THINK: You Only Have 1 Peso

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I started out my day with 50 pesos in my pocket. By 5pm, I had 1 peso. I had food waiting for me at home. True, I didn’t have any more expenses for the day, but I still needed to hop on the MRT to get home. Good thing, I had a stored value card to get me there. On the journey home, I was drunk with excitement. I felt liberated without the resources that would usually shield me from hardship. I was ready for any obstacle because I literally had nothing to lose. The only thing on my mind was to get home to food and shelter, and I knew I’d get there someway, somehow.  While this romanticized anecdote is a product of my own recklessness and negligence, I savor that 1 Peso … [Read more...]

No Money? No Experience? No Problem!

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After she graduated with her degree in Psychology in 2010, we hired Ofelia Linchangco in STORM to do HR analysis and consulting. What was pretty evident from the get-go was that she loved design-related work. She would always volunteer to do design work for STORM's marketing materials and would tinker with the website design. While she would do good work with her HR-related responsibilities, her design work would always elicit oohs and ahs from everyone in the workplace. It was plain to see what her passion was. A year and a half later, she resigned. Planning her leap, she read a lot of books and did a ton of research. Then, using the remnants of her last pay (around P8000.00), she put up … [Read more...]

Buhay Bootstrap (plus, free startup glossary!)

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The year is 2006. Pao and I were about 15-20 pounds lighter. Pao was still enjoying his mullet haircut, while I was still enjoying some hair.We wanted to put up a flexible benefits solutions firm, capitalizing on my own early-market experience with flexible benefits. None of us were really "entrepreneurs" when we started. I was an HR guy and Pao was a programmer. We tried pitching to investors for startup capital, but I think this failed for two reasons: a) the mammoth 100+ page business plan (AKA complete waste of time) we crafted, and b) at that time, no one understood what our idea was and could become. So we ended up bootstrapping. Funding. There are two general ways to fund a firm: … [Read more...]

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