It’s okay to be patriotic. You should love your country, but it should not keep you from being objective.
In one way, Koreans are kind of Xenophobic. It’s not exactly it because they don’t hate foreigners, but because they think they are better than others. It was very clear when I lived in Korea for two years. It’s media’s fault, which is pretty much propaganda machine for everything to do with Korea. Come to think of it, this kind of blind loyalty is rampant in Korea.
When you are in the middle of it, it’s really hard to tell others about different things. But it becomes crystal clear when you are outside Korea. Whatever Koreans think they are best at, people in other parts of world simply don’t care.
Now, you may ask, “why do you care?” I shouldn’t. What Korea does or doesn’t do doesn’t affect me. So, why? I used to ask that myself, and I found an answer. Because I am a Korean, too (well, 1/2 of me is. Not that I am mixed, but I just happened to live 1/2 of my life in the US). I didn’t want to care, but I can’t help it.
Anyhow, I think Korea is in big trouble. They will be completely left behind in 10 years or so. Because they don’t invest in important technologies. But, you might say, “C’mon. Korea has the highest rate of Broadband penetration! Their mobile technology is way ahead of the West.” Then, I would say, “so what?” Who cares? How did they benefit Korea now or even future of Korea? The broadband only brought a bunch of gamers. Big deal. Where are the innovators and creators? What significant contribution Korea has made to the good of all, worldwide Internet community? The best, highest network connection, and they couldn’t even come up with or capitalize on cloud computing. Amazon did, and look at them. Their idea spawned multiple cloud computing / hosting companies. Where are all SaaS companies? Who is creating computing language used by many web professionals? Ruby, Python, etc. Who’s leading the effort? How about mobile area? Who’s the power house now? It’s not Samsung or LG. It’s Apple and Google. Apple makes HW, too, but the real value is in their OS. It’s Apple iPhone OS and Android OS. Furthermore it’s also dedicated developer communities for both companies. You may say “Yeah, but Samsung is still #2 mobile phone company in the world!” Big deal. Who cares? Samsung, LG and even Nokia are becoming “irrelevant” companies. They can cater to low-end market, but Apple and Google will keep attacking high-end market with smatphones…. Actually, I think I even read that low-income folks are also buying up iPhones. The power will shift soon. In addition, none of cool products are being manufactured or designed in Korea anymore. Apple’s products are mostly made by Foxconn. HTC is coming up really fast as a mobile phone power house.
There are just so many other companies outside Korea doing very interesting things that Korea won’t be able to keep up. All high-speed broadband and advanced phones created are consumers who are good at adopting new technologies. But it didn’t help people create or innovate. Even now, Korea is becoming more of a irrelevant country. World is changing amazingly fast, innovating, creating new ways of doing things. But Korea will be remained as fast adopters, not much more.