The Startup Girlieness of Being

Right after the glorious rush of introducing great entrepreneurs in our Startup Community here in Manila (Makati, specifically) for the first Startup Grind event of the year after quite a long hiatus, I start this blog.

Most people don’t understand what I do, or what the community stands for. From the outsider’s perspective, being a cheerleader for this small brood of ambitious individuals seems glamorous and easy breezy. The travelling, the booze – sure.

What comes with the travelling and the booze? The belief that, amidst the peaks and troughs of market realities, amidst the domination of the big guys in business, the small guys can make it too:

The belief in the agility of the small guys to move fast in executing on their ideas.
The belief in the flexibility of the small guys to skirt through bottlenecks and surmount challenges.
The belief in the capability of the small guys to deliver compelling value, even to the established big guys (B2B), and/or to deliver solutions to gripping pain points of a sizeable consumer market segment (B2C).

(Let’s skip the G’s and the multiple-hop business model examples, as this is not the focal point of our topic for now. Also, when I say guys, I mean entities. Nothing sexist going on here. If anything, we need more women leaders in the startup scene, and in the overall business landscape!)

And with the status quo we revolve in– the extent of awareness we need to inject for our regulators to support the Startup Renaissance, the cultural resetting we need to recalibrate for our young ones to aspire gunning for something risky and Exponentially Fulfilling versus something stable while they have the energy of youth, the evangelization needed to convince key stakeholders in industries to embrace the Early Disruptors that can deliver exponential value to their own organizations — man, we have a long way to go.

But if no one pushes for it, who will?
We need a consolidated effort for both leaders and feeders to contribute to the growth of our Startup Ecosystem.

At this point, we need to achieve a critical mass of bringing in more crazy people into the community, who share the belief of what the collective can deliver, and letting exclusively personal interests yield to accommodate said belief.

I once caught up with a Startup Leader not too long ago, and he reminded me that, in whatever we were trying to do, in our respective roles as leaders and feeders in the Startup Ecosystem, we need to be mindful that we are not only taking a bigger chunk of the Startup Pie; we are also – and more importantly – making said Pie bigger.

So yes, Startup Life, whether assuming the role of a leader or feeder, is a long-ball game. Our return on financial / intellectual / social / cultural investment requires patience. After all, this isn’t just for us. This is for our legacy as a collective, and this is for the benefit of those who will succeed us.

So, cheers to this journey called The Startup Girliness of Being! Onwards!

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