[Buzzvil People] Joyce Choi, Business Development Manager
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.
Hi, my name is Haewon Choi, a global business development manager at Buzzvil. My english name is Joyce, since I always want to be a ‘joyful’ person. Contrary to how I look like(?), I love humor and credited as a funny person is one of best compliments to me. Meanwhile, I am such a serious person that loves Chinese ancient idioms and old cliches.
Buzzvil recently expanded to the fifth floor and held a contest to decide room names, and I got the first place with idiom theme ideas, so now you can see my footprint everywhere in Buzzvil. It is one of the good examples of my life goal of being a pleasant but a serious person at the same time.
2. What brings you to Buzzvil?
I have always wanted to be a person who has a good influence on the world. When I was in college and led a massage center business to help blind masseurs to stand on their own feet(Google “Chamsongil”), I decided to live a life of conveying such a good influence by ‘business’. In addition, I have established four solid criteria for choosing where I belong after going through a mobile advertising company, a Chinese marketing company, and a global consulting group; “CEO, team, product and global”.
CEO : The place where CEO is able to lead the business strongly, and he or she leads the business with ‘right mind’.
Team : A team that excels in its field with good manners, and most importantly, that are full of dreams and ambitions.
Product : A business should make money. I would like to belong to where its product is profitable enough with a decent business model.
Global : I would like to belong to where I could use English and Chinese continuously, not to forget how big the world is.
However, after setting these four pillars and looked around the world, there was nowhere I could go 🙂 It’d rather be faster for me to just disappear from the world.. While I was that disappointed, I met Buzzvil. There are not many startups that do exceptional global business in Korea, but Buzzvil has these four; competitive global B2B product, people who could get things done, enough funds and the leaders with a lot to learn. Moreover, I could continue to use English and Chinese. Therefore, I decided to join here because I strongly felt this was a place worth trying on my younger days.
In fact, I have been watching Buzzvil for years, since this is where my school’s senior Joshua and David belonged to. They are the smartest and the most excellent people that I know, and I thought if they love the company that much, there must be a solid reason for it.
3. What is your role at Buzzvil?
I develop global business. Specifically, I spread Buzzvil’s lockscreen B2B solution, BuzzScreen to global companies. Until now, Buzzvil has built mobile advertising platforms with app publishers in Korea, but I mainly target global smartphone makers and telecom companies, not limited to app publishers, and build the business to help them monetize and engage with users with lockscreen. Recently, I led a project with Wileyfox, one of UK smartphone brands, and launched smartphones at 43% cheaper price in return of consumers enjoying content and ads on their lockscreen. This is what exactly Amazon has been doing with global smartphone makers like LG, Motorola,and I do see a concrete potential in this business model.
To simply put, I think about ‘the unstructured cases’ and make it happen. So far, Buzzvil has done the business with over 50 app developers, so it is kind of a regular process to work with app developers thanks to Buzzvilians’ hard work. We are experts now. However, since smartphone makers and telcos belong to a new sector to Buzzvil, I have to build everything from scratch; Defining all of the unstructured cases, working out edge points to new partners in new sectors, building a deal structure that we can win-win and negotiating with them directly, and last but not least, incarnating how to develop customized products technically with dev team and launching it onto the market. Since I enjoy making something new rather than following what’s already existing, this is very exciting.
My last duty is other policy business. The company hasn’t established the process related to drafting/approval/execution about expenses yet. Therefore, I am systematizing the related business further. In terms of expense-related policy, it covers not only the expenses that BM executes but also all the others generated throughout the company. Since the company’s going public is underway, I’m working on several matters to prepare for it in advance, and dealing with other things to be determined in a politic way as well.
4. How does it feel to work at a startup? or advertising industry?
A startup life is basically ‘dynamic’. I think a startup life is something that you can’t anticipate over a year or even three months. And especially for those who are developing a business on a project basis like myself, it is hard to predict who they will work with next month. In fact, after I joined Buzzvil, I have led a variety of projects including the Arcade project that enabled users to play games in HoneyScreen, setting up internal processes needed to sell BuzzScreen globally, the reseller project with SoftBank, and the integration of global ad networks. The projects I led changed every few months and are even carried out simultaneously.
Many people find this kind of uncertainty extremely frustrating and therefore look for stable jobs. However, this is what exactly I love about startups. Of course, it is very challenging to be put in a situation I face for the first time, but I strongly believe defining them and quickly finding solutions would prove the value in the long term.
Everyone is worried that artificial intelligence will going to replace human beings and that there is no such thing as a ‘lifetime’ employment. I believe ’Something stable is infinitely unstable, and something unstable is infinitely stable in this rapidly changing world’. Big, famous companies, why not? However, think about you come out to the world 10 years or 20 years later and realize that there is nothing you could do by yourself. I would rather be a person who is able to build something by myself, however small it might be. I think this kind of people are those who survive in this crazy world in a long term. In that sense, Buzzvil really teaches us ‘how to fish’. Even though I struggle a lot to build something from scratch, I can learn a lot thanks to the culture that allows me to freely take charge of projects I want. I feel I am different from what I was like compared to one year ago, or even a half year ago.
5. Is there something that you can say “this is the best part being Buzzvillians”?
The people. I have defined what kind of people I would like to work with throughout my life, and Jeff Weigner, Linkedin CEO, summarized my thought very well; Get shit done, know how to have fun, dream big. Those who are at the nexus of these three values. Buzzvilians are exactly like this. It is fascinating to see people who work so hard and plays so hard. And they all have big dreams and ambitions to achieve. Just being together is fun, and I am motivated to do better surrounded by them.
On top of this, I live with the admiration when I see how Buzzvilians are working. Feeling “I can count on this person” is a very important ‘trust capital’ because it reduces the company’s and my cost considerably, and Buzzvilians are like that. I think at least people should not be the cause of stress to excel at work. In that sense, Buzzvilians are the biggest pride of Buzzvil.
6. Do you have a personal goal or dream? If so, how does your experience at Buzzvil help you?
I want to live by ‘building businesses’. Building a business is not necessarily same as establishing a company, but rather, solving meaningful problems can also be a part of building businesses. In that sense, leading a meaningful business inside an organization can also be a part of building a business.
How do I want to live? I want to continue solving uncomfortable problems with the tool of business and become a person who has a good influence on people’s lives through that. In addition, I want to see how big the world is by doing global business and keep my eyes wide open. I chose small organizations to have an ownership over what I do in my early ages, and I would like to build a new one by myself one day, with someone whom I can trust.
In a nutshell, I won’t miss having a good influence over my world, being global, pursing fun, and taking ownership over my job. If I could secure these, I do not care if I’d be a CEO, or one of the founding members, or even a team member. Now, I am at the stage to meet many people to prepare for the right time.
John, one of the co-CEOs of Buzzvil, encourages Buzzvilians to go out into the world and become a Buzzvil mafia, which I think really cool. It is usually hard to say something like this as a CEO, but I believe he is wise enough to look beyond the surface.
In conclusion, Buzzvil has taught me the importance of gathering a great team, how to collaborate with them, how to think structurally, and how to solve real problems. It helped me to establish my lifetime values as well. I will not forget what I learned from Buzzvil when I found my own company in the future.