Why You Should Consider Staying The Course

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The following is a guest post from Dino Alcoseba, newly-minted head honcho at the HR startup Strata.ph. I've known Dino for five years now and I've seen him develop since coming in as a fresh graduate working for STORM in 2008. Here, he shares about staying the course. I can remember the events Dino describes below (that YM Conversation!), and its a bit jarring to hear what exactly he felt.  Considering the state of young employee turnover not only in startups, but for the entire industry, I think what Dino writes here is pretty important to consider.  - Peter  5 years ago, I was stuck with a dilemma... I just finished packing 8,000 letters to employees for one of Storm’s clients. … [Read more...]

My Night With Entrepreneurs

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One of the things I had promised myself was that I would always say "yes" to entrepreneur speaking engagements whenever I would have the honor of being invited and if my time permitted. A few weeks ago I was asked by Ateneo MBA students to be one of the speakers for their culminating event, "Night with Entrepreneurs." I hesitated in saying yes because the weeks preceding January 1 are always the busiest for STORM - it's when our current clients renew and when new clients are added. Not wanting to begin compromising what I promised, and realizing I could make up the work I'd be missing, I said yes. I'm glad I did. Why? Well, first off, I got to hear and learn a lot from my … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurial Thinking Needed in Yolanda Aftermath

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Okay, so you've given both money and items in kind. You've volunteered your time and helped packed goods. Chances are though (especially if you've seen the gut-wrenching footage), you're still asking: WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? Perhaps one thing is to do what this blog advocates. Be an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is all about problem solving. It's all about finding new, better ways of doing things in the harshest of conditions. Yolanda has brought about all sorts of grand problems in the most unimaginable of conditions. Rebuilding - both immediate and in the longer term - will REQUIRE entrepreneurial thinking. Amidst all the … [Read more...]

Ah! Open Coffee! (October Edition Postscript)

Group pic! SMILE!

I have to admit, I was worried about the 2-month absence of Open Coffee. Would we lose momentum?  Would people still go?  Will the pitches be just as good?  It turns out, my fears were unfounded. I thought October Open Coffee was super! For starters, after the 2 months, it was great to see the holdovers / familiar faces (around 20 or so, you know who you are) who keep on coming back. You practically feel like family. Next, I thought, we just had the MOST DIVERSE SET OF PITCHES we've ever had. And if you've been to Open Coffee before and heard the pitches, you'd know this is saying a lot. Let's see.... We had an OFW-children's support group, a fashion data aggregator, … [Read more...]

My New Faburrito

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Every Tuesday night, my prayer group would choose a restaurant around the Eastwood/Ortigas area to eat in. Last week, we chose this Mexican place called Faburrito, located at the Robinson's Supermarket area in Eastwood. Ever the entrepreneur, the first thing I thought was, "bad location, little traffic." This particular branch (I understand there's another one at the Columns, Makati), was at the edge of a corridor, with very little natural traffic. My friend Howard, who already finished his meal, began raving like a madman as soon as I arrived: Peterit'ssogoodanddifferenthere, theiringredientsareallnatural, theiceteaislightrefillableandyoucanchangeflavors! I … [Read more...]

Why TURBO is (surprisingly) the most entrepreneurial movie you’ll see in years

The most entrepreneurial animated film you'll ever see!

I watched TURBO last night with my family. The wifey liked it. The kids LOVED it.  Unbeknownst to them, I was loving it a little more than I probably should. Why? Turbo is easily the greatest entrepreneurial animated movie I have ever seen!!!  (now that's a sentence I'd never, ever thought about writing in this blog) At the risk of spoiling the movie by detailing how exactly it achieved this, let me just enumerate several entrepreneurial themes that I managed to observe in the movie. There were SO many.  To wit (when you do watch the movie, do see if you can tick some of these off - most are pretty obvious): A "crazy" one dreaming of a big thing The desire to leave the … [Read more...]

Dare To Pitch Postscript

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Last Saturday, Juan Great Leap and Hybridigm held Dare To Pitch at the STORM headquarters in Ortigas Center. It was a pitching forum where we invited startups to pitch to VC's. No winners, no prizes. We just wanted deserving entrepreneurs to have a venue where they could pitch to institutional investors. At best, they could get funded, at worst, they WILL get valuable experience, feedback, and contacts. The event was actually a non-public post-event, where ready attendees of the pitching seminar Pitchcraft could volunteer to do an ACTUAL pitch. There were a few audience slots which we opened up to the JGL subscriber base (there are benefits of becoming a subscriber!),  which were … [Read more...]

June Open Coffee Postscript – This Just Keeps on Getting Bigger

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As usual, everyone had a grand time in the June edition of JGL's Open Coffee series held at the beautiful 47 East compound last Saturday. It was a good mix of seasoned startup guys (like Joey Gurango, Ari Bancale, Jojy Azurin, Glenn Santos, David Elefant, Jason De la Rosa, Robert Bernabe, Roxanne Aquino, and so many others), newly-minted startup guys, and newbies. As per Open Coffee tradition, 199jobs.com's main man Glenn Santos starts things off with some startup news: The first pitch is always kind of crucial. There's usually a bit of hesitation as to who wants to go first. Not in the June edition though! An evident trend I really like is the increase of the … [Read more...]

Elon Musk’s Must-see Interview and Why You Need To Follow Him

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Google "real-life Tony Stark" and the only name you'll see is ELON MUSK. Somehow, I think Elon is still under the radar. My wife doesn't know him. The man on the street won't know him. He doesn't have Jobs's brand. Yet, I think he's a much more fascinating entrepreneur than Jobs ever was. (with all the Apple in my house, this is a pretty loaded statement) Also, I think Elon wins the badass entrepreneurial name battle. "Elon Musk" > "Steve Jobs" He DOES sound like someone who would be captain of a martian spacecraft! If you're wondering what the fuss is all about, watch the fascinating video below from the recent D11 Conference. (I'm serious, watch it! Don't skip over … [Read more...]

How I’m Picking Up The Pieces and Re-Launching Them As Startups. Anyone interested in being founders?

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Around 3 years ago, STORM was in a rut. We made a sellable product in Flexible Benefits. We were so excited that people were ACTUALLY BUYING our product that we... ...made OTHER products instead of concentrating and building on our winner. I blame my entrepreneurial craziness for this one. Wrote about this a bit for homegrown.ph - on the serial temptation.  Soon, we had more products than we had people! While each idea was an innovative one and made a BIT of money for us, what we mostly produced was a boatload of mediocrity. Instead of making one GREAT thing - we did a number of  inspired but UNDEVELOPED products. So channeling our inner Steve Jobs, we killed all our horses except … [Read more...]

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