The other day, I was looking at the list of the richest people in the world, and a little bit of Google searching took me to an interesting list. The four most valuable companies in the world today (November 12, 2020) are Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. I noticed that these four companies are all information technology companies and relatively young companies that have taken flight in the 21st century. I dug a little bit deeper into the list of the most valuable companies throughout history, and found some interesting comparisons.
|[List of Top 10 Companies in 1980.
In the 1980s, IBM was the only IT company in the world’s top 10 most valuable companies, and 70% of this list was made up of oil companies. Today, IT companies dominate the list. How have they taken over the world? What makes them so much more valuable than other companies in the global market? In search of answers, I approached Eun Hoi Koo, the former CEO and founder of a multi-million-dollar IT start-up.
|[Online Interview with Mr. Koo. Photo Credit: Alex Kim]|
First, I asked Mr. Koo how the IT industry had become so powerful. He said, “It really comes down to connectivity. The world has never been as connected as it is today.” He went on to explain that the beauty of IT is that as long as you have an Internet connection, the whole world can be your market. Geographical limitations no longer exist. Pointing to Google as an example, he said, “Almost everyone with an Internet connection can access Google, making its market size close to seven billion people.” He compared this to Walmart, which is of course a tremendously successful company, but said that Walmart is limited to the 300 to 400 million people that live in America.
Having been only 21 years old when he started his company, Mr. Koo mentioned that his decision to jump into the IT industry was based on practicality. He said, “I was a university student, and my friends and I did not have enough money to start anything significant.” But what they did have was a lot of time to build a tech start-up to provide answers to many seemingly unsolvable problems.
“Start early” is one piece of advice that Mr. Koo gives students who are considering a future in IT. “Your late teens and early twenties are the only years in your life when you can be truly ruthless. Those are the years you can live on cup noodles and work out of a garage with your friends.” He spoke of the growing responsibilities that come with age and how starting a business may become too big of a risk to take once you have a family to take care of. In addition, he believes that learning different programming languages and applying those skills at an early age gives students an edge when it comes to employment, saying that “any business would want to hire a programmer who started at 15 years old compared to someone who started in university.” In conclusion, he added: “Dream big and work persistently.”
This interview provided me, a student dreaming to become a programmer, with insight into the secret behind the trending IT industry: change. Technology is constantly changing and developing. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things are all relatively new technologies that are in their infancy as far as industries go. When they become essential parts of our lives, they will have reached maturity, like Walmart has today, but what makes IT so fascinating for me is that there will always be more to come.
Korea International School Jeju
Alex Kim email@example.com
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