Follow Duksoo Kim
My name is Duksoo Kim, and I’m one of the founders and the COO of Autocrypt. I have a background in electrical and electronics engineering, and have been working in cybersecurity and secure connectivity solutions for over 20 years.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
I think people assume that when you have a good idea, that it’s a success from the get-go, but that’s probably why most startups fail. Good ideas are a foundation to build upon, but they are rarely the end-all be-all of a successful business.
There is a myriad of different factors that contribute to whether or not a startup will be successful, but from my experience some of them include a great team, a long-term strategy, and an industry that’s ready to accept and implement your solution.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Act on your instincts, not on your impulses. Impulses are driven from fear and emotion, while instinct is based on knowledge and wisdom.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I strive for excellence, not perfection. I’ve started several companies throughout my career, but my focus has never been to achieve perfection.
I think mistakes and failures are what make great companies outstanding. There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to running a company, even with technology.
Software always has bugs, but if you’re waiting for the perfect version of the software before you launch, you’re going to be waiting a very long time. I think that idea seeps into other areas of entrepreneurship as well.
If you’re more concerned about perfection, you’re not going to have a healthy business.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Delegation is an important one – having people I trust to get the work done and bring in new ideas is key.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
Throughout history, mankind has many amazing strides in technology advancement. We’ve seen throughout these advancements that technology is allowing us to be more connected to each other than ever, despite the physical distances there may be between us.
The Internet was created to connect people, and it has proved to have immense value when it comes to the transmission of data and communications.
The methods we use to communicate has continued to evolve – from personal computers, to laptops, to mobile devices – our communication devices are expanding from a stationary device to devices on-the-go. Vehicles are no different.
A connected car is much like a supercomputer, sending messages to other entities around it and within itself to allow these communications to be possible.
The only difference is that a car is carrying real humans, and a cyberattack on a vehicle would have much more severe consequences than an attack on, let’s say, your Mac or PC.
That’s where the idea for Autocrypt was born – securing connected vehicles before they hit the roads.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Although the general public may not be aware of it, autonomous driving isn’t black and white. Autonomous driving is rated by levels and while certain features may be erroneously termed “self-driving,” they’re really not at the level of high or full automation yet.
In five years, I’d definitely hope to see more technological progress in automation for vehicles. Autocrypt will be ready to implement our solutions into fully autonomous vehicles as well as surrounding infrastructure.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
I mentioned that Autocrypt implements solutions into vehicles and surrounding infrastructure.
People don’t realize that autonomous driving isn’t just about the vehicle – there are a lot of entities that are part of a larger ecosystem that needs to cooperate together in order to make sure that autonomous driving will actually be safe and secure.
We call this Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, or C-ITS, where multiple subsystems cooperate using different communications technologies to exchange data.
Implementing something like C-ITS will really require a lot of different actors to work together, which is not a small feat.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
We’re a security company, but we also use our software and solutions to develop and operate mobility services.
We have been working with local districts to find ways to incorporate connected mobility services into their programs so people with reduced mobility (or PRMs) are better able to utilize ride-hailing platforms.
Our long-term goal is to expand the service on a nation-wide, and global level, but I don’t think this goal is exclusive to Autocrypt: Society on the whole needs to make sure that services out there are more intentional about providing accessible and inclusive transport.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
There’s a lot going on at Autocrypt HQ – we’re growing quick. I enjoy meeting with our clients and partners, as well as regularly meeting with our team here. Feel free to reach out.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Take a step back and look at the big picture. A lot of startups have a tunnel-vision mentality on their solution, and it bars them from experiencing growth in directions that were hitherto unforeseen (which isn’t always bad).
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I hope to see fully autonomous driving on the roads, but in a safe and secure way. I think there’s great potential for this technology in terms of helping the environment, bringing accessibility to the forefront, and allowing transportation to be utilized at its fullest.