Startups in the Philippines
Why write yet another book on startups —And why specifically startups in the Philippines?
There's a thesis among business circles that government contributions to the advancement of society will be overshadowed by the private sectors' going forward; particularly overshadowed by a subset of the private sector: startup businesses. These businesses will contribute the lion's share of this effort to advance humanity toward such hypothesized events as the singularity.
Scores of anecdotes and data have been published presumably attesting to the significance of startups, and startup businesses' growing impact on economics, socioeconomics, and politics throughout the world. In domestic economics, job creation reports make for oft referenced data sets that presumably point to the significance that startups have had (lagging indicator). In global economics and international game theory, we see that centers of financial value creation, such as the Silicon Valley in the United States, impact the way international state actors behave among each other. In the case of the States, how its relations differ with Ireland (tax implications) and China (hardware, electronics manufacturing). Again, anecdotes and data providing glimpses to a prospective trajectory of startups' impact and significance in the world will be peppered throughout the discussion of this book.
And then, why the Philippines? Why specifically target startups in the Philippines as a subject to investigate at depth? Why is this a worthwhile line to pursue?
Superficially, the Philippines is attractive for its international entanglement in the world's economy. The country may not have the windfall effects that China carries when its central bank passes guidance memos, but the country's history and hard lessons learned with regards to human capital, and the reach of this human capital, is somehow latent or neglected but ubiquitous. The country's history of capital flight during martial law is a well studied economic and socioeconomic area. In the past 10 years, human capital flow back to the country, in the way of sunsetting c-level professionals in various fields, technical specialists (medical doctors, engineers, etc.) are returning to the Philippines to retire, to maximize the purchasing power of their fixed income, and secondarily, to "give back" and/or be closer to relatives and other Filipinos. Human capital is also flowing back to the Philippines in the way of 30-something professionals; young professionals that have graduated from blue chip corporations of the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook, with the aim of having access to a more dynamic range of resources than would otherwise be available to them in the United States, the United Kingdom, etc.
These capital flows persist, bi-directionally, while the country boasts of being the offshoring, outsourcing capital of the world, having eclipsed even India—a feat, considering India's population outnumbers the Philippines in gross population by a factor of 10. Dozens of Fortune 500 companies including JPMorgan Chase and other American conglomerates in the banking and financial services sector have long called the Philippines its second home; domiciling tens of thousands of employees at BPO offices in major metro areas in the Philippines—and now, fledgling targeted "economic zones" (incentivized for development), such as Davao City in the province of Mindanao. Call it "digital human capital flow"— The minds of the Filipinos are utilized without them having to leave their motherland.
Still, human capital flow in the way of overseas foreign workers (OFWs) persist, with the amounts that these workers remit to the Philippines growing year over year, contributing significant double digit portions to the country's tabulated GDP.
The operational effect of the flow of this human capital in all directions is that the Philippines, for its meager size and position on the international stage, is that the country has tremendous social networking reach. In every sector imaginable, from rural agriculture in Africa to family office private banking clubs in the Netherlands, the Filipino is somehow ubiquitous, if not latently so or neglected.
And so, the direction of the discussion of this book— I gather, to date— will trend toward the thesis that the Philippines' success in the BPO industry will continue to evolve to a point where the country itself transitions from one that merely supports the world's greatest products and services, to one that creates the world's greatest products and services itself.— Home to the next Google (of recent decade); the next Microsoft (of recent quarter century); and perhaps the next General Electric.
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We'll launch off material that's been published elsewhere on this; it's a well-discussed topic. Just serves as a refresher and sets the rest of the book up.
Survey of the Global Startup Ecosystem
Then, still working on that "cumulative learning," assembling the reader's toolkit for making good use of the rest of the book.
Tying "startup" and the Philippines together.
Let's synthesize what was touched upon in the sections of the book on the definition of a startup (as opposed to a regular, old "new business") and the state of the global startup ecosystem.
In the vein of the "Dummies Guide to—" franchise, this section will survey the basics, often from the top, down.