2017-03-14 Lunch with the Freedom Rapper

As always, it was great to see Kim Chung-ho. He is one of those rare academics who is as interested in doing stuff as he is in analyzing. How many economics professors do you know who also like to rap?

He founded the company Freedom Factory. After I joined, he allowed TNKR to incubate there. Even at its founding he wasn’t sure what would happen, but he always welcomed TNKR. He remains a fan and is now a donor of TNKR. Without Prof. Kim, I’m not sure that TNKR would have survived. I joined Freedom Factory at the moment we were thinking about expanding TNKR beyond an informal group merely connecting refugees with tutors. Having Freedom Factory and the Atlas Network connected to us at that stage was crucial in giving us credibility, and it also gave TNKR co-founder Eunkoo Lee confidence in our effort to expand.

I was the referee in this rap video a few years ago, with Kim Chung-ho having a rap battle about economics. Here’s a Korea Herald article from a few years ago about the rap video, the article even quotes TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue:

A “Fail Harder” sign Kim had seen at Facebook’s head office in California last year had inspired him to be daring with education when new employee Casey Lartigue Jr. directed Kim to a rap video from his native U.S.

The video, pitting fictional representations of economists Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes against each other, inspired the CFE’s first foray into music, “More Grasshoppers than Ants.” Before long, a second video was in the works.

“At many companies, the boss is in charge. At CFE, whenever we want to do something new, he (Kim) says, ‘yes, let’s make it big!’ We have no excuses here, we have a boss who sets the kind of atmosphere that makes it okay to try and to have no shame if we fail,” said Lartigue.



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