TEDxYonsei - Younggil Song - Your desktop in the cloud

Uploaded by TEDxTalks on 30.08.2011

Hello, nice to meet you all. It﹑s good have a wonderful time like this on a Saturday.
I came from the United States and tomorrow I have to go back
but I am really excited to have an opportunity like this and visit my mother school in about 20 years.
The talk that I will share with you is about the passionate dream that I haven﹑t still finished yet.
I have walked the engineering path to make cheap computers for all people to use
and here I am to tell you about the last part of it.
It﹑s been over 20 years, right?
When I entered electronic engineering in the year 1986, I had no clue about computer and how it looked. I just had entered thoughtlessly.
When I had entered the computer lab for the first time, there was a huge computer operating;
it was cold because of the air conditioner;
and they had given use a lump yellow papers for us to make programs by making holes.
﹒Ah, I was wrong, how can this be computer?‧ Like this, 6 months had passed.
When summer ended, an amazing thing happened.
In the building across, the University of Business Administration, dozens of small personal computers had come in and nobody knew how to use it.
They were the personal computers that we only had heard of.
It was so exciting and we had to wait in line to reserve a seat and when we get a chance to use for a short time at night,
we programmed and got feedback. It was like falling in love for the first time.
However, we could not use it when we went home.
At the time, one computer﹑s price was equal to the price of a small car or to the tuition of 2 years.
It was very expensive. Every time I went home, the computer would haunt me;
if I came early to school, the door would be locked; and if I waited in line, the time for class would come. That is why I had made a decision.
﹒Ah, if I feel this way, then how would others feel? And why is the computer so expensive?
I﹑m going to work so hard to make the computers cheap.
Let﹑s dream big!‧ like this·.it﹑s human instinct, right?
When you like something, you feel like you have to posses that.
When babies are first born and start talking, the very first word they speak is ﹒mommy‧, ﹒mamma‧ ﹒KkaKka‧, instinct to eat and live.
I have two children and by looking at them, they did act the way I had heard.
Then as they grew, they started saying ﹒mine‧. Little kids like them, without anyone teaching them, they know the concept of possession and claim.
That is why I thought, ﹐Ah, this is instinct﹑.
Like this, I decided to finish my major, electronic engineering, enter a company that deals with computer and I did get in to a company like that.
Then, I prepared.
I had not the plan for doing masters, doctorate or MBA, therefore, I personally studied other things and spoke with diverse people.
Then I had in mind that when it was time, I was going to make really cheap computers.
However, time in Korea was too short.
As a result, after 7 years, with my wife who was my partner in elementary school and my daughter, I left to San Francisco in the United States.
At the time, in the year of 1997, Internet companies like Yahoo was very famous.
If you did not know how to use internet and are curious about something, Yahoo would tell you to go here or there or they would handle some problems out for you.
When you think about it now, it is nothing.
After Yahoo succeeded, many other ﹐.com﹑ enterprises boomed.
Nevertheless, in United States also, computers were expensive. Of course, they were cheaper than Korea.
I thought about why this was so expensive.
All companies﹑ characteristics were that they were continuously changing the computers﹑ capabilities to not lower the prices.
We all know this. I had to change this.
Therefore, I gathered few people who had the same goal as me and developed a team.
Of course I was the only Korean and thankfully, because 2 companies in Korea had actively invested in us, we were able to construct our own company called ﹒E-Machines‧ in the year of 1997.
At the moment, a computer was $1000 so our goal was to sell our computer at $399.
How would we sell a computer for $400?
We had to get rid of the bubbles, had to simple and it had to OK although it was a little slow.
The internet at the moment was slow so although you had a good computer,
everything was N-touch and to get results, it was the internet speed that had the control so there would be no difference.
We marketed by saying not to fight over one expensive computer but buy two cheap computers and get one for each.
It was explosive.
That is why, in less than 2 years, we became a listed enterprise and sold about 3 to 4 million computers. It was as if I had accomplished my dream.
Anywhere I went, I saw people using the computer I had planned.
However, after selling, there is something called return.
If the customers don﹑t like the computer, or if the computer gets breaks down, they would return them.
These returned goods; we cannot sell it as new so we format it, modify the software and put it in a box to sell them at a lower price.
Because they are products of over 6 months.
That is why we sold these at $200 thinking that this was a huge privilege.
I thought that people in Mexico or China would love this product but they did not buy any.
I looked at the reason and $200 was expensive for them.
There were used computers and there were many places that it was hard for them to buy new computers even though they cost $200.
My heart got devastated because I had only looked at places like Korea and United States and had not noticed that there were places poor like that.
I fell into agony thinking how people would be feeling the same thing as how I felt when I first dealt the computer in school and how there were many places that are going through absolute poverty.
So again, within my life, I encountered a new wisdom.
At the time, my child was about 3-4 years old and when children start arguing because of the toy many say ﹒you don﹑t fight over toys, you share them‧.
Also, as I thought, when I first constructed a program in my college years, there was only one computer.
With one computer, we administered and shared with other students.
At the time, the computer was Pentium 5 and had an efficient speed but although it was a good computer and did all types of works,
we never used 100% of its capacity. We only used 10% of it and the other 90% was just there.
Therefore, our team started to look for a way to divide the capacity that was not used.
Once, as I established an enterprise with a German friend, we started to think about this problem.
Make the costumers buy one computer, put in software we make and use it by connecting.
This is how the N-computing company came about.
This company presently has 7 years of being established and is currently in 100 different countries.
Over 2.5 million of these computers are being used, especially in schools and in developing countries.
I have been to Africa and South East Asian countries but they were poor sellers in Korea.
In developing countries, they have been a standardized product because their consumption of energy is very low;
with one computer about 10 to 30 people can use and they only cost $50 which very cheap.
By making these, I have been around the world for 7 years.
Despite all these, I had not accomplished my dream.
People who use these computers, since it﹑s not theirs, they carry around USB drive to put everything inside.
In the case of India, their population is 20 times more than Korea﹑s population but the number of computer supplies is similar.
Frequently, people who did not have a computer at home who to YMCA at night to use the common computer.
Many others also went to an internet cafe where you have to make a line to use the computer.
Many input the USB drive to do homework or check e-mails and save it back on the USB.
Well, like this I need my own computer but because the price of a computer is cheap do not resolve the problem until there is a computer that you can use anytime and anywhere.
Therefore, we were back to the beginning.
So, first of all we thought about this virtual cloud where you have your eternal desktop where you can reach to it at anytime.
Actually, there have been many tries.
However, anyone won﹑t be able to use this because to realize this concept, there need to be a huge amount of investments, even now.
Probably you have seen many things like people virtually making their own place for free and using it as if it was their in newspapers but there has not been any of these kinds of services,
but there are a lot of demands for this kinds of services especially in developing countries.
That is why we thought of overcoming the cost problems, security problems,
and many other scattered problems and by moving according to big enterprises,
we thought of overcoming technological problems.
Like this, we may be able to launch fast the web desktop.
With the start of this project, we gathered team members and are working on it.
A place, my own place, where you can only access if you have a browser.
How would it be to make that? Then, if you have an ID and a password,
you would be able to upload everything such as love letters, pictures, homework and such.
You would be able to carry it around everywhere, either you transfer your school, your company or even move from one house to the other.
It would be nice project where you supply this to people as a concept of possession.
Let﹑s see a demo of it.
It is not completely finished but if there was something like this; you would first open up a browser, like a window, and you won﹑t have to learn a new way of using this.
You just have to use this as you have done it before on the computer.
The market services such as Google or Dropbox will be linked and be on the desktop as an auxiliary unit
and files that Google demonstrates will all be in this kinds of files or for iPhones which you can move them around or take it out.
You will not have to learn new things. Just as if you were to input a floppy disk or CD, you can bring documents from Google.
Like this, everything will be linked and wherever you are, you can access to your materials, draw them out, edit or you can just get out of there without leaving any traces.
Also, the popular SNS systems such as Facebook, you don﹑t have to check one by one.
These will be in a storage type such as the Drive C or Drive D.
When you click Facebook, it will load up folders and if you go into your friend﹑s folder,
you will be able to see pictures and if you like a picture, you can instantly save it into your space.
Like this all data from Social Network will be linked and be able to bring about.
Additionally, if you need, you can reproduce a movie clip and watch whenever you are bored and when you click ﹐exit﹑ on the browser, it will disappear.
How fun, right? If you﹑d like to move a file, you simply have to draw it out of there and move it into my virtual space.
As I prepare to make this desktop until the day when millions, ten millions, hundred millions of people use this, then won﹑t my dreams of 20 years ago end?
I am putting huge effort to end this tenacious dream.
Although my dream of supplying computers to many people has changed its shape into making virtual computers through software,
I would appreciate a lot if many of you use this program when it is displayed and call me if you have any other new ideas. Thank you.