김지원 대표 / From a weak mental jobless to a CEO
1. Hello, I am 김지원, a CEO of ReDWit who once dreamt of being a playwright.
My name is 김지원, and I created the electronic research note ‘GOONO’. I am currently operating a startup “ReDWit”, which proves the work procedure with the vision of PROVE YOUR WORK.
I majored in creative writing and wanted to become a playwright, but now I’m devoted to tech-startup using block chain technology.
2. Creation of GOONO
An electronic research note solution GOONO was the first item of ReDWit which I started after completing my master degree. During graduate school, I got interested in block chain and wished the block chain technology to be useful for my surroundings as well.
After graduating college I had directly proceeded to graduate school, so I chose research note as an item that is close with the researchers. Research notes should be immune to forgery and the certification of the written point was important, so I thought it was a good match with block chain. I participated in KAIST startup competition and won the grand prize, leading on to an actual business.
3. Why does everyone dislike me?
The first year after launching the startup was all about funding the investment. We needed money to run the business, so I met a lot of investors.
When you meet with the investors and explain about your business, you get a lot of comments about your item. At the time it felt more like an attack towards my startup rather than a friendly advice. It really felt personal.
I should have separated myself from my item, but I began to think that everyone disliked me. Of course, later on we improved our business and filled out the blank parts, and were able to receive positive assessment.
The investors only meant to give advice for our startup, but it took a long time to actually realize that. Now I am grateful for those comments and am receiving a lot of help regarding by business direction.
4. Please introduce decent workforce
I think every startup company experience difficulty regarding recruitment.
Since we are ‘startups’, those who apply will inevitably speak about our uncertainty and fund situation.
The future is never quite certain, but I pondered on how I can appeal my company and I am trying my best to explain in detail about our workstyle and goal. I am still working on this, but I figured that if the CEO cannot be confident, no one will be. I try to be a good CEO of a good company.
5. Weak mentality needs management.
I have a very weak mentality, so I get hurt easily by other people’s words. Some would say that this is the opposite personality of a ‘regular’ CEO.
I would fuss about everything even before we started our business. I would be like ‘I heard these comments and I’m so frustrated. Will we be ok?’, and my teammates would encourage me will nice words.
Thanks to my teammates I was able to manage my mentality and began to think of this whole thing as a ‘together’ business. This gives me strength to push myself, and I want my teammates to be proud of their work. I’m always sorry for them for not being the charismatic leader.
6. Life is a tragedy up close, a comedy from distance
I dreamed of being a playwright when I was undergraduate, but ironically I was afraid to show my writings to other people.
That personality wasn’t helpful for being a playwright and I searched other similar occupations such as reporter or a broadcast writer, but I quit in a couple days after getting negative comments or if the work was not like what I imagined. My parents would persuade me to stick with it for at least a month, but I wouldn’t.
I was frustrated and angry with myself and I sat in a swing in front of my house and rode it until my legs hurt, enjoying the freedom. I thought about my career but I couldn’t really get a solid answer.
After that, I was recommended about a degree that I could learn to start my own business. A friend of mine strongly recommended it and told me that I should just simply try. So I applied, taking time in my application for a whole month.
Luckily I was accepted, and I was able to learn about startup step by step. When I recall my past, I think the jobless life and thoughts I had then helped me grow up, but I did have a hard time during that period since I got feelings that everyone was looking away from me.
Life is a tragedy up close, but a comedy from the distance.
7. Only ‘I’ need to be good
When we were in the semi-startup level, I was sometimes frustrated watching other startups. I would see every other people in the same competition as ‘enemies’.
Actually they are all just colleagues, but I thought like that because I wanted to excel among them. It was unnecessary thought – I just needed to do what I prepared. I still feel those emotions time to time, but I control myself thinking “only ‘I’ need to be good”.
The competing companies are all colleagues, and I am focused on only ReDWit with the thoughts to come up with the best in our situation.
8. From others’ perspective
The ultimate goal of ReDWit is to be a service that can satisfy our customers.
I think of myself as married to my customers, and study constantly about what our customers need.
After that, I want to be a person that can help R&D research labs and startups. Not just someone who evaluates others’ work, but someone who can stand next to them and help them up close.
"Failure is different for everyone. Don’t be obsessed with it"
About the interviewee
Department of Media creative writing, Korea University Sejong Campus
Master degree in KAIST Creative Technology graduate school
CMO of Block Odyssey Inc.
2019~ CEO of ReDWit Inc.
2019 Kukmin University Chancellor award in on-campus Demo Day vol.1
2019 Grand Prize in KAIST startup competition E*5
2020 MSS Minister’s Award in Women’s Entrepreneurship Competition