Thank YOU for making 2014 awesome!

If there’s anything I enjoy doing, it’s expressing gratitude. So much so that it might be to a fault, figuring out how to end conversations with both parties tirelessly saying thank you on end until the energy wanes. Rightly so, there have been a smorgasbord of reasons to be thankful:

I work and learn with intellectual rockstars – not just those who preach, but those who do.

The ideas, events and people that make up my life so far has allowed me to transition from seeing the world through a lens of myopia to a viewpoint that is more long-term, more inclusive.

I have been granted the privilege of discovering and engaging in real-life stories powered by the immense drive to achieve big things, coupled with the act of humility and the mindfulness of doing it for the greater collective.

I am blessed to be in a role that allows me to scale the faith and unwavering belief of Filipino creativity and innovation.

I find myself in a time and space where the geeks are rightly taken to be the cool and sexy ones. The knowledge economy is chipping off the barricades of feudal thought, and I believe in this fiercely.

I have learned so many things, from the institutional, to the industrial, to the regulatory, to the psychological, to the primal, to the mundane. To continue to learn is gold. Just gold.

I gained an influx of new encounters that allowed me to open up my horizon and look forward to the myriad of things yet to learn and act on.

I’ve had my fair share of heartbeat skips and heartbreaks. It’s a gratifying feeling to experience a newfound spectrum of emotions.

Speaking of feelings, it was in this year that I’ve rekindled a deeper love for the Philippines and its people. Other people see it, and, well, the rest of us ought to.

2013 was a year of awareness – awareness of a bigger world (thank you grad school! Thank you startup experience! Thank you Mang Nani Guanlao!). 2014 has been a year of belief – the belief of one’s own dreams and the bravery to act on them, more so the dream of others and helping them act on it. 2015 will be a year of cultivating the connection. We’re only getting started, love.

Awareness.
Belief.
Cultivation.

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Wearing my goggles of reflection, I look back at the photos snapped the past year as they chronicled moments of awesomeness. There are just too many to curate highlights – which one to choose? They’re all just too awesome.

1 thing remains clear though:
People enable, have enabled, and will continue to enable this awesomeness. Thank YOU for being a part of my life. I resolve to cultivate the connection with you.

Wishing all of us a brighter 2015 ahead! Light and love, everyone!

Paul Graham’s Best Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs: JUST LEARN! (Notes from CS183B: How to Start a Startup Lecture 3)

On always making the decision to learn. Cheers!

Finding the SILVER LINING in every step of the Journey...... 🙂

Paul Graham was the guest speaker for this week's lecture Paul Graham was the guest speaker for this week’s lecture

Not as many people showed up for this week’s viewing lecture for “CS183B: How to Start a Startup” but nonetheless, the discussion group proved to be really interesting and insightful as we not only discussed key points in the lecture but we also talked about problems we faced and how we could solve them. It was really interesting how we ended up talking about very diverse fields from machine learning to education to media and journalism to weather, wearables and smart fabric to networking and starting a startup in college. (You can jump straight to our discussion group’s points by scrolling down to the last part).

You can view resources for the class here: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

My overall takeaway from today though was that there’s no set-way or formula to starting a startup. There are certain things that worked for some entrepreneurs…

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Too Much

This may very well be my most raw post to date. Dear reader, if you are not down for some blunt, emotional content, I invite you to redirect to another URL. You have been warned.

 

You are the right person at the wrong time.

You are too smart. You are too smart for your own good.

You are a virgin and that fact is so hard to deal with.

 

I heard dating is fun. Dating is actually fun. Learning more about people’s stories, what they are into, what makes person A, B, C coming from experiences X, Y, Z is interesting to correlate,  especially when there is substantial volume to connect the dots.

It is fun until one considers stopping to hop from one data source to another, and dig more qualitative information. It is fun until one considers to dig up more variables from that data point, variables one did not originally plan to be keen on discovering. It is fun until the data source decides to share declared preferences, and refuses to share revealed preferences.

It is fun until the researcher gets boxed into the good girl segment, and the adventure for deeper learning stops.

Dear data point, it does not mean that if the researcher has not yet embarked on the revealed behaviors you have manifested in your lifetime, then the former automatically is not eligible to immerse and celebrate in the revealed preferences of the latter. The researcher is open to embracing your flaws, even if she has not gone through these tumultuous moments herself.

It is paradoxical how closed societies condemn liberal women, and how open societies seem to condemn conservative women.

 

Does it mean that I have to do something wrong, to get something stat?

Does it mean that I have to keep mum on my opinions, or let go of things I inherently disagree with, just so I’m not judged as someone who’s too smart for my own good?

Does it mean that I have to jump in the bandwagon of casual relations to become “easier to deal with”?

 

Yes, this is a rant. Dating is supposed to be fun. It’s starting to be a pain. I beseech the dating gods to make things fun again, please.

As in startups, does one pivot, perish or persevere?

 

Welcome, IdeaSpace 10 for 2014!

Today, the team worked hard to facilitate the events that determined the next 10 tech startups that The Foundation is investing in.

In no particular order, the teams that scored equity funding and entry to the acceleration program are:

1. R-TAP
2. Tactiles
3. Tambio
4. FlipTrip
5. BluLemons Gaming Studio
6. Nyfti
7. WattSmart
8. SmartFleet
9. MyChild
10. Salt

Excited to be working with a larger family, and excited to be pimping the founders out to the communities soon!

On the flipside, I have encountered wonderful stories all over the country of those who sent in their ideas, didn’t make the cut, but went on to achieve great things. I met a delightful woman in one of my community visits who applied her fashion startup into the program, unfortunately did not make it beyond the 2nd round BUT went on to get funding from an angel. She is now launching her site. She shared to me how her experience of applying helped her validate her passion for her idea.

One of the TV ads I just tuned into referenced a quote from Henry Ford, and it could not be more fitting for this occasion:

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.

This is definitely not the end for those who didn’t make it to the cut; if anything, greater things are in store for those who learn from setbacks and act on them.

To quote one of the favorite lines in the startup world:

Fail fast, fail better, fail forward.

They say it is when people are passionate about solving an imminent problem that they succeed at coming up with a solution. And it is when private problems that transcend to social problems are addressed that impact for the better happens.

So contest or no contest, kudos to those with the courage to pursue their passion, and those with the grit to see it through.

I’m such a groupie of all you passionate people, you!

I wish you all the best! Carry on.

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