Building a B2B Startup? Here are 5 of the Most Crucial Lessons I’ve Learned


I hope my previous post got you more interested in taking a longer look at building a Business-to-Business (B2B) startup. If you're interested in plunging into one, here are 5 of the most crucial lessons I've garnered in building B2B's for almost one decade now (Can't believe it!): 1) Doing Lean Startup? You cannot use a traditional "MVP" If you aren't familiar with Lean Startup Methodology, then please buy Eric's book as soon as you finish this post. Essentially, the book says that you have to validate your assumptions about the product and the market systematically before you spend money on building. Specifically, it suggest building a "minimum viable product." This is … [Read more...]

Six Powerful Reasons Why Your Next Startup Must Be a B2B


To B2B or not to B2B? Ah. This is the question. For me the answer is clear. With all things being equal, if you are a Philippine-based startup, you should try building a B2B first. Let me get my obvious bias out of the way first - I am primarily a B2B guy. Most of startups I've been involved with - STORM, Strata, Stream Engine - have been B2B's. (the notable exception is JGL) Waitaminit! What do mean by B2B again? You can generally classify as startup as being a B2B (Business to Business), as opposed to a B2C (Business to Consumer). A B2B company sells to other companies (also called enterprise business), while a B2C sells its wares directly to consumers. I think there is an … [Read more...]

Stopping Reverse Momentum

homer running

Starting the middle of last year, I began running in the morning. 5K, every other day. I was pumped. Then I sort of injured my calf and I couldn't run for a while. I vowed to bounce back fast - as soon as my calf was fully healed. Then my calf healed. But for some reason, I couldn't find the energy to start again. The longer I waited, the harder it was to start. I could describe it best as reverse momentum. This is my best explanation for the writing hiatus I experienced. This is my first post in almost 2 months.  People started to ask me - are you still writing? Do you still love it? Do you still believe in it? The answer for me is a quick, resounding … [Read more...]

JGL’s One Great Leap!


There's a lot going on now with two of my startups, STORM and STRATA. People movement, scaling, fire-fighting, creating processes, client meetings, projects, you name it, we're doing it right now. For STORM specifically, we usually do systems implementation around this time in preparation for the coming year. Plus we're also renewing with all our current clients. These next few weeks leading up to the first quarter of 2014 will be quite taxing for our team. I wish there were two of me sometimes. November marks the 2nd year anniversary of JGL's first post. While the blog has been growing and our events have been successful. There's so much that I've wanted to do in JGL which we … [Read more...]

The Rise of the Free Agent Era and 5 Strategies to Survive It, Part 2


(This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part one can be found here.) 3) Build Free Agent Skills So what sort of skills are highly useful in this free-agent era? Skills which maximize your ability to be independent - skills which can allow you to be highly mobile and flexible. Here are three really strategic ones you can work on: a) Learn How To Learn Real Fast Two common realities of the free agent era: there's always something new to learn, and you have to learn it fast. If you learn things fast, then you can work in vuitually any condition and won't be a victim of obsolescense. Adapt and live. So don't get married to a skill set (especially technical ones, which … [Read more...]

The Rise of the Free Agent Era and 5 Strategies to Survive It, Part 1


    (This is the first of a 2-part post) When I was in college in the mid 90's, I was still hearing the phrase, "employed for life" a bit. This was when an employer could virtually guarantee an employee's financial well-being from fresh-graduate to even beyond retirement. Twenty to thirty-year careers were commonplace and a societal norm. If you managed to be employed by say, San Miguel Beer in the 80's, you were literally set. All you had to do was to work hard, and the company would take care of you - for life! When I graduated in the late 90's, I think this sort of reality was already facing upheaval and was rapidly fading. In 1998 (just as when I … [Read more...]

Avoid These 5 Absolutely Crippling Startup Choices, Part 2


(This is part 2 of 2-part series. You can read part 1 here) 3) Reluctance to Get Down and Dirty Take a gander at some of the Lean startup methodology books. There is a reason why this line of thinking has become quite severely influential for startups around the world. The principles are quite sound: information and validation over guesswork and assumption. Getting to that information? You have to talk to a lot of customers. You have to SYSTEMATICALLY do it in an unbiased manner. You have to do it over and over. You have to iterate your product over and over. This is serious, rigorous work. You want success, as with anything worthwhile, you have to pay the piper. But I think this … [Read more...]

Avoid These 5 Absolutely Crippling Startup Choices, part 1


Its a shame that most of the talks we find on startups and entrepreneurship center more on the successes. This is perfectly understandable - it is painful to talk about failures. Yes, we say stuff like "it's a badge," and "failing is a necessity," but you know, if one really poured her heart and soul into a startup and it fails - it can be a real heartache. It's a shame because there can be SO much to learn from those who have experienced failure, specifically, how to avoid certain decisions and tendencies. I just realized I've just marked the fifth year anniversary of my startup leap a few weeks ago. It's mind-boggling to consider that I've now been working full-time with startups for … [Read more...]

Fast-Track Your Startup Dreams By Joining A Successful One


Learning From Failure Might be a Tad Overrated By now, we've all heard a lot about how important it is to fail, how we need to start failing immediately - in a sense so we can find about what NOT to do the fastest way possible. Of course, we've all seen this happen, so I'm not about to debate its veracity. There might be an alternative though. Instead of learning from failure, why not learn from success? Instead of concentrating on what NOT to do, why not focus on WHAT to do? How can you do this as someone who wants to develop his own startup? One way is to go join a successful one. My Chikka Days When I think about it now, my five-year stint in Chikka really fast-tracked … [Read more...]

Just Touch the Water


It still amazes me how so many of the largest companies in world started out as some crazy idea in someone's head. Then, these individuals began talking about it with another person. Perhaps Larry invited Sergey over for a coffee chat, perhaps Steve started an argument with Woz, Hewlett started brainstorming with Packard, Procter meets with Gamble for the first time, and so on. As the idea is shared, it separates itself from one individual and takes on a life of its own. Now, two or more people get excited about it. More talks are scheduled. More energy is generated. Perhaps more people involved. Then things get actually tried out. Soon, papers get signed and boom, a … [Read more...]


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