OWL Magazine Korea

“Gangnam-gu: Run Towards Youth Without Hesitation”

“To have a dream is to be young,” they say, suggesting that “dream” can also be a representative word for youth. Those who live each day with a dream seem admirable even from a distance.

However, one may wonder how many actually have a dream and pursue it as they wish. While some may have dreams, others may not.

In fact, this is the author’s story. Looking back on the author’s childhood, there was no “dream.” It seemed like living without any thoughts of what to become or what to do. Especially during the narrow experiences of elementary school, whenever someone asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I couldn’t help but feel awkward. I didn’t know what I could do, let alone what I wanted to do.

“Gangnam-gu: Author Running Fearlessly Towards Dreams”

Unlike the author, Gangnam-gu, from an early age, set goals based on what he thought and strived to achieve them. Without engaging in meaningless competition, he pursued his own direction, leading to becoming the youngest team leader at Ticket Monster at the age of 21, and an executive at the Nasdaq-listed global company “Groupon” at the age of 22.

At the time of writing the book, the author was attempting a new business called “INGStory.” It was introduced as a project to collect stories of young people pursuing their dreams.

Now, over 10 years since the book was published, I was curious to see what kind of company it had evolved into. Upon searching online and visiting their website, I found that they are introduced as a company engaged in various businesses.

They operate “Jaksim Reading Rooms” and have launched “Jaksim House,” “Jaksim Space,” and “Jaksim Study Cafes,” attracting investments of hundreds of billion won.

They launched “Picko Partners,” acquired the second-largest study cafe, “House Study,” and acquired well-known brands such as “Coffee Only,” “Citycation,” and “Unknown Coffee and Bakery.” In 2024, they even acquired “Majesty Barber Shop,” showing steady growth as a company.

Even after publishing the book, the author continued to relentlessly pursue his own dreams and succeeded in various businesses.

“Part 1: Gangnam-gu’s Intense 23 Years”

The book is divided into two parts. In Part 1, it depicts the intense 23 years of Gangnam-gu, the author. He talks about his dreams, success, efforts, and mentors who guided him towards his goals.

Moreover, based on his experience as an interviewer, he thoroughly discusses the points that young people should have.

“Part 2: Stories of 10 Individuals Whose Dreams Became Their Credentials”

In Part 2, it portrays the stories of 10 individuals whose dreams became their credentials. It introduces the dreams and efforts of various people.

You can hear the stories of young people who live with extraordinary dreams, such as Yoon Seung-chul, who challenged his limits through the Desert Marathon, Kim Sae-bom, who dreams of being a real diplomat at the bank, Kim Woo-seok, who created the Socks Appeal, and Kim Jun-hyuk, who transformed into a passionate pianist.

“Dreams are achieved by those who challenge.”

Life with a “dream” is joyful. The process of striving for something and growing to achieve it may be difficult, but it provides a strong sense of accomplishment.

Moreover, to achieve a dream, one must “challenge.” If you don’t challenge and move forward, even with a dream, it cannot be achieved.

Listening to the stories of people living with different goals and lives, I could indirectly feel their passion. It also became an opportunity for me to think about what I want to do and how to pursue it.

On the other hand, I felt somewhat envious. Although these young people may show some extreme aspects, seeing them live with such passion made me envious.

“Dreams come true as you dream, as you think.”

Although life is short, in the end, life is about achieving what you dream and think. Even if the goal is not achieved in a short moment, if you set and pursue a goal for a long time, five years, ten years, or more, eventually, you will feel that there is no dream that cannot be achieved.

Through the book, I could indirectly feel “passion,” and now it is up to me to nurture and pursue that passion.

“Run towards youth without hesitation.”