The hit Korean series Start-Up may have already ended but it left us with loads of lessons on love, business, and following our dreams.
Starring Bae Suzy (Seo Dal-Mi), Nam Joo-hyuk (Nam Do-san), Kim Seon-ho (Han Ji-pyeong), Kang Han-na (Won In-jae), and Kim Hae-sook (Choi Won-deok), among others, the K-Drama revolved around the ups and downs of starting one’s own entrepreneurial venture and the sacrifices that it takes to fight for that one true love.
Every character in the series has a lesson to tell its viewers and has a story that reflects what transpires in contemporary society.
To mark the successful conclusion of Start-Up, PUSH listed down the lessons we learned from each character in the series:
1. Seo Dal-Mi
Lesson: Pursue your dreams and remain committed to them
Despite her lack of credentials, Dal-mi dared to pursue her dream of building a start-up company. Inspired by the vision of her father to make the world a better place through the power of technology, Dal-Mi joined Sandbox in the pursuit of her dream. It paid off and she became the CEO of Samsan Tech and eventually the CEO of Cheongmyeong company.
It was not an easy ride but Dal-mi remained committed. She made time to study and learn the ropes of the tech industry, work hand in hand with her team, and consistently think of new ways to elevate her company.
2. Nam Do-san
Lesson: Love is better expressed through actions
Though he was not the person who wrote the letters to Dal-mi many years ago nor her first love, Do-san proved through his actions that he is worthy of her love.
At the beginning, when Dal-mi needed him to pretend to be her boyfriend at a networking event, he did not hesitate to show up. He also supported Dal-mi’s dream to build her own company and decided to partner with her as the company’s developer. Do-san even assigned her as the CEO.
He also created an app called NoonGil to aid Dal-mi’s grandmother who was already going blind. These were just some of Do-san’s efforts to prove his love for Dal-mi, which shows that indeed, actions speak louder than words when it comes to love.
3. Han Ji-pyeong
Lesson: Never let your rough past hinder you from becoming a good man
Despite his rough background, Han Jin-pyeong did not let it lead him astray. Instead, he chose to grow up as a good man.
He worked his way up and eventually became one of the country's most renowned angel investors. Though some might perceived him as a "harsh" mentor, Jin-pyeong always provided his honest opinion out of genuine care for his mentees like Dal-mi and the rest of the members of Samsan Tech.
More to that, Jin-pyeong helped Dal-mi's grandmother to write the letters so that Dal-mi would not become too lonely when her parents separated, earning him the “good boy” moniker. He was also so selfless to let go of his feelings so that Do-san and Dal-mi can be together.
4. Won In-jae
Lesson: Have the courage to build something you can call yours
Initially, many discredited In-jae’s accomplishments in life because she worked for her rich stepfather. When she decided to leave the company of her stepfather and join Sandbox, it was a testament that being bold in starting something you can call yours is a worthwhile journey.
Utilizing your skills and knowledge you accumulated through the years can help you in building your own company. All it takes is that one courageous step to create your own legacy and to make something that you can attach your name to.
5. Choi Won-deok
Lesson: Learn to help others so that you can spread the goodness in the world
When Ms. Choi helped young Jin-pyeong whom she fondly called as “good boy," she gave him a chance to have a shot at a good life. Later on in life, when Jin-pyeong became successful, he spread that goodness he received from Ms. Choi to aspiring entrepreneurs. In the concluding episode, Ms. Choi even encouraged Jin-pyeong to invest his money for the greater good. Later on, Jin-pyeong invested in an app which links orphans to potential guardians.
Also, despite her daughter-in-law Cha Ah-hyun abandoning her son, she let her stay at her house when she became homeless. She also gave her a job at her corn dog shop. Her act of kindness transformed her daughter-in-law into a more compassionate human being and into a more caring mother towards Dal-mi and In-jae.