The Unlikely Journey of Our Newly-Minted COO

We’ve all been through those moments in life when everything seems to be falling apart. That was where Kellda was when I first met her two years ago. You wouldn’t know it through my interview process with her. A former Unilever achiever and fastfood startup founder, she was introduced by a mutual entrepreneur friend. She was in-between jobs. Kellda dazzled us in the recruitment process with her intelligence, strong will and demeanor. Even if she had no prior exposure to tech, she was obviously eager to learn more about our industry. I wanted to woo her into joining our company as one of our product heads. Soon, I gave her an offer. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. She had bigger brands … [Read more...]

Listening Is The New Reading

I rarely have time to read books anymore. I used to accumulate sizeable bills on my Kindle doing a book a week, now I don't even remember the last book I read in print form. My babies, both actual and startup, have been occupying a whole lot of my time. I've also re-committed to writing on a particular blog. My weekends I've mostly closed off to family. I do have a LOT of wasted time in traffic. Living in Antipolo, sometimes I spend a good 2-3 hours a day in the car. 4 on bad days. (Waze sometimes I feel guides me INTO traffic) It didn't take me long to put two and two together. I might have stopped reading, but I haven't stopped learning. Now, a huge chunk of the data on … [Read more...]

Why Startups ARE For Everyone, part 1

"Startups aren't for everyone." I've written this considerably in this blog. (very prominently here) We've also heard it uttered by every other entrepreneur, it seems, right? "Entrepreneur you say? Well, ho ho ho! You have to have a unique skill set: a combination of cast-iron will, uber-magnetic charisma, the ability to laugh in fear's face, and space-age technical skills. Oh, and you need to be stupendously lucky." (I guess in a way, talk like this validates what we've done and makes us feel good about ourselves a bit) Lately, however, I'm starting to feel differently. I think startups are for everyone.  Before you hurl tomatoes at me (especially existing entrepreneurs :), … [Read more...]

Fast-Track Your Startup Dreams By Joining A Successful One

Learning From Failure Might be a Tad Overrated By now, we've all heard a lot about how important it is to fail, how we need to start failing immediately - in a sense so we can find about what NOT to do the fastest way possible. Of course, we've all seen this happen, so I'm not about to debate its veracity. There might be an alternative though. Instead of learning from failure, why not learn from success? Instead of concentrating on what NOT to do, why not focus on WHAT to do? How can you do this as someone who wants to develop his own startup? One way is to go join a successful one. My Chikka Days When I think about it now, my five-year stint in Chikka really fast-tracked … [Read more...]


WHAT: APRIL OPEN COFFEE WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 930 AM WHERE: Bo's Coffee, Bonifacio High Street HOW MUCH: Just buy a cup of coffee as a form of thanks to Bo's for hosting us For those who missed the last Open Coffee (which included this part), you just HAVE to join us for the next one! As usual, the level of generosity, idea-sharing, energy, learning and overall do-goodery are expected to be at awesome levels. For the reservations for this one, I'm going back to Googledocs, as it seems to have a lower flaker rate and we can ask for more information from you (to help us improve JGL content). Do reserve a seat NOW by clicking HERE. Limited seats. … [Read more...]

The Software Guru tells the Real Story: On Startups, Bankruptcy, and Attitude (Part 1 of the Joey Gurango Series)

I remember texting Peter right after my interview with Joey Gurango, which was just days before Startups Unplugged. In my text, I asked Peter about what he thought about posting an uncut version of Joey's interview on JGL. The reason for my suggestion was that after my interview with Joey, I was completely taken aback by the incredible knowledge that he was sharing with me; even though I wasn't a techie, Joey's stories resonated with me and schooled the heck out of me. Everything Joey shared with me just seemed so important, so I wanted to post everything that he said. While I must admit, I've omitted some parts of the conversation to be practical, this is still a very raw version of what … [Read more...]

The crucial art of finding business partners

I've written about this matter extensively in this blog - I can't over-emphasize how important finding the right partner is. In fact, I think I can say that for my case, this factor has been THE biggest factor determining a startup's success or failure. I recently wrote an article for summarizing what I think are the most important items to consider. Do check it out here.  … [Read more...]

Employing The Mach 3 Strategy

I was shaving my head this morning in the shower with my trusty Mach 3. I thought the blades needed changing. I made a mental note to myself to buy a fresh pack of blades - the woefully overpriced ones at the grocery counter. I had been buying these blades for FIFTEEN years already - I had been paying Gillette a small fortune. Funny, because I had never wanted these high-end blades in the first place - I won this Mach 3 way back in the 1998 Christmas party in my first corporate job. Once I got the Mach 3, somehow I just made a habit of buying the blades. I represent recurring revenue for Gillette. They must love me. If your startup idea can operate with a recurring, … [Read more...]

Open Coffee Fun!

Last Saturday was just an awesome experience. It never fails - get a room full of entrepreneurial people together to talk about startups and the room just erupts with energy. In the last open coffee, the discussion veered towards mostly finding co-founders and some the more philosophical aspects of doing a startup. This one was really all about 2 things 1) ideas and 2) helping one another. "What do you guys think of this idea?" "I think that will/won't work because..." "I know someone who can help you with..." "Let's talk later I think I can help you with..." I thought it was just awesome. In fact, one of the attendees wanted to do a study on how this burgeoning … [Read more...]

ADDENDUM: Learn How To Build Your Startup By JOINING One

Here's an interesting thing I realized when I was thinking of the previous post : From my stint in Chikka, I know around 7 people who have developed (or are developing) startups upon leaving the firm. In my own startup, STORM, a company of around 12-15 people at any given time, 2 people who've left the firm have formed their own startups (hello Kiko Loseo and Ope Linchangco!). Knowing how sparse Filipino startups are, this is no coincidence: working for a startup prepares you to run one. … [Read more...]