Geum Yi

‘Talent donation creates better society’

November 12, 2013
Lee Jong-woo has been adding Korean subtitle to YouTube videos to help local viewers.

Lee Jong-woo has been adding Korean subtitle to YouTube videos to help local viewers.

By Choo Sung-ho

The rise of the Internet enables people to access a lot of useful online content for free.

By surfing YouTube or TED talks, anyone can easily watch popular lectures or global leaders’ speeches.

However, these online videos are usually in English, making it difficult for Koreans to understand what they are really about.

Lee Jong-wook, 29, who has been adding Korean subtitles to YouTube videos, said he is happy that he can help fellow Koreans take advantage of the free service.

“After graduating from Emory University in the United States, I worked for a large conglomerate in Korea but I felt something missing in my life, so I quit the job in order to pursue and fulfill my life’s purpose. Helping others is one way,” he said.

Lee is preparing to launch his own English education startup.

Lee said that he started making the subtitles for Koreans while considering the launch of startups, hoping that the videos might inspire others the same way they inspired him when he first watched videos about entrepreneurship.

“Entrepreneurs generally have a tendency to learn from other successful global leaders like Steve Jobs. Their speeches inspired me and I wanted to share them with other people in similar positions,” he added.

Lee has subbed 22 YouTube videos so far, including interviews by Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. He also uploaded them on his YouTube and Facebook pages, so they can be viewed worldwide.

The videos have spread enormously fast ― the interviews and speeches featuring Jobs posted on YouTube have reached nearly 30,000 views.

“I am just happy that I can exert a positive influence on others by using my talent and doing what I like. People thank me for what I do and that brings me long-lasting happiness,’’ he said.

With many people showing their interest in his project, Lee opened a Facebook page last May for people interested in changing the world through online video content.

Currently, more than 5,000 people in different fields have accessed his page to share their ideas. Some of the members have found business partners through an off-line group meeting.

“I was doing what I enjoy the most and am passionate about, and it turned out to be a good thing,” he said. “I think each of us possesses a special talent. The important thing is how we use the talent to affect others and contribute to creating a better society.”