The Shy-Guy’s Guide to Awesome Networking, Part 2

(This post is the second part of a two-part series. Part one can be found here.) 5. Remember, there is no template Like in part one, I'm starting this segment with a psychological hurdle. We often have a perception of what a networker is - someone extraverted, someone who is oftentimes the life of the party, someone with 4,839,234 friends in Facebook. A natural gift of gab certainly helps, but it doesn't mean your destined you can't network well if you aren't. Some of the very best networkers I've come to know are mild-mannered and unassuming. This is important if we want to grow into mega-networkers: it CAN be learned and it ISN'T necessarily tied to our personality. Like in … [Read more...]

The Shy-Guy’s Guide to Awesome Networking, Part 1

I have always found it easy to speak before a crowd, but I've always been a little bit on the shy side when it comes to one-on-one meetings with strangers. It's funny that I never really saw the value of effective networking when I was in Human Resources. As a startup owner though, I gradually found out how extremely critical it was to network effectively. Clients, suppliers, co-startup founders, mentors, friends, advice-mongers - you name it, I've found them all in networking. We all know the cliché, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." I used to scoff at this when I started working, having the image of a social butterfly in mind. I have discovered though, that it's not like … [Read more...]

Why Not?

Why not you? Why not now? Why not? … [Read more...]

Don’t Put Parrots In Customer Service

A few weeks ago, I was in the hospital passionately arguing with an HMO officer who was insistent on applying a policy which was so evidently not applicable to my own particular case. "If we implement this policy, instead of the insurance paying for my fees, I would be paying YOU - it doesn't make any sense." "Ganoon ho talaga." WHAT?! I was furious. But I understood what was happening. The person on the other line was trained to placate customers and explain policy, but no true power to interpret or be flexible. This is inherently why customer service sucks in so many companies - most customer service personnel are simply given a script and if-then scenarios. Invariably, there … [Read more...]

To ensure success, go DEEPER not wider

Okay, so you are a startup owner. Chances are great that you have limited resources. Understanding that you cannot be everything to everyone, you identify a niche and concentrate on that. I am now getting more and more convinced that the niches we think are specific enough are STILL oftentimes too broad. We have to go deeper. When STORM was originally conceptualized, we wanted to be a technology firm which specialized in HR. Soon enough we found out that was too broad. So we thought of specializing on benefits. You know what? Still too broad. This year, our big decision is just to concentrate on ONE thing: Flexible Benefits. See all those other products in our website? We shall soon … [Read more...]

Assemble Your Avengers! An interview with the best startup recruiter there is, Nick Fury

A JUAN GREAT LEAP EXCLUSIVE: An interview with General Nick Fury himself, credited with starting two very successful startups: SHIELD, where he now serves as Director, and more recently, The Avengers. Peter Cauton: Uhm, thank you very much, Director for allowing us an audience. The Juan Great Leap community is ecstatic for this opportunity to learn from you. General Nick Fury: Good for you this is part of the community service sentence they gave me, you know, when it was found I had something to do with the destruction of New York. Let's get on with it, son.  Nice hairstyle. PC: Uhm, thanks. Anyway, sir! All our startup enthusiasts want to know, sir, how exactly did you pull off this … [Read more...]

My Post-surgery Paradigm

Last Friday morning, I was wheeled into an operating room. They strapped my arms in crucifix position. (yep, apparently they strap your arms). Then the doctors came in and introduced themselves to me. They were about to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy. I was having my gall bladder removed due to stones and a polyp. One doctor explained that she was now introducing the anesthesia through the IV, and that I would soon begin to feel drowsy. I instantly remembered this scene from one my favorite movies last year. A gas mask was then propped over my head. Then... ... The next thing I knew, I woke up in a busy room full of people. I was told I was in the recovery room and … [Read more...]

Interested in $25,000.00 funding and the chance to go on a US-based 12-week accelerator program?

Hey people! Got a tech startup? Need funding and guidance? This might be interesting...  Ohio-based Launchhouse is launching the Launchhouse Accelerator Program. The LaunchHouse Accelerator is inviting the world’s brightest entrepreneurs to participate in a 12-week Accelerator program. Selected teams will receive $25,000 in funding and will be surrounded with experience-based lab sessions, world-class mentors from their specific industry, an innovative work environment, dinners with successful entrepreneurs, and networking with mentors. To apply, entrepreneurs need to be in a tech-related field with a team of two or three co-founders. Ten teams will be selected for the 12-week … [Read more...]

Generate Startup Ideas Using Tourist’s Eyes

When we are travelling for the first time in a foreign location, time seems to slow down, and we get to absorb all the juicy details. There is no little thing which escapes us: how the air is different what clothes people are wearing how the food tastes how people greet one another how clean (or dirty) things are what people listen to how people drive how people eat how the architecture is different Isn't it interesting that we are suddenly ultra-aware of the things around us. We find our heads and eyes ever-circling and observing, trying to take all the detail in. We look at the world with wonder. We figuratively (and depending where, sometimes literally) stop and smell the … [Read more...]

Humble Pie is essential to the Entrepreneur’s diet.

We all know that confidence and having cajones is a big part of being a successful startup founder or entrepreneur. You simply cannot make the leaps and bold decisions necessary without that certain confidence. What I am discovering more and more though is that confidence's seeming polar opposite, humility, can be just as critical. Here's why: 1) Humility Enables Learning Learning is the new metric for growth. The faster you learn, the faster your startup develops. If you are able to create an internal system which systematizes learning, then you are halfway there. Take a look at Facebook's 2005 interface: This old version is now completely unrecognizable. The 2012 version is … [Read more...]