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...]

Introducing Thursdays Unplugged – And Why I’m Limiting It to 4 People

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While I like organizing events like Startups Unplugged or Open Coffee, where I really get my kick is when I go on one-on-one coffee-talks. In the bigger events or in some of the speaking events I've done, I may be able to impart knowledge and help out, but obviously, the learning cannot be customized to the individual. Sure, after the event there can be informal networking and getting to know people, but I don't really get to KNOW people that much. This is why I like doing one-on-one coffee-talks. More than just the startup idea, I get to know the entrepreneur's story. I get to know his motivations. I get to read body language. I don't just shoot from the hip and comment on just the … [Read more...]

The ONE book you need to read this year

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I'm a big fan of Reid Hoffman, Linkedin Founder and Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist. When he released Startup of You, a few years ago, I gobbled it up and came away quite impressed. He recently released The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age. Naturally, I grabbed a copy. As an HR guy who's also an entrepreneur, the subtitle piqued my attention even more. I chose to finish it off yesterday, during my Glenda-imposed house arrest when this tree blocked the only road going out AND took out the electric wires. (yes!) Now, I've read a lot of good books over the last few months. I've read a few page-turners (Hatching Twitter can only be described as Game of Thrones for … [Read more...]

I Forgot I Was On Vocation!

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The past few months have been some of the most rewarding for me as an entrepreneur. At the start of 2013, we made a crucial decision to split STORM Consulting, my startup baby, into two, distinct, laser-focused firms: STORM Rewards was going to focus on flexible benefits. I was going to lead the efforts as its CEO. STRATA was going to focus on HR competency frameworks. The big difference here was that I really wanted to source an independent management team to lead Strata - I didn't want to be involved in the day-to-day operations. In hindsight, it proved to be a very pivotal decision. (yep, focus is everything) Armed with a new business model which allowed it to offer Flexible … [Read more...]

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

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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

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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

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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...]

2 Days to Go, 22 Slots Left for OPEN COFFEE!

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WHAT: JUAN GREAT LEAP NOVEMBER EDITION OF OPEN COFFEE WHERE: CENTERPOINT FUNCTION HALL, 3rd Floor Centerpoint Building, Garnet corner Julia Vargas Streets, Ortigas Center, Pasig City WHEN: Saturday, November 30, 2013, 9:30AM If you haven't reserved your slot for OPEN COFFEE this Saturday morning, then click that red button on the left and reserve your slot now. Whether you're a veteran or a new entrepreneur, someone who wants to be, or someone who just wants to check things out, there will ALWAYS be something new to learn from open coffee. Here's how the last one went. Then, let's all have lunch after! … [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...]

How Failing 2,032,198 Times Helps You Succeed

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We've heard it so many times for entrepreneurs - how you have to know how to fail in order to succeed. I wanted to dissect how exactly this is so. How exactly does failure help you succeed? My first instinct in answering this question is to look at my own entrepreneurial journey. Has failure helped me? When asked this question, my reply is almost immediate - yes, it has helped me tremendously. It's not just because of the sheer learning that happens afterwards (though this is big as well, and is the basis for the lean startup movement) The great thing that failure has given me is the stomach for it. Having failed so many times before and knowing first-hand what the … [Read more...]

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