[Buzzvil_People] David_Head of Strategy & Planning
[Buzzvil People & Culture] Buzzvil in 2016 #3
December 8, 2016
[Buzzvil People & Culture] Buzzvil in 2016 #4
December 29, 2016

[Buzzvil People] David Kim, Head of Global Planning & Operations


Buzzvil People took the opportunity to introduce each Buzzvillians with a variety of backgrounds, personality, and thoughts. If you are wondering how best colleagues in Buzzvil are gathering to create the best team, if you are curious about each of the colorful Buzzvillians, please pay attention to Buzzvil People.

 

1.Please give us a quick introduction of yourself.

Hello. My name is David and my Korean name is Youngwoo Kim. Originally, I was working in finance & strategy department of a global consumer goods manufacturer P&G (Proctor & Gamble) for two years and recently, I have joined Buzzvil. At P & G, I was responsible for sales and management strategy of commerce, agency channels and strategy for a diaper brand ‘Pampers’ and sanitary pad brand ‘Whisper Cosmo’. Right now I am working on lockscreen strategy in Buzzvil 🙂

 

2. What brings you to Buzzvil?

I first got to know about Buzzvil because of Joshua who is currently in charge of CSO and global business at Buzzvil. I knew Joshua since I was in college so when I joined P&G, Joshua joined Buzzvil and I saw him having various experiences. He was doing various works such as making BuzzScape and working in US for market entry preparation. But until then, I did not think about joining Buzzvil because I was having a quite satisfying working experience at P&G.

As time went on, I started to have many thoughts in my head and when I was considering about changing my job, I saw global team ‘internship’ notice posted on Facebook by Joshua. I really liked the job description so I sent a Facebook message to Joshua to ask if there is an opening for a full-time employee. Joshua answered that they tried to recruit a global strategy & operation manager but it went unsuccessful so he recommended me to apply for that position and that is why I had applied for that position.

In retrospect, I seriously considered about changing my job for 3~6 months before applying to Buzzvil. But, it only took 2 weeks to leave P&G and join Buzzvil.

In fact, I did not change my job just because I did not like P&G. I think that I decided to change my job because my standards for my career changed. Throughout my college life, I had put myself into various activities and internships. From that experience, I had set up my own standards for my career; 1. Job position should deal with numbers and strategies at the same time 2. Company with a global platform. 3. Company that gives authorities to junior in decision making.

To be more specific, for 1.I like to analyze and talk in numbers and I hoped that the numbers would not be isolated from the View of corporate practice. Also, I am interested in quantifying company’s qualitative problems and qualitatively interpreting such problems. For 2. I thought that since it was my first career, working in an environment with opportunities for having global exposure and understanding how people in different parts of the world are working would help me to grow my View in the future. Lastly, for 3. I thought that most of the technical tasks would be replaced by machines in the future.

However, I realized that if there is a human area among them, that would be the area of decision making or negotiation. I felt kind of sad that I can learn such an important skill in the age of 40s to 50s so I decided to find a job which would allow me to start learn such skill immediately.

So, I set up the standards, listed all the companies in my head that I can apply, and sorted them out by three standards. As a result, P&G’s finance team came out so I applied. Still, I have no doubt that P&G fully satisfies my standards. When I make a decision, I first set up few of ‘the most important standards to me’ and I do not look back on the decision if I selected the option that sufficiently satisfies my standards. And that is how I chose my first job.

The only case which would change my choice is when my standards are changed, or when the degree of satisfaction of my choice is changed. And this time, I was the former. The job of P&G finance team was to guide and help the sales and marketing teams so I did not really feel like I am actually doing something on my own. Also, since P&G is a global corporation, there was a limitation on the portfolio of corporation products.

Steve Jobs once said, “My observation is that the doers are the major thinkers. I was talking about the people who really think about the things that change and this industry is both the thinker and the doer in one person’. Just like he said, I thought that being a mere thinker is not the best option to develop my capacity. In other words, to my standard 1, along with numbers and strategies I also added the ‘action’.

I thought that there were not many places that could satisfy all of these conditions. But as soon as I saw Buzzvil, everything gathered into one story and I decided to make a decision…. Well, it took bit longer than I expected to explain how I got into Buzzvil.

 

3. Which work are you doing in Buzzvil?

In Buzzvil, largely I am working in corporate strategy and patents areas.

Corporate strategy is a very vague part. If you look at the actual task of corporate strategy team, there is a traditional definition of strategy such as presenting the company’s target sales and setting up key action items. However, I think I’m doing various other tasks such as analyzations for corporation growth. If the company’s key indicators show unusual movements, I tend to analyze the indicators and come up with a possible solution. Sometimes I think about how our corporation as a whole can be more goal-oriented. I also performed necessary tasks when we decided to enter new market. If there is a leadership workshop, I perform required tasks such as reserving restaurants and lodging, conducting workshop programs, and sharing post-workshop results. Every day I am doing something different and that makes my work experience much more interesting.

For the patent work, I never expected me doing such work when I first joined Buzzvil. But now, it is a pretty big part of my work. I believe it was October of last year. John said he would like to have patents on important things for getting company’s product road map. He asked if I am interested in patent strategies and I said “It sounds interesting to me” and joined the strategy team. However, as we got into patent lawsuits with “Coocha” we have been doing all kinds of patent works such as filing for patent application and dispute. Every day, I am asking questions to patent attorneys on the phone. Also, I am listening to internet lectures on “Patent Law” which students studying to be patent attorneys listen to. That is how I became working for managing patents process at Buzzvil.

 

4. How does it feel to work in a start-up, or in advertisement industry?

It feels like I am working in a ‘startup’ rather than an ‘advertising industry’. As I mentioned above, I find it very interesting to be able to do completely different kinds of work at the same time. In the past, I watched Ma Yun’s YouTube lecture and Ma Yun said “Go to a small company. Normally, in a big company, it is good to learn processing; you are part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn to do a lot of things at one time” and that is exactly the case of mine.

As I look back what I have done after joining Buzzvil, at first I was concerned which country should Buzzvil enter and how. Then, I defined key indicators of Buzzvil and created a process to manage such indicators. As I was working on that part, the patent work came to me. At the same time, I also led to sign partnerships with few foreign countries and wrote corresponding contracts.

After that, I extracted data from DB and analyzed it. Simultaneously, I participated in app planning for globalized version to make foreign market entry a little smoother. Soon, the patent lawsuit occurred and I was put to work there. Then, as Buzzvil acquired an American company, I worked on work integration after the acquisition. Recently, I have been learning app developing skill from our developers and now I am working on crawler development project for automatic import and visualization of external data that cannot be checked in our own DB. It feels like doing all these works is a remote past but all of these were done in less than a year and a half.

 

5. Is there something that you can say this is the best part being Buzzvillians?

I think that the most important thing in doing various things simultaneously as mentioned earlier is working with someone else. However, I think I can become a person who does not do anything right if I don’t put the best effort for each task. For every task, I have to study diligently myself but I also need great people who can give me feedback about what I do. If I work without getting the right feedback, I find it difficult to get better output. That being said, Buzzvil is a place where people are “really smart” and “really diverse” so I really like that part. When we work on something, the result is not always successful. However, since we have great people I think we are able to make step-by-step progression every day.

Well, seems like I’ve been talking about my works only so far but in fact, the things my colleagues remember more about me are rather ordinary things. There is a system called Buzzvillian Award that honors people who fit to the company’s standards and I got a few referrals for the award. However, the reasons were never related to the work. There were reasons that had nothing to do with actual tasks such as ‘personal study at company during weekends’ and ‘providing breakfast and music in the mornings’. At the award acceptance speech, I told that I will try to receive the award again based on outstanding work performance. Buzzvil provides breakfast in the morning. It is not a great catering but it is like an office culture to buy various foods and eat together in the office pantry. When there was only a small number of people in the past, we used to buy breakfast in turns but as the number of people increased, it became too heavy for female employees to carry all the food so I am just doing it on my own. I cannot change the menu every time so I set up a range of different menu so each employee can select from there. Every day, right before we leave the office I ask everyone on messenger what they want for breakfast and that is my everyday trivial task.

My friends who see me only working on my Facebook say that instead of working I go to company to play every day. Actually, that’s our office atmosphere. Together we eat delicious food, have drinks, and for those you are really close they even went on trips together. There are many people who do not understand how you can go on a trip with your colleagues. When you talk about company life, you should never leave out company dinner. I am probably one of the people who like company dinner the most. I find it really fun to do various activities together and have delicious food and drink. There are so many episodes that I can share but I am not going to share for privacy reasons. (I believe there should be many people to thank me for this)

In terms of self-development, Buzzvil is a really good place for studying and learning new things. People with specialized skills make a study group during lunch break to teach others and many people come to the office on the weekend to study various things. I myself studied patents as we got into the law suits and recently, I started to study computer programming and I am receiving helps from many of our developers. I would like to express my unlimited gratitude to ‘professor To’, ‘professor So’, and ‘professor Ma’ for giving me great lessons. (I believe those people will know I am talking about them). In fact, it’s not just me who are spending extra time for personal development. There is a colleague who studied R for statistical analysis and recently, he is studying Java to make an app for himself. There is also another colleague studying Chinese every morning. (Recently, with the new update of Google Translator, the quality of Chinese translation has gone up dramatically and he is having a hard time why he had started to study Chinese)

And it is very helpful that company provides endless support for ‘books’ and ‘seminars’ for self-development. Recently, I have been interested in “law” while filing a patent lawsuit so I read few related books and they were quite interesting. I was also able to study data science through Coursera, which was supported by Buzzvil. (I started to study Python too but was not able to listen to the entire lectures. I apologize to John and Young for providing the lecture…) I can keep going about the office life but I’m going to end up here.

 

6. Do you have a personal goal or dream? If so, how does your experience at Buzzvil help you?

In fact, I am constantly considering about this part. What should I do in the future? But one thing is certain; I want to live a happy life. In order to have a happy life, it is very important to ‘work happily. There are some people who think that ‘company is merely a place to make money for living and you can do your favorite things with the money you earn’. That makes sense but I think a little differently. I receive great sense of accomplishment from work thus working is very important part of my life. If you think time-wise, you work more than 12 hours a day, and that’s almost 50% of your life. If this part is not interesting to you, I doubt that you would have a happy life even if you do interesting things in the rest of time. So I’m thinking of looking for ‘interesting work’. Buzzvil is a place where I can work ‘really happily and joyfully’ so it is the place which allows me to live as I wanted.

In addition, I have said earlier that I like to do various things and as I evaluate myself, I think I am like an extreme generalist. I want to cover a wide range of areas from business planning and operations to patents and legal, accounting, and development. I am also interested in team building and organizational management as well. In the future, at Buzzvil I believe I should thicken my wide, thin capacity and at the same time, I should focus on few areas to enhance my own strong areas. I believe the opportunities, trusts, and great people from Buzzvil would make me to accomplish such goal. Thank you, Buzzvil.