MEDIAWATCH #1: South Korea

Over the last year, I have been fortunate to visit 10 different countries on business.
The experience and learnings I captured during each trip are tremendously valuable.
I have been writing specific work reports, and I have also decided to share broader observations about each market.

This is my media watch, starting with South Korea where I am spending the week.
I will then backfill with India, Brasil, Singapore, Indonesia, Mexico, Australia, France..

  • Population: 49.3 Million
  • Internet penetration: 85.3%

Skorea population and internet metrics

  • Media Spend:  Mobile ad spend is said to account for 10-15% of total ad spend in 2015 and as much as 29% by 2019.
    IPTV & Mobile represent the strongest growth. This demonstrates the power of fast mobile network accessible anywhere (when everyone watches mobile on their phone in the subway: commute time is the new prime time).

S Korea spend by media

  • Mobile leaders: Google and Facebook are strongly represented, yet they are being crushed by the regional giants Daum Kakao and Naver.

S Korea mobile apps used

  • Opportunities for international companies: South Korea is well connected and extremely competitive. The lessons learnt by observing the dynamics can be very valuable (Kakao’s vertical integration is fascinating. Although described as a messaging service it also offers e commerce, content curation, taxi services…).
    South Korea is a great benchmark.
  • Barriers for international companies: Language.
  • Personal observation: This is the most competitive market I have ever seen with local player being extremely advance + vertical integration like nowhere else.
  • Fun fact: #KPOP is everywhere.
      • Travel tips: Traveling to Korea is like stepping into the future.

Marie Sornin

Day 1 with the Apple Watch

Everyone is wondering if the Apple Watch is worth buying.

There are way enough reviews about it to help you make a decision.

I bought the Apple Watch because I wanted to experience wearables.

This post is a documentation of my experience with it as I integrate it into my daily habits.

If you do have an Apple Watch, please feel free to comment and add your thoughts at the bottom.

What I like What I don’t like

What I don’t know yet

Like all Apple products it is beautiful and delightful to (use) wear.I ordered it on Apr 18th and was expecting delivery in June. What a great surprise when it got delivered in April 24th It doesn’t have a browser.
So when I receive a notification, there is noting more that I can do on the watch. I have to take out my phone or computer to follow-up.That is the fundamental question about connected watches: Do they bring enough value to fit in the current usage of connected devices?
There are not a lot of apps available yet
Fitness tracking is great, motivating interactive, accurate + I can keep my Apple in the shower. That is a plus! Siri and I are having a lot of arguments. I hate repeating myself…. And she is not very tolerant with mixed accents … I want Google apps: search, maps, translate… when they will be available, it will bring this tool to a whole new level
The battery life. A lot reviews marked this down. I was actually worried that pairing the watch with my iPhone via Bluetooth would drain my iPhone battery. So far, I have been out for a full day using both and the batteries have lasted the whole day on both. Notifications are always on: Is there a way to automatically turn off notification when the work out app is running? For instance, I don’t want to see my emails pop up when I am in the middle of a spin class checking my heart rate. The voice control is a great feature (to send messages, search… ) but it feels awkward to use in public places. Not a lot of people have adopted it yet.
The notifications at your finger tips without having to take out your phone (email, txt, tweets…) give you the feeling that you are not missing a bit of the information that comes your way. I am yet to use Apple pay, Delta check in, SPG keyless room
The Haptic (vibration) system is definitely not as intrusive as receiving notification on a phone. I can see how this type of communication will become a game changer in the future. Apple is leading the way there I have only made one phone call so far and holding my wrist near my face to talk was far less comfortable that using headphones with an iPhone with . Not sure if I can talk into the watch with my hand hanging down and also the volume of the watch is not strong enough to hear. How do I make the best use the camera command? Is this suppose to replace the selfie stick??

Have you used the Apple Watch?
If yes, please share you experience and nuggets that you have found using it

Stay tuned for more remarks as I learn more about it!

Marie Sornin

One way ticket

** For Australians citizens mostly **

I have already written a blog titled “How to make it in America”, this post is about the preparation you need before buying a one way ticket to the US.

I have been in New York for about 3 months, and apart from still not having any credit history (which is pretty much the key to unlock any type of service in America) everything is going pretty smoothly.
So here are some observations for Australians who want to relocate to the US.

They are based on my experience from contemplating the idea of moving to the US to living like a New Yorker.

1- Know what you want:

Knowing exactly what you want to do is a must before you start engaging with contacts in the States.

Until you clear what position you are looking for, what type of company you want to work for and why, you will get asked to figure it out before going any further.

2- Activate your contacts:

Once you have a plan, it is time to get in touch with your network: friends, ex colleagues, recruiters, inspiring people that can link you with opportunities and knowledge about the American market.

Don’t forget that they are likely to get people asking them for such tips all the time, so be creative in the way you approach them.

I once attended a presentation by Tim Ferriss (author of the four hour work week) one of his tips is to “trade” information.
This is how he managed to become an early investor in start-ups such as Linkedin and Evernote.

Before we decided to move, my husband went to Miami for a conference.
He made some great contacts there, and took one of the executives out for dinner.
A few months later, that same executive referred him for a role at Google. The next day, he got a call from Google’s recruiter.

3- Are you eligible to work in the US?

Sooner or later during this journey, you will get asked if are you eligible to work in the US.

That is when you need to pull secret card: The E-3 visa.
It is a unique status for Australian citizens part of a trade agreement between Australian and the US established in 2009.

All the details can be found here on the Australian US embassy site.

This status makes it very easy for companies to sponsor Australians on a 2-year working visa.

The main difficulty is that very few recruiters and HR departments know about it.

To be successful at lifting the “are you eligible to work in the US” barrier, you must be able to demonstrate how a company can sponsor you on an E3 in 3 weeks for less than $2,000 fees.

If you can’t do that, your other options are L1, H1, etc. visas. They are extremely complicated, costly and lengthy to obtain. 

When I started talking to my employer about transferring to New York, the E3 was one of the first things I mentioned. I repeated it in every single communication, only to find out that when my position was approved, HR was about to start the immigration process for a H1 visa (intra company transfer), which was not guaranteed.

I had to patiently go over the E3 status again, prepare a detailed summary of the requirements for the employer and employee.
That information allowed HR to get sponsorship approval from the immigration consultant working on my case.
3 weeks later, I landed in New York with my work permit in hand.

4- Make the trip:

You can do all the prep you want, it is not until you get yourself there that things will accelerate.

Organize your trip by lining up as many meetings and interviews as you can.

When you are there, don’t be lazy. As hard as it is to fight the jet lag and go from meeting to meeting, just do it.
If someone throws you a contact: call them and meet with them.
Adapt your schedule to make the most of it!

4 months before moving, I spent one week in New York.
I tried to book a quick meeting with my now boss before I arrived.
On my first day there I tweeted this: 

He noticed it and made time to catch up with me on my day before last.
When I left, I was in a position to follow up on a job offer.

5- Follow up:

After your trip, you will need to close on the opportunity that you want.
Follow up on the visa, contract, benefits, and relocation.

It is a very important phase. Once you leave, the excitement fades, people go back to their daily routine and your opportunity becomes another task.
Don’t let that task fall at the bottom of their to do list because you are far away.
This is a difficult exercise of applying pressure without become that annoying person.
Patience and positivity help a lot.
I listened to more reggae than usual during that time. 
What will be your way to stay on top if?

6- Get ready:

Once you have a job lined up or a moving date, you start a marathon of things to do. What you will need is just pure simple organization mastery!

When you review your financials, over estimate the savings that you will need.
As mentioned above, until you get credit history (6 months of having your Social Security Number) you will need cash!

When I think about life in the US, that quote attributed to Steve Jobs “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” comes to mind. I will also ad be vocal, move fast.

Marie Sornin

Create the future

Larry Page, CEO & Co founder of Google participated in TED2014.

The whole interview by Charlie Rose is totally worth watching on the TED site here.
You will discover some great insights on what position Google will take in our future.

Outside of the inventions and innovation projects Larry talks about, I found his closing comment particularly impactful.

I think all of us working in media & technology should think about it every day:

Focus on creating the future today

Marie Sornin

Is social currency worth Gold?

If there is one thing that shocked me in the 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, it is that all of them seem to claim to be a social media success! Although the shortlisted campaigns don’t present themselves specifically as social media activities, it is as if generating reactions on social networks, has became the proof that a campaign has been adopted by the target audience. Just as much as the business performance… So, does it mean that turning an advertising message into social currency is worth gold?

Here is a summary of my favourite campaigns:

Adidas Window shopping (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
Shop like it’s the future! I love the idea of keeping a store open even when it’s closed. The key is that they made the mobile integration simple and seamless. Reminds me of the Tesco Korea campaign (2011 Gold Cyber Lion)

Dove Real Beauty Sketches (2013 Gold Cyber Lion)
Not only it is an interesting concept artistically, the campaign really brings to life how women see themselves. The problem is obvious, it is up to all of us to help fix it!
Funny to see that Axe is now giving power to women with the fear no Susan Glenn initiative!

Oreo Daily Twist (2013 Grand Prix Cyber Lion)
Cool idea, social by design and success coming down to the dedicated resource on deck to come up with creativity worth spreading every day!
Everybody loves Oreos, now everybody loves sharing their Oreo twists!

Metropole Tweetphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion)
I like the way new technologies are now associated with stuff as old as classical music…  The Tweepthony could have very well turned into a real cacophony but it didn’t. Like Pay with a Tweet, (2011 Cyber Lion winner) great use of twitter for creating value!

I also thought that a few other campaigns are also worth highlighting:

– Metro Train Dumb ways to Die (2013 5 Gold Lions/ 1 Silver). Brilliant branded content, the amount of recognition speaks for itself!
Perfume open platform for creativity (2013 Silver Cyber Lion + entertainment category at he Japan media arts festival)
Hello Again by Lincoln (2013 Gold Cyber Lion) Although the challenge of re inventing an old car brand and associate it with Music has been over used, the innovation power used to create the digital content is incredible (great credits to Go Pro). Execution is outstanding!
Nike Chance (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) Giving rejected young players another chance. Hope they will turn this into a yearly mechanic not just a one off campaign.
Clouds over Cuba (2013 Gold Cyber Lion): making history and culture accessible to all! Like the Google Art project, we want more of that!
– Perrier Secret Place (2013 Bronze and Silver Lion), Golden chains (2013 Silver Cyber Lion), Tokyo Symphony (2013 Silver Cyber Lion) and Jam with Chrome (2013 Bronze Silver Lion) are great examples of pure digital and collaborative entertainment!

Do you what these brilliant campaigns have in common, apart form being 2013 Cannes Cyber Lions winners, of course? Come to Ignite Sydney on August 7th and I will share with you the three words that guarantee social media success (I might use some of these campaigns as examples to illustrate what I mean!)

Marie Sornin

Google Goodness?

It’s day 2 at Google I/O so by now you would have seen most of the major announcements made by the lead Googlers during I/O13 keynote opening session.
The presentation went on for a solid 3 hours, you can view it here .
For me, the product highlights were: of course the all access music service, the new and awesomely enhanced maps (with content discovery, 3D imagery inside buildings, offers, geo fencing, activity recognition and live traffic event), as well as the Star Trek computer project, which is the future of search (awesome and related to one of my previous post) and the new user features for Google+ (photo sharing & editing, content recommendation # and multiplatform sign on- a real plus on Facebook).

A multitude of journalists and bloggers have covered the event and you can learn the details of all these features elsewhere (Google: I/O13).

google I/O 2103

google I/O 2103

The two things I will focus on this live post are: My personal experience being part of the crowd at Google I/O and how Google is building the future of the Internet.

This year the event gathered over 6,000 attendees. The highlight of I/O is always the opening keynote, where the big announcements are made. The line in front of Mascone West 2hrs before kick off looked like the usual queue for the Sistine chapel. Funny analogy, but later that morning Sundar Pichai (SVP of Chrome and Android) actually referred to funeral of Pope J.P II and the nomination of Pope Francis to illustrate how mobile devices have changed our behaviour. The parallel between Google and a new kind of religion is too obvious here #justsaying…

French style… I might have slightly jumped the queue at the entrance and then waited for another 1h30min, I finally made it to the main theatre. It filled up quick, every single sit taken, lots of people standing in the aisles. Dimmed light, smooth electronic tunes playing in the background. Countdown clocks on the big screens and a tangible build of excitement as the clocks got closer to 0! The last 10 seconds were literally like NYE. Google brought us NYE at 9am, at that point in time we didn’t know that Google was also going to bring us Christmas at 2pm by giving away free Chorme books to everyone!

The first speaker to get on stage was Vic Gundotra (Vice President). All his followers were just as polished and impressive. Naturally at ease in front of 6,000 demoing live technologies. Very inspiring presentations, mixed with animations and live demos… and Larry Page came on stage to clos off the keynote! He gave a casual chat about where Google is now opportunities ahead. He even opened to the floor for questions…. and they were as diverse as: how does Google protects freedom of speech to how to help youngsters be positive about technology or how to get more women in tech carrers… which brings me to my second point: How Google is building the future of the Internet.

The future of the Internet will be seamlessly multiplatform, easy to use, frictionless, intuitive and infiltrated in everything we do. After spending 2 days at I/O it is hard to say if the future is organically shaping up that way or if Google is building it that way.

Larry Page says that technology must get out of the way for us to spend more time doing what makes us happy. Did Google’s CEO, really said that. Yes he did!

Very early on, when developing Google, like Steve Jobs, Larry recognised that the power of the Internet is not in super computers but in all the PCs in homes around the world. At the moment all these computers are connected via tiny pipes, which dramatically limits the possibilities. Google wants unleash this opportunity! Since its inception Google has aimed for big audacious goals. As Susan Wojcicki (Senior Vice President) testified, when Larry and Sergei were renting her garage their objective was to organise the world’s information… the same bold philosophy drove projects like maps, street view, Glass, Fibre etc.… and still applies now more than more than ever. That is exactly what makes me think that there is nothing that Google cannot do. It currently dominates the global online advertising market (search and display combined), keeps diversifying its revenue streams; its share just crossed $900…. Even if Larry says that there is no safe place to experiment and to roll out technology, when Google decides to index every street corner or under water spots all around the world and add real 3D images to every single spot, it puts a world class engineers in a room and ask them a way to figure it out, test it and deploy!

He also said that Google has a strong desire for free flow of information and freedom of speech. Protecting personal information, computer security, being as transparent as possible… and empowering individuals. And Google does empower us by giving us technologies: rolling out Fibre in 4 test cities in the USA, giving away 6,000 chrome books, supporting computer literacy in schools… but is it really for us to do the things we love, or is it to increase Google’s Power? Imagine what super high-speed connexion will do to YouTube or a whole generation of kids familiar with Chrome book pixel…

There seems to be only one area, at the moment that Google can’t penetrate and that is healthcare. Larry’s explanation on it is just because too much regulation and that laws are now irrelevant as they were made before the Internet even existed, but he clearly sees user benefits for Google to get into space and has no shame talking about DNA sequencing….

The more time I spend in this environment, or may it’s because I just finished reading “The End of Big” but Google seems to me more and more like an institution that is some respects more influential on societies that governments. Scary or exciting?

Marie Sornin

Summary slides:

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I tried Google Glass

I wondered around the Google Mountain View campus today and finished up the day at the Women TechMaker event as part of Google I/O. A few people were wearing Google Glass and had the opportunity to ask for feedback about their experience and even try a pair. Here is what I captured.

There seems to be 2 types of devices floating around: the general public Glass (ordered at I/O 12) and the Googlers Glass, which is still prototype and not allowed to be shared photographed or filmed (even though they look identical to the general public one).

So, I met a nice enough lady, who ordered hers at I/O last year and let me try it on. The frame is very light and comfortable it is actually not at all like wearing glasses. You can easily forget that you are wearing it. The whole system is included in the frame (a thicker part at the back of the left branch). It also serves as a navigation bar. I heard before that you had to carry extra parts. This not true. All the information is stored in the cloud and pictures taken are automatically uploaded on your G+ profile (I assume this needs to be set initially). The pack that comes along with Glass doesn’t need to be carried with all the time.

There is just a tiny piece of thick square glass sitting on the top of your right eye. To activate it you actually need to look up (if you look straight in you actually don’t really see the glass. It is very small, comfortable and not invasive). To activate a feature you say, “OK Glass” and then “Take a picture” or “What time is it?” or “Search for…”
The only features I tried were: “Take a picture” and “What time is it?”
I think the picture didn’t work. Just like Siri, it probably needs to get used to your voice and accent (yet again, this device needs to work harder to capture the French- Australian twang) and then for the time: 9.22 lit up on the top corner of my eye. Pretty cool!

Every Glass owner I talked to said they they loved it but were still getting used to it!

Google Glass

Google Glass

There will be a developers sand box at I/O that should start laying framework for developing apps for Google Glass. That should make its utility expand big and fast!
On a side note, what I also noticed is that guys mostly go for the grey model, whereas chicks choose the colours (blue, orange etc…)

Funny, but I haven’t seen anyone confident enough to wear it outside of Google environments, i.e. in the street

Note from Larry Page in the I/O opening keynote:
Glass is a new area for Google and the team wants to make sure that the experience makes people happy. The areas where it will develop are unknown, for now it’s communication, and pictures… ultimately, a lot of current experiences will move to Google Glass and take technology out of the way.

The production numbers for the public are not available.

 Marie Sornin