Whether you hate or love Gangam style, everybody knows what it is and where it's from. And that is no accident.
Korea has been planning its cultural dominance for nearly two decades since a debt crisis hit the Asian continent in 1997. The economic meltdown devastated a Korean economy too dependent on huge companies like Hyundai and Samsung, forcing them to look for a way to diversify, fast.
Euny Hong is the author of "The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture." She says that in these dark days of debt, Korea found its answer in a then revolutionary idea: the internet.
The country built a super highway of fiber optic cables to become the most wired country in the world, laying the foundation for international commerce. With the technical advancement of the world wide web under its belt, Korea then turned to something a little less revolutionary to make them "cool" in the eyes of investors and an international audience.