Archive for May, 2007

Interview by Karla
May 25, 2007

Nina interviewed Karla Redor. Now, Karla interviews me!

  1. What is your dream tech start up?

    The dream tech startup is Telecoms and Internet related. Areas related to what I do for work now – except instead of just working on it, I will own it. Now you wonder why I post about “Web 2.0 startups” and related things? Because they are realistic and can be done in spare time, like the stories in Founders at Work. The telecom/Internet stuff are really expensive thus it’s just a dream for me.

  2. What do you think about RoR (Ruby on Rails)?

    I’m now studying Rails for fun in my spare time. It’s quite different from the Java work I do. I still have doubts about its scalability, as in the Twitter case. Still, I think it’s useful since it’s something I can run in my web host (a virtual private server). Java web applications are too expensive to run inside these servers due to memory requirements, and I could never learn PHP how much I try. Coming from a Computer Science background, I find it too messy. At least Rails has Ruby, which is a nice language.

    Now can I start my web startup with it? Maybe. But then to continue the previous question, one reason why I have the dream but still can’t get it done (to quote Entrepreneur Magazine) is – no idea. I elaborated on this in my not starting a startup post.

  3. What’s the best mashup in the web that you’ve seen/tried?

    I can’t name just one, but I’m fascinated by maps. I visit Dennis Agulo’s Wiki-Maps and Wikimapia often.

    At a previous job, I tried to integrate Google Maps with mobile phone LBS (location based service), but I couldn’t make a product out of it. Here’s sample output. I also hacked Google Maps support in the Roller Weblogger blog/aggregator platform when I was building a proof of concept for an aggregator for geo information coming from blogs, for disaster recovery and the like.

  4. If you’re going to run for the elections, what will your slogan be?

    You know, I’m quite apathetic about local politics. I find world politics more interesting. That said, I have to hand it to Marc’s Feels Great to be Pinoy post . I’ll make you feel great to be Pinoy! Ha. Doesn’t sound right coming from me.

  5. Amongst the countries that you’ve gone too, which one is the most unforgettable?

    Israel, no contest. I was there for the beginning of the 2006 Lebanon war. Other misadventures: back in 2001 (I wasn’t blogging yet), I was denied entry to Germany at Frankfurt Airport. And Seoul, Korea is the most “alien” place I’ve visited. Which reminds me, I plan to add more to my 43places page. All the places I’ve been to outside the country are all for work reasons. I’m actually not a big “vacation” person.

Your turn! Interview rules:

  1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
  2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. 5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them
    five questions.

If I don’t know you well, give me time to find out more about you from your blog.


Feels Great to be Pinoy
May 25, 2007

Nobody has tagged me, but I wanted to answer Marc’s Feels Great to be Pinoy post, now that I’m out of the country.

What are the 3 signs you see happening now that make you say, “it feels great to be Pinoy”

  1. We might feel bad about our country having the same problems over and over again, but when you’re in other countries – hey they’ve got some of the same problems as ours (especially those to do with politics), and some our worse. And some countries like to cause trouble in other countries. At least our problems, we keep to ourselves.
  2. As in Marc’s post, having more work available, whether fulltime employed or DIY. Increasing confidence in the Philippines (regardless of what the US$ PhP rate is) leads to more
    opportunities, as people abroad are willing to send work to our country.
  3. For those who go abroad: for work (OFWs), or migration – many look at the Filipino Diaspora as a bad thing. I don’t. It’s spreading Pinoy Culture and making it more influential. It could be a reason for confidence in the Philippines. Now if only we could make Filipino food more popular -that’s another story!

More replies on the web: Aileen Apolo and Andrew de la Serna.

Six Quirks
May 22, 2007

I haven’t felt like blogging lately, so here’s a light post to satisfy being tagged by Karla and Rico.

  1. I have bipolar disorder. A lot of my quirks comes from that!
  2. I have short attention span in watching video, whether on TV or on the PC. Or movies. Unless it’s documentary, because…
  3. I’m not interested in fiction. I barely read or watch it. On the other hand, I am obsessed in learning facts and trivia. I started reading encyclopedia and news at a very young age. Thus, my addiction to Wikipedia.
  4. I like getting lost in new places and then finding my way. It helps that I like walking.
  5. I “eat like a girl,” so they say. I don’t like meat, steaks and the like. I like pasta, cake cookies and all kinds of sweets. Especially those with chocolate.
  6. I drink lots of water, alone. But I can eat a full meal without drinking anything. I can swallow up to 3 or so tablets or capsules of medicine standalone.

Now who to tag? I can’t think of anyone in particular… how about Pinoy Tech Scene folks? I see there are some new bloggers onboard. Introduce yourselves!

Problogging and Quitting your Job
May 12, 2007

Jayvee – one of the original Pinoy probloggers – asks bloggers if they can get time off from their job to attend a presscon.

My reply in his comments: No. This is conflict of interest with your day job. You can argue all day whether bloggers are media people or not, the fourth medium after print, radio and TV. But if you attend press events, then you’re not just a “‘writer” who writes about what you see and hear. Even if you can honestly say that you are writing without bias, still the direction of what you write about is shaped by the event.

So, quit your day job. Or work on something where you don’t have to commit your time.

The definition of “problogger” has been debated in the past, but I think it’s becoming clear to me. I posted earlier on why I’m not a problogger, but now I see it’s less about the money and more about the effort. If I put Adsense on this blog, earn from it, but continue to post like I do, I don’t think I’m a problogger.

Obviously, I’m not quitting my job. I came across Steve Pavlina’s 10 Reasons You Should Never Get A Job, thanks to Stellify. This guy has weird posts and many people in the blogosphere think so as well. But, it’s still food for thought.

While it’s not for me, or not for everyone, those who made the decision (or the leap!) should be commended. Like Marc Villanueva. For the rest of us, we need to balance our day-job career and our other activities like problogging and earning Adsense money on the side.

12 year old Pinoy starts a startup!
May 11, 2007

Luke Rivera, a 12 year old Pinoy in New Jersey, starts a startup! It’s called Switcheroony.

What’s Switcheroony about? Luke explains it.

I got to chat with his dad, my colleague in the old days. The dad invested the money but Luke did the work. No joking.

Now, where’s the next Pinoy startup in the Philippines?

Founders at Work
May 3, 2007

I finished reading Founders at Work. Very interesting. If you have built a startup (me), plan to (me again, in the future) or even if you are employed by one (me right now), you can relate.

Someone told me in reaction to Paul Graham’s Why to Not Not Start a Startup that one requirement missing was “passion close to absolute obsession.” Graham does have a chapter in Founders at Work. The other featured entrepreneurs have that passion, of course.

What can employees learn? The obvious thing is: work better and earn more, so you could go start up! Think how you can plan for your startup years in advance. What if you don’t want to? Then, how to get the startup attitude and apply it to your job. What if your job conspires against you to do that? Then perhaps the startup attitude is something you can apply to something else in your life.

What can managers learn? How to encourage their team to work like a startup. Of course, they can’t offer as much reward, and don’t put as much at risk. But even without the financial risks and rewards, startup thinking can lead to better performance. The challenge to the manager, management and the stakeholders is how to cultivate the environment that will drive that level of performance.