John S. Kim founded the 1st generation social gaming company ‘Paprika Lab’ in 2007. Starting with the web-based hardcore MMORPG ‘Pirate Legacy’, the company went on to create ‘Hero City’ which attracted more than 1.5 million MAUs on Facebook and became the fastest growing game on Facebook, according to Inside Social Games. The game secured 1 million users faster than any other Korean game to date.
Kim founded his startup, Paprika Labs, right after graduating and began by programming and designing products himself. Later, he closed multiple finance rounds from Korea’s prominent angel investors and VCs, Albatross Investment and Atinum Investment. The company was acquired by Japanese gaming company GREE, Inc. in June 2012.
His philosophy is making the world an easier place to live by connecting the right technology with useful design. He has done much to help the startup eco-system in Korea, organizing events such as ‘Open Web Asia’ and ‘Startup Forum’. He is currently president of Young Entrepreneur Society (YES).
‘Hero City’ was also ranked 1st in new global game development. The mobile social game company, GREE, acquired Paprika Lab in June 2012. John is currently serving as a Director of GREE Korea.
As a young man John asked himself: ‘what do I want to do?’ ‘what does it mean to live’. In answer, he decided to pursue a different path than many of his peers. He graphed his life in a mindmap and saw confusion. There were times where he wanted to be a scientist researching nuclear cold fusion, times where he was crazy about computers, times when he worked as a professional gamer, times when he worked for NCSoft. In the mindmap he found a certain pattern. It was his passion for technological revolution and development. To achieve fulfillment in this field, he chose to open his own business.
After graduation, he became involved in the startup scene as a developer and designer. He attained angel investment and subsequently built his user base to 1,000,000 users.
“Having a dream is being awake”, John asserts. “Once you are bound by the golden handcuffs your dream becomes diluted and you lose something that is very important for your life.”
Comparisons and expectations can make your life miserable. To make your dreams come true, you need constant stimulation and inspiration.