of refusing to repair defective products.

8. WhatsApp has disclosed its recent financial performance. Revenue was $10.2 million in 2013.

9. The retail group behind Walmart, Best Buy and Gap has threatened its retailers with steep fines if they introduce Apple Pay. CVS and Rite Aid both tried the system but later opted out.

10. The FBI created a fake online news article to catch a bomb-threat suspect. It used the page to spread spying software.


Reference: http://www.businessinsider.com/10-things-in-tech-you-need-to-know-october-29-2014-10#ixzz3Hc1IEqeY

Self made millionaireㅣMichelle Phan

From under-rated to stardom.

Do not underestimate the YouTube makeup-tutorial starlet.

Do not dismiss her “Barbie Transformation Tutorial;” her “Sailor Moon Transformation,” which includes anime contact lenses; nor her alarming “Zombie Barbie.”

Because Michelle Phan — with more than a billion views on YouTube and seven million followers; her own L’Oreal line and lifestyle media network; booming e-commerce beauty startup called Ipsy; and a new book — is teaching more people how to decorate their faces than perhaps anyone else in the world.

The ferocious 27-year-old mogul had a modest start with her family — living on food stamps at one point — and now has a company with an $84 million annual sales run-rate. She has 700,000 subscribers who receive her Glam Bags — little sacks of makeup samples — for $10 a month. The makeup business is famous for its high margins.

Today, Phan took the stage at Code/Mobile in Half Moon Bay, Calif., to talk about transforming YouTube stardom into a real-world empire, a now welltrodden path.

Phan came onstage dancing, in a sleeveless blue top and a white skirt with decorative orcas.

Her interviewer, Re/code’s Dawn Chmielewski, said the conference planners chose electric dance music for Phan’s entrance because it seemed appropriate. Pham, shimmying, agreed (she is an EDM fan, and is starting her own label after an earlier label partnership soured).

Chmielewski asked how it all began.

“The first videos I uploaded on my own personal channel were videos of dogs,” Phan said.

In 2007, Phan was a waitress, and couldn’t even get a job at a beauty counter because she didn’t have sales experience. She was undeterred.

“YouTube was the biggest thing in the college community, and it just made so much sense for me to have a platform,” she said. “Instead of feeling down about it, I opened another door, and that door happened to be a laptop.”

Phan began doing makeup tutorials. And people loved those makeup tutorials. Eyeliner technique turned into far more sophisticated lessons, like how to look like Lady Gaga in “Bad Romance.”

“I showed people how they can transform their face,” she said. “[Lady Gaga] really helped put me on the map.”

Meanwhile, large makeup brands like Lancome were struggling to get hits with good viral makeup videos. In 2008, a Lancome executive Googled around and found a Phan tutorial in which she was cramped up on a plane, showing her fans how to do makeup on the plane. Lancome signed her as a spokesperson.

Michelle Phan, Ipsy founder and author

Michelle Phan, Ipsy founder and author

Phan says her shaky bedroom videos appealed to people more than big productions because they felt more authentic: “People need to understand that what makes YouTube so different is that you go on there because you want to connect with someone.”

She talked about her main business, the Glam Bags — curated, luxury sample bags sent monthly — and the month-long wait list to subscribe.

Phan turned to the audience: “For $10 a month, you can still feel like you’re valued, and you can get something that empowers you to try something new,” she said.

Asked about the economics of YouTube, Phan said, “It’s like any medium — you have the subscription, but that’s not going to make all the money. You have to bring on sponsors, and you have to sell a product.”

And not every viral star has to have seven million followers — there’s a healthy YouTube middle class: “So many of my friends have 200,000 subscribers, and they make around five to six K a month,” she said. “Which is completely cool.”

Chmielewski asked how Phan has noticed desktop and mobile patterns change.

“Last year, 60 percent of traffic came from desktop,” Phan said. “Today, 70 percent comes from mobile.”

And then came what could have been a tense moment — Chmielewski asked about theEDM lawsuit. As Phan described it: She was given permission to use EDM music for her makeup tutorials, which was a nice backdrop for her tutorials and nice publicity for the label.

“Until I started making money,” she said. “And they thought their music was what was making me successful.”

Phan launched her own label with Cutting Edge Music.

She took it as an opportunity to declare herself a defender of “Team Internet,” which seemed to indicate a stance about more progressive copyright laws.

“We’re living in an age where we should be collaborating. Because it’s the Internet now. It’s hard to say who owns what,” she said, looking out into the audience. “I believe in Team Internet, and I’m here to protect my fellow YouTubers. … I’m here to fight and stand my ground.”

It was a rallying cry.

The conversation segued into Phan’s new premium lifestyle network on Endemol Beyond, in which she will find viral tastemakers in various categories and build them into “power brands” — like herself. (How large can her empire grow? Larger!)

“Imagine a Michelle Phan who cooks, or a Michelle Phan videogame player,” she said.

Her role will be the experienced mentor: “It’s very easy to make a viral video, but longevity and consistency, that’s hard.”

Chmielewski thanked her for coming on, and Phan smiled at the audience, her dramatic eyeliner and glossy lipstick showing no sign of wear.


Reference: Michelle Phan: From Youtube Star to $84 Million Startup Founder (http://recode.net/2014/10/27/michelle-phan-youtube-star-to-startup-founder)

Introducing HelloWorldㅣOfleadership

One can’t help but admit this fact..

Achievers are getting younger and younger…


Today, location-sharing startup HelloWorld is announcing that it has been acquired by Life360for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.

That’s a pretty fantastic exit, given the fact that the startup was born out of a Y Combinator hackathon in August and built by 5 recent- and soon-to-be-grads who have raised no capital from angels or traditional investors.

HelloWorld founder Ernestine Fu will be joining Life360 to head up a new “Special Projects” division. Both Fu and Life360 co-founder and president Alex Haro say that the company doesn’t have a defined plan for the new division, other than the fact that they’ll be looking at ways the company can use location data to provide unique tools for families, the main social group Life360 hopes to help connect (along with close friends).

That will likely involve the Internet of Things, the illogically popular term for the idea that in the years to come, everything is going to have a sensor sending data about us and our things to be processed in the cloud. Life360 is looking at how they can tie in the kind of data you’d only share with your family with that trend — so, when everyone in a family leaves the home with their smartphone, the house can automatically bring the air conditioning to a more eco-friendly temperature and when it’s time to meet the significant other for lunch, you could just tell your car to navigate to your husband’s location.

In a phone call, Fu told TechCrunch that HelloWorld received offers for funding from angels and VCs alike but turned each down during the initial rush of development around the young startup’s app, which was already working on iOS and Android coming out of the YC hackathon. Among the interested angels was Life360’s Haro, who along with his co-founder was looking to personally invest in HelloWorld about a month ago. But after getting into talks about the future of HelloWorld and the prospects for using location data among tight, private groups, it became clear to those involved that Fu could have a greater impact working on things for Life360’s ~100 million users.

While Fu gets the big new role at Life360, her other four teammates will also be involved in their acquirer’s future projects, though in various capacities. According to Life360’s Haro, most will join the company, though one will continue work on his own separate startup and aid in an advisory role.



Reference: Introducing HelloWorldㅣOfleadership (http://ofleadership.com/introducing-helloworld%E3%85%A3ofleadership)