What happens when a group of people decide to tackle a social problem, not by voting or charities or anything like that, but by starting a business?
I recently saw a documentary film Anxiety (also known with a different title, Mr. Company) by Min Hwan-ki, which was documenting the beginner stage of a startup business called Orgdot, with the gaze of good hearted brutal honesty.
This film is unusual because there was no narrator, it is mainly a series of footages of people in Orgdot talking, working, making decisions, disagreeing, worrying, etc. It seems that employees of this small company were okay with a camera operator following them around all the time.
Orgdot itself is also unusual in that it is founded by a group of people who quit their usual jobs in order to try to implement something that they think might be a solution to a social problem they saw.
What was the problem? The CEO described his gripe with how the fashion industry in his area worked. How it worked is like this: a team in the usual fashion industry try to predict what is to be the popular fashion styles in coming months, come up with some designs of clothes, order a set amount of clothes to made by producers (sewing factory workers), and in coming months, usually less than half of the ordered amount is actually sold, 30% is discarded. He concluded that this must be partly why sewing factory workers don’t get paid much, and sometimes don’t even get paid, because somebody somewhere has to bear the burden of cost of those unsold amount.
So, what solution did he suggest? He suggested that it might be possible to be something like the App Store of the fashion industry in the end. That was what he said in the film and I am not quite sure what exactly he meant by that. Anyway, the film seems to show the company trying to build some capital and experience, trying to survive, while also trying to transition into the thing they wish to be in the end.
Something I really liked about this film was that it does a good job of satisfying those curious viewers who are asking “What is going to happen to this team? What things will be going on in the team?” It shows everything. It does not hide that the employees at that time were not getting paid well. It even puts on screen some heated disagreements among some team members. You ought to watch it.
The film is in a sense an adventure story filled with challenges and conflicts. It was entertaining to me in that sense. While some people including the original CEO leave the company by the end of the film, the story is an ongoing story as the company seems to be still running at the time of writing this article.