The K-drama “Startup” Male-Lead Analysis: Dosan vs Jipyeong

Calling all “Startup” fans! Are you Team Nam Do-san or Team Han Ji-pyeong ???

“Startup” is a South Korean drama that tells the story of how businesses and startups overcome challenges in order grow in the world of startup companies. But, like most K-dramas, there is of course a love triangle to spice things up a bit. However, this drama has been known to have a rather controversial love triangle that has created a lot of dispute regarding the two male-leads. “Startup” revolves around a woman who dreams of becoming a CEO, a man who is secretly her first love, and another man who is pretending to be her first love. So, let’s go through the pros and cons of each of the male leads in “Startup.”

Nam Do San from the K-drama “Startup”: Pros

  • Nam Do-san is very intelligent, and is known to be a math genius and computer geek.
  • He is the co-founder of Samsan Tech.
  • He is sweet and charming.
  • Do-san is an overall nice person and seems to really care about Dal-mi.
  • He is very passionate about helping others and has a strong sense of empathy.
  • He has the reputation of “living Buddha.”
  • Do-san helps Dal-mi realize her dreams.
  • He has big hands.
  • He’s very tall.
  • He likes to knit.
  • Do-san wanted to let Dal-mi know the truth of his identity early in the drama, but hesitated because of Ji-pyeong and Dal-mi’s grandma.
  • He decided to help with Ji-pyeong’s lie with pure intention to help Dal-mi after reading her letter.
  • Do-san makes Dal-mi happy and is always there to cheer her up.

Nam Do San: Cons

  • Do-san lies to Dal-mi about his true identity, and becomes selfish later on.
  • He seems a bit childish and immature with his feelings at times.
  • Do-san sometimes acts rashly, such as punching Ji-pyeong and getting in a fist fight with him due to his own jealousy.
  • He took the “short cut” to Dal-mi’s heart by using Ji-pyeong’s lie.
  • He doesn’t acknowledge or respect Ji-pyeong for being there for Dal-mi when she was down until the very end of the drama.
  • Do-san constantly holds a jealous and hateful attitude towards Ji-pyeong.
  • Do-san lacks social skills and can be awkward with words at times.
  • He seems to have pride issues.
  • He has insecurities due to his constant comparison with Ji-pyeong.

Han Ji Pyeong from the K-drama “Startup”: Pros

  • Ji-pyeong is a self-made millionaire and venture capitalist.
  • He is independent and self-reliant.
  • Ji-pyeong has a high reputation in the startup and investment world.
  • He is very mature and a great mentor to Samsan Tech.
  • Ji-pyeong gives great advice to startups.
  • He is known as the “Good boy” by Dal-mi’s grandma.
  • He has a sharp-tongue, but is very truthful and caring.
  • Ji-pyeong was Dal-mi’s first love and the real writer behind all those childhood letters.
  • He wrote all those letters with love and sincerity.
  • His letters truly comforted Dal-mi and gave her support when she needed it most.
  • Although he came from a background of being a homeless orphan, he became successful because of his hard work and determination.
  • Despite being a harsh critic, he always tells his honest opinion in order to help Dal-mi and Samsan Tech grow.
  • He is selfless, and often puts aside his own feelings to help Samsan Tech’s business.
  • He didn’t want to hurt Dal-mi, which is why he kept the lie going for so long.
  • Ji-pyeong was always there for Dal-mi when she felt down.

Han Ji Pyeong: Cons

  • Ji-pyeong created an elaborate lie to hide his true identity from Dal-mi.
  • He has trouble expressing gratitude to others.
  • He has anger management issues.
  • His words can be quite harsh and rude at times.
  • Ji-pyeong doesn’t try to find Dal-mi or the grandma until 15 years after the letters.
  • He doesn’t see someone’s worth until he sees how it can benefit him.
  • He realizes he is in love with Dal-mi too late.


So, which team are you?

Dosan vs Jipyeong


If you enjoyed this article, check out our article “10 Life Lessons To Take Away From The K-drama ‘Startup’” and comment below your thoughts on this K-drama! If you want to learn more about the K-drama “Startup,” watch the trailer here.


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