Interview with the founders of Tree Planets, Hyungsoo Kim and Min Choel Jeong (2)
Writing about web page https://youtu.be/KXAwOxF7vzc
Written by Yachi Chen and Suiki Park
Q: What is the business model of Tree Planet?
H: We connect the players, business, governments, and NGOs through the mobile game. Instead of the traditional method of the mobile game that simply received the money from the players, we involved in the business as a part of support us. The logo of the sponsor business will be put in the scene in the game, or they even become the characters in the game. In this case, the players won’t be annoyed by the advertisement from the business; instead, the image of those green business can be truly improved. The business provides us the money to really plant the trees in the real world. The player can always check how the tree grows in the real world. And we put the environment issue in the game, such as the flood and the desertification. People can experience the problem in the virtual world in Tree Planet, and thus further realize the problems in the real world.
M: We also fulfill our idea with crowd funding and fan club. There are different fan club on our official website, and we plant the tree for their idol by naming the forest with their names, including Paul McCartney and certain Korean super stars. We turned the trees as gifts and memories. People feel more connected by planning the tree for their idols. And sometimes people gathered in the tree of their fan clubs, they even kiss the trees. They are connected by the spirits.
Q: What isthe most unforgettable memories asbuilding up this business?
M: In 2015, we initiate the planting of the trees as the memorials and the tribute to the Sinking of MV Sewol happened in Korea, the Audrey Hepburn family from the US actively sponsor 50,000 US dollars to Tree Planet to create forest memorial for the victims. We saw the victims were crying when they was looking at the forest, it really touched me, and we know that we can do something bringing more impacts to people. Recently, we further bring different meanings by planting trees. We plant the forest at the boundary between North and South Korea as we hope to bring the peace among two countries. We plant mango trees in Sudan to further solve the malnutrition problem of the local children. Also it provides the work opportunities for the unemployed local women.
Q: There are many young people who would like to have their own business. What suggestion would you give to the young entrepreneurs nowadays?
H: Finding your goal. Many people didn’t know the goal they really passionate in the deep inside in their heart. There may be some people don’t support you and even against you; however, as long as you set your goal, knowing your destination, maybe the way to reach it would not be straight. Sometimes you will face long path, round path, and sometimes you need to make a turn, you need much time to get the destination. But once you have a clear goal in your mind, it does not matter how much time you need to get there because you will finally figure out the ways to go. We are still on the path. Our goal is to plant 10 million trees by 2020. We are still far away from there, and there will be a lot of challenge in the future. The market has been changing, the mobile device has been changing, and it is needed to build up a new business model every 3 years. But we will keep carrying on, we won’t give up until the day the earth is covered by trees!