How is the startup scene and community in the Philippines?

I spent June in the Philippines, working my ass off on my own startup. I also got the chance to learn much more about the startup scene in the Philippines. With that in mind, I thought it deserved a blog post.

Now, I was extremely lucky that David Margendorff from PawnHero and John Dang from Zipmatch wanted to chip in to give a more diverse view of how they see the startup community and scene. PawnHero and Zipmatch are established businesses in the Philippines, and they basically know everything there is to know about the scene.

Before we dig in, I think it’s important to provide some context. Not all readers are very familiar with the Philippines, and context matters, as it is an extremely exciting market worth exploring.

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Being sick as a digital nomad – when a disease hits you

Being a digital nomad is awesome most of the time. You get to see the world, work from different places, and meet a lot of new people. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it is a trend on the rise.

I like graphs, and in this post I’d like to introduce a graph which shows the way I see human emotion. It’s based on a simple fact: Sometimes we, as human beings, are happy and satisfied. Sometimes we’re sad and dissatisfied.

If we draw this graph for normal human beings, it should look something like a sine wave, going from “good to bad to good to bad to good”. Hopefully having more good than bad:

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Uber in Manila (Philippines) – how good is it?

I am a huge Uber fan and I use it everywhere I go. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by its service and quality. I have used Uber in Denmark, United States, Thailand and now the Philippines.

Now, the reason why I want to make this post, is because the Uber experience in the Philippines is very different than any other country.

There are some good, and some bad things about it.

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Self-improvement can be very difficult – also when travelling

While I am travelling the world as a digital nomad, I am also trying to improve myself. This is something I’ve done since I made a lot of ridiculously ambitious goals when I was 18 years old.

Now, improving yourself is fucking difficult. You set a goal, lets say loose 10 kgs, and you’re super determined. Well. Until you get caught up, and is having food-sex with that amazing Ben & Jerries ice cream. That’s life, and it happens to anyone. However, luckily enough, sometimes we manage to break our patterns and thereby changing our actions until they become habits.

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How different countries affect you emotionally and mentally – and a self-improvement followup

Today I learned something new.

I have traveled a lot before. I’ve spent months travelling. I have lived in Hong Kong for 3 months, before spending 3 months in Manila. I would say I am quite a seasoned traveler and know my way around. Yet, I still learned something critical after arriving in Hong Kong yesterday.

In order to explain better, let me explain a bit about myself:
I see myself as a “high performer”. I don’t try to be Elon Musk and work myself tirelessly 20 hours a day to save the planet (even though I probably should… later in life), but I do try to get the most out of life.

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Review of Amazon Machine learning – first experience with machine learning

 

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering from the best technical university in Denmark. I have a Master’s Degree in Business.

I see myself as quite a technical person. My job is to make sure that the developers in my company make great code, and that we pick the right architectural decisions. We do a good job, and our customers seem to love us (well, they keep buying stuff!).

But I am a business guy. From a business perspective, I am totally hyped about machine learning and artificial intelligence (which for some reason is the same in my mind – well, let us say – was). I believe it’s the future, and I totally want to build the next “machine-learning”-applied product that will conquer the world.

But I have no experience with machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning or any of the other fancy words I’ve read.

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Today’s startups should seek to change the physical world

Uber. Airbnb. Tesla. Xiaomi. SpaceX.

We hear about these tech “unicorns” all the time: Uber, the 40 million USD transport company, without owning any taxis. Airbnb the biggest hotelier, without owning any hotels.

It’s easy to get caught up in a discussion about their value, and how awesome they are.

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Personal reflections: Avoid decisions and default to mastery

I believe that a human being can only handle so many decisions in a day. I am very inspired by the actions of personalities like Barack Obama, who doesn’t make decisions about clothes (apparently he only owns 2 type of suits), food (every meal is made for him) or anything practical of the sort.

The thing is, decision-making comes down to a range of parameters such as emotional state, willpower and focus at the given time. This ultimately leads to bad, unhealthy, unproductive and regrettable decisions.

That’s why I want to make an attempt to avoid as many decisions as possible, and then default to “mastery”.

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Review of co-working spaces HUBBA (Bangkok) and Punspace (Chiang Mai)

I’ve now been living outside Denmark for nearly two weeks. To me having a great space to work is essential, as I am an entrepreneur doing a lot of stuff online.

As I’ve started in Thailand, I’ve had the experience of working in three different locations:

  • HUBBA, Bangkok (a co-working space in Bangkok city)
  • The two Punspace offices in Chiang Mai (also a co-working space)

I thought I’d give a quick review for anyone interesting in that matter.

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What is the most powerful technology of 2015?

It’s funny. When you look at popular tech media or tweets from important tech people, you’ll find a lot of hype about:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Autonomous cars
  • Virtual reality
  • Stem cells
  • Cancer treatments
  • 3D printers
  • Quantum computers
  • Drones
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Nanotechnology
  • DNA sequencing
  • Personalized medicine

I am just as hyped about these technologies as everyone else.

I totally believe in strong artificial intelligence, being driven to the office in a robot car (or just going there in virtual reality). I also believe in defying death, and that should be one of the most important goals of humanity.

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