INFOGRAPHIC: Top Online Tools for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

These guys are a HUGE reason why putting up a startup has become cheaper and much more efficient. I actually currently use ALL the tools from 1-10. Wow, Google has been helping us a lot eh? So many Google tools here. I'll be checking out the trending tools as well - some look quite useful. Got some online tools you're finding awesome? Do share it below! … [Read more...]

Delivering Happiness Delivers Big-time! (A book review)

After finishing a good book, I typically lie back, savor the moment, and say to myself, "that was a good book." Then I try to think of ways of applying what I learned in different aspects of my life. In the middle of finishing Tony Hsieh's (pronounced "shay") super cool book, Delivering Happiness, I HAD to talk about it to my team immediately. This book makes you want to jump out and change the way you do things. This is a great book. Structurally, the book talks about 2 main things in sequence: a) Tony Hsieh's personal entrepreneurial journey (he started out wanting to be the King of the Worms) b) The rise of Zappos (an amazing story) But the neat thing is, he makes the book into … [Read more...]

A Different Startup Saturday, Inner Before Outer, and Startup Spirituality

Last Saturday in Starbucks Masinag, I had a slightly different Startup Saturday meeting with Nico Policarpio, a promising young entrepreneur (whose team won the second Startup Weekend). I was originally going to meet 2 other people, but they each had sudden emergencies, so I met with Nico one-on-one. Partly as a result of the decreased number of people, the conversation went into deeper ground. Instead of the usual "let's come up with an idea" or "let's develop an idea" or "let's map out current opportunities," we instead delved into   the philosophical - what drives us as entrepreneurs, taking a hold of who we are, and startup philosophy. I won't go into any of the details of our … [Read more...]

Join the Super-Engaged JGL FB Group!

 After the first Juan Great Leap (JGL) get-together last March, I decided to create a Facebook group (separate from the JGL page) for the growing community to get to know one another better, have a venue to exchange ideas and concepts, and simply to better help one another. There were around 30 initial people in the group. I asked the group if they wanted to open up membership to everyone. It was collectively decided that the criteria for accepting members would be either: a) registration to a Juan Great Leap event, or b) subscription to the blog. After the second Ayala-sponsored event a month ago, membership swelled to around 130. Its become a pretty engaged group, with people … [Read more...]

Perhaps You are the Bottleneck

I've recently been talking to some of the incubators that have sprouted in Manila. Let me tell you, we've come a long way from the "I want 80% of your startup since I'm shouldering all the risk!" we've always heard from angels and investors when we tried to raise money before. If your team is top-notch and your idea is sound, you CAN get funding now for much less equity. Investors are getting to be more sophisticated. Plus I think there are more investors now who were startup founders themselves, so they know they'll never partner with real entrepreneurs if they insist on majority shares. I will always, always advocate bootstrapping as much as possible (at least to start), but if … [Read more...]

World, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

It's been close to a year now that I wrote this post. In it, I lamented at how poor the startup support was in our country. I compared our startup scene to that of our neighboring countries and complained. Then, almost on cue, all the activity started. The first Startup Weekend was launched and was followed by another in a few months. Major startup incubators sprouted: Ideaspace, Kickstart, and Wireless Wings. Startup meetups were being organized here and there. Social media became the megaphone fledgling startups used to broadcast their stories. Various startup-centric web magazines have been founded, just in the last couple of months. Almost overnight, the amount of support … [Read more...]

Filipino Migrants, Give Back By Backing a Pinoy Startup!

Over the last 2 months, I have had an inordinate amount of conversations with friends who have migrated to other countries, very typically to get their MBA's and then ending up working there. The conversation invariably turns into "what's the best way to help?" In one of these talks, I was with my ex-boss and good friend, Elmer Velasquez. We managed to find time to grab breakfast during his weeklong visit here. Elmer finished his MBA in Columbia and now works in the executive search industry in the US. In his spare time, he runs Global Acumen, a social enterprise with the objective of doing knowledge transfer BACK to the Philippines. He gave me a memorable line: We have to stop … [Read more...]

Get up and DESTROY those blinders!

My whole entrepreneur life has been a series of episodes where my eyes were opened to a greater reality. I can still remember when STORM collected its first payment back in 2005. My partner Pao and I gave a gaming company 2-weeks of access to our new online survey software for P5000. (which was completely, idiotically underpriced!) But I remember the feeling. "Someone paid us money for a product we made! OMG!" After years in corporate, and knowing the salary as the only means of getting cash, it was quite the eye-opener. It was like the very moment we got to know how to swim. At first, were scared of the water, right? We needed to hang on to the edge. At one point though, we … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the 4-Hour Workweek

I bought Tim Ferriss's book years ago because the title reeled me in. (it was also a bestseller and I'm a sucker for bestsellers - amazingly, it's still topping the charts up to now) Really? 4 Hours of work? Sign me up now! It's a quick read which can be summarized in the acronym DEAL. Basically, it says: D - Definition (find out what you really want) E - Elimination (applying the 80-20 Pareto principle on work hours, Tim concludes that you get 80% of the benefits through just 20% of what you actually do - so the solution? Find out what the useless 80% is comprised of and eliminate them) A - Automation (building sustainable, automatic income using stuff like Google Adwords, … [Read more...]

Scaling Your Caring: How You Can and Why You Need to

A few weeks ago, my wife posted "what's a good ramen place?" on her Facebook account. We love ramen and wanted to find out if anything new was out there. She was besieged with a score of answers. She got the usual suspects - like Ramen Bar and Ajisen Ramen.  Then we noticed an answer which was met with near-universal approval from her friends - Tamagoya Noodle House. Apparently, it was a small, obscure ramen place in Antipolo which gets crowded fast. (How can we say no to that?! Resistance = futile) And you know what? We went and just loved it. We're now frequent customers. More than ever, we have been consulting Google less and less and our friends on our social networks … [Read more...]