August 8 Nametag Reminders

For those who are registered to attend on August 8 (10 days to go, woohoo!), just on case my email didn't get to you, please be reminded that we are going to use the nametag as a creative tool to facilitate networking and collaboration. The nametags will look like this: Unless you want a generic nametag (without a goal), please send me an email at which states: a) The name you want to use b) The title you want to use c) The startup goal you'd like to achieve Please do send me that email by this Thursday (August 2) so we'll have ample time to print 'em. Thanks! … [Read more...]

Forget the search for the next great idea. Look for your inner fire, instead.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to an “idea guy” with 6 startup ideas he wanted to pursue. I listened and gave my opinion on each. Then he looked at me and asked: So what do you think? Puzzled, I replied: About what? Coyly, he then asked: What should I choose? No mentor, confidante, or adviser can answer this sort of question. Only you can. It’s easy to get carried away with money potential, or how “sexy” an idea is. Careful. Choosing a startup solely based on these will almost guarantee failure. The process starts internally. Follow your heart. We have heard this from thousands of successful entrepreneurs: your passion will fuel your startup.  So what ignites you? … [Read more...]

August 8 JUAN GREAT LEAP startup event is now FULLY BOOKED at 250 pax

The August 8 event, Ayala Foundation Presents: Juan Great Leap is now fully booked at 250 registered participants. For those who have been able to register: One, please don't flake. Two, if you suddenly cannot make it to August 8, please do be considerate enough to email me ASAP that you are relinquishing your slot so another person can attend in your stead. For those who did not make it to the 250 count:  There will be more startup events and activities you can participate in the very near future. I'd like to recommend that you subscribe to the Juan Great Leap newsletter (punch in your email on the right side.) Juan Great Leap blogposts, announcements, and other activities are sent … [Read more...]

Your Goals Should Be Dreams With Deadlines

Every start of the year, our corporate bosses talk to us and we are given our “annual targets.” These are quantitative or qualitative goals which we are instructed to focus all our attention on. It could be something like:             P12 million quota for someone in sales,             Reducing costs by 20% for an operations guy,             Improve the satisfaction index by 5% for an HR guy, or perhaps             Increase total calls serviced by 15% for a BPO team leader The side effect of this process? If we are not careful, these goals become our personal goals for the year. To illustrate, when you ask the guy in sales what his career goal is for this year, he will most likely … [Read more...]

August 8 startup event is now 200% booked, 45 slots left

In only a week after the event announcement, we realized that the planned 100-person attendance was going to be blown to bits, so we  increased capacity by removing tables and altering the original space format. As agreed upon with Ayala, we shall be limiting registration to 250 heads. As of 3:40 today, the attendance rate is at 205 heads. There are 45 slots left. For those of you planning to go, please sign up here now. We shall be closing once we reach 250 heads. Again, please do not be a flaker! As we are getting closer to the date, I know we are also finalizing our respective schedules. If you are just now finding out that you cannot make it, please email me at … [Read more...]

Startup Funding: The FIRST option should always be doing it on your own

I've been blessed to have talked to a growing number of young entrepreneurs over the past few months. One common concern for the would-be-startup-owner is funding. How do you get the funding to start? The two general answers are bootstrapping and raising investment money. There are other interesting fund-raising strategies arising, like crowdsourcing, but that's a topic for another post Before I give my bootstrap-biased opinion on this, let me give the easy answer first, which is: it depends on the idea.  THE EASY ANSWER: Generally, you can look at the following things when determining which path to take: 1. Do you need a huge capital investment to break even? 2. How big is the … [Read more...]

An Entrepreneur’s Thank-You List

I'm writing this as the final minutes of my birthday tick away. I'm trying to assess how I feel. On most birthdays, I feel sentimental, nostalgic, and often existential. Tonight though, I feel blessed that more than anything else, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I just feel compelled now to pump out this list of people I need to thank on my 37th year of existence. My own little public shout-out for the people who've meant so much to me. Hope its not too care-bear sappy! Here we go: Mama, papa, thank you for your unconditional love and support. In having kids of my own, I'm now beginning to understand what sort of love and dedication you showered upon me. Thank you the … [Read more...]

August 8 Startup Event Now 50% Booked

If you're planning to attend the August 8 Startup Event at the UP Technohub in Quezon City: Ayala Foundation Presents: Juan Great Leap - Transforming Your Idea Into Startup Success,  then you better register here now, as the 100 slots are now half-filled after we released the announcement just a couple of days ago. I'm really excited to get to meet all of you on the 8th - I'm sure we'll all learn from the panel and from each other! See you then! … [Read more...]

You can choose your own adventure!

It's not just about the money. It's not just about making a dent in the world. It is very much WHAT SORT OF DENT  and WHERE YOU WANT TO MAKE IT. Ultimately, the answer boils down to WHO YOU ARE. What do you like doing? How and when do you do your best work? What are you good at? Bad at? In corporations, you usually pick a department or a function you think you can grow in. So as a green-behind-the-ears fresh graduate, the thinking would be a bit simplistic: "uhm...I like people so HR might be the field for me" or "I like numbers so I'll give finance a try" It's obviously not so simplistic. It might be the right field, but not the right industry. It could be the right field and … [Read more...]

Who Wants To Buy HOPELESS HAPPINESS? (Always Test Your Marketing Materials)

Check this ad along EDSA: So When I first saw that sign, I was confused: wait, why would a company - in health insurance at that -  want to sell hopeless happiness?! Then, upon, closer inspection, I saw what they were trying to accomplish with the shadow and stuff. Since I always pass by that part of Edsa, I'd always ask my co-passengers what they read or saw when they saw this sign. The results would always be: Hopeless Happiness I'm not so sure who did this ad for Medicard, but I don't think the intention for this ad was: When people see this ad, they should immediately think "Hopeless Happiness!" When they closely inspect it though, they should see that Happiness is the … [Read more...]