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

Building

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

twotango

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...]

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

worstmistake

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...]

Special Yolanda-edition JGL OPEN COFFEE to be served on NOV. 30

October open coffee

Juan Great Leap will be holding its NOVEMBER EDITION of OPEN COFFEE on November 30, 2013. Yolanda-themed Just for this edition of Open Coffee, we shall be slightly increasing the entrance fee to P200 (we usually charge P100 for venue and simple snacks). The extra cash shall be given to Yolanda typhoon victims. You may give more than the P100 extra if you wish to do so of course! While of course, you may pitch ANY IDEA under the sun if you want, we also highly encourage people to pitch new ideas on how to further help out the Yolanda victims. We've seen ideas be funded in Open Coffee before, so why not get your Yolanda idea out there for possible support? There are limited slots, so I … [Read more...]

Entrepreneurial Thinking Needed in Yolanda Aftermath

beanentrep

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...]

STOP CHRISTMAS SHOPPING! (and other different ideas to help Typhoon Yolanda victims)

stop

Coming from a weekend retreat, I only recently saw footage of the utter devastation wrought by Yolanda. For a good hour, my wife Pauline and I were just silently watching, with a hand on our mouths. I've never seen this kind of footage from Ondoy, Habagat, or even the recent 7.2 Bohol earthquake. It was heartbreaking. I have some friends with families in the regions affected who still cannot call to confirm whether or not their loved ones are alive or not. It was also particularly shocking to see our countrymen resort to looting. I think this is the very first time I've heard of this happening, even if we seem to be hit by a disaster every quarter. This is one proof for me why … [Read more...]

On Scaling, the Recent SOFTCON, and the Wonder of Technology

flexproducts

Recently, I took a picture of the weekly FLEXIBLE BENEFIT products we received in our office and now had to deliver to our clients: There were hundreds of items ordered in a span of a few days. It was the very first time I've seen this many orders made in our system. We had to find a room to keep all the items secure. The problems we're facing in STORM now are very different from what we've faced over the last few years. Before, we would just be consumed mostly by sales and developing the technology further. (and you know, startup stuff like "where the hell do we get the money for next month's payroll?!") Now, while the above-mentioned things are still supremely important, we … [Read more...]

JGL’s One Great Leap!

Entrepreneur

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...]

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