Two Wunderkinds In a Row!

Quick, tell me the last Filipino you know who created a product in his college years and turned it into a business? I wrote this line last Thursday morning in the (very popular) Wunderkind post. Who knew I'd meet another wunderkind just a couple of hours after publishing that post?  I had a meeting with Noreen Bautista of Jacinto and Lirio that very same afternoon. Noreen wanted to get some advice on some HR stuff and scheduled a quick meeting. Before giving any advice, I always make it a point to learn much about the context of the person seeking the advice. So I essentially asked Noreen to tell me her startup story. Noreen first tells me about the amazing company concept. … [Read more...]

Juan Great Saturday at The Briggy!

The second Juan Great Meet was held in Briggy last Saturday, and we had a blast! Glenn Santos of Memokitchen started things off with his "news roundtable" portion. Glenn talked about the different events happening in the local startup scene, including news from accelerators like Launchgarage and Ideaspace, startup sites like and, and other interesting events like Wordcamp. Then, we held the main activity for the session - the Open Floor. This is where each person can get a 90-second chance to pitch or ask the group anything startup-related. The result was another thought-provoking session highlighted by passionate, insightful discussions on: founder … [Read more...]

FULLY BOOKED for Juan Great Meet on October 27 at the Briggy

I totally forgot to post this! More than 50 people have confirmed for our meet at the Briggy this Saturday, October 27, at 130pm! This effectively makes the event fully booked. I'm pretty excited about this! There's a variety of people coming in: new startup owners, startup legends, newbies - all across different industries and specialties. Gonna be a blast! For those who confirmed, let me remind you of my usual note: please don't flake :)  For those who missed the cut, the next one will be in November, so stay tuned! … [Read more...]


Yesterday, I had the privilege of giving a talk at the AIESEC Leadership Convergence Summit. The person who spoke before me was Gian Scottie Javelona and I found his story riveting. The people at the conference were branding him a "19-year old CEO." But I think this title sells him short. Anyone can call herself CEO. Those who get enough votes in their college business simulation companies have that title. Those who inherit Dad's business at 19 can call themselves CEO (to Dad's Chairman of the Board). Quick, tell me the last Filipino you know who created a product in his college years and turned it into a business? At 19, I was busy going out with my friends, playing video … [Read more...]

Homecourt Advantage: 4 Reasons Why It’s STILL Awesome to Have an Actual Office

A few of my startup founder friends are deliberately choosing NOT to have a physical office. Their logic is simple: Smaller utility costs (electricity, water, rent) No travel costs (gas AND cost of time lost to traffic) No furniture costs Mobile technology now allows for free video conference calls across the internet Last weekend, we moved to our new office along Escriva Drive in Ortigas. It is the fifth office we are moving into. Our original office was in the living room of my condominium, where we used a friend's second-hand restaurant furniture. When I think about it, we could save a small fortune NOT having an office and going purely mobile. Here are reasons why we … [Read more...]

1% Membership Requires Conviction

No matter how loud this blog becomes, 99% of people will still choose to go the usual route. 99% percent will still choose to go with the herd. 99% will still play it safe and choose the comfort of a twice-a-month salary. What differentiates the 1% from the 99%? What differentiates the 1% from the 99% is conviction. I have seen this first hand with all the entrepreneurs and founders I've interacted with. They believe in their vision. More than that, they believe in themselves. It is an unshakeable, oftentimes illogical belief. It is this conviction which allows them to take on the big hairy leap to go out on their own. But this isn't what results in the 1% yet. Perhaps 10% … [Read more...]

The Dangers of a Fragmented Life, Part 2

(This is the second of a two-part post, the first of which could be found here.) In 2004, I decided to try to live on my own. There is nothing wrong with living on your own - my mistake was that I allowed the situation to further isolate myself from my family and friends. This accentuated the fragmentation my life was already experiencing. The circles in my life were separated even more profoundly. Who I was in my condo, at home with my parents, with different sets of friends, at work, in graduate school - all were different people. Leading this sort of life meant having virtually no rules for myself. I was willing to try anything or be anyone to fulfill the expectations of … [Read more...]

Help Needed For Talim Island

Unbelievably, we have not seen the last of the floods brought about by the habagat two months ago. In the middle of Laguna de Bay is an island called Talim. Due to unique conditions and continuous rain in the area, 1500 families are still affected by flooding. The local parish priest has been calling out for more help. Our community, Living Hope, is organizing relief efforts for Talim and shall be distributing them on Oct. 20, 2012 (next Saturday). We have already collected funds for relief packs good for 200 families. Please help us collect more so that we may reach even more families. There are several ways you can help: 1) You can sponsor a family pack for P400 each. 2) You can … [Read more...]

10 Slots Left – Juan Great Meet, October 27

People, there's 10 slots left for the 50-person JGL meetup at The Briggy Hall on October 27. Those of you who are planning to go, you might want to sign up here now. P150 entrance fee for food 130pm-430pm,  October 27 Open to everyone in whatever stage of the startup process: veteran startup owner, new startup owner, thinking about leaping, bored to death with corporate Seeya! … [Read more...]

The Dangers of a Fragmented Life, Part 1

In grade school, I used to be deathly afraid when my parents would pick me up from school. For some reason I couldn’t understand, I was ashamed of them. I didn’t want my friends to see me with them. One funny result of this was when people would call me at home (yup, we used the landline to chat then) and look for “Peter,” the people at home thought they were calling the wrong number. You see, at home I was called “Pitpol” or “Popo.” I was deathly ashamed of these nicknames. It sounds funny in retrospect, but perhaps the funnier thing is, it turns out I wasn’t the only one who was like this! Turns out a lot of people hide their "home" names, in an effort to separate family life from … [Read more...]