Open source tech from overseas make it possible for tech startups in the Philippines to create market innovation out of thin air.
Market innovation for potential local demand makes the tech startups products mere “reinvention of the wheel” or local versions of global tech products from Silicon Valley or NYC.
Is sound innovation really possible without funding feasibility studies and market research? Is sober innovation even possible without linking with local Science & Technology research and development to meet the needs and address the backlogs of a pre-industrial economy of the Philippines?
All these tedious requirements, those touristic investors are not likely to fund. After all, they are not the development sector lending a hand to alleviate the Global South. Venture capitalism is the new form of casino capitalism after the speculations on global financial markets have died. For good.
This is why the whole throng of hedge fund managers and financial market advisors are now in bed with UNEP. Which translates as catastrophe bonds and climate bonds as sound business to grow money by aiding the ailing, natural disaster-prone Global South. The Natural Capital project, ring a bell?
As for the tech products that have potential for a global demand like ayannah.com and care.com, it would prove promising. After all, Philippines economy is made on the backbone of its overseas contract workers. Don’t. You. Ever. Forget. That.
Overseas contract workers is the old economy that feeds Philippines to keep its once-daily meal allowance for its basic survival.
BPO workers are not the new laborers of the knowledge economy. BPO, you might find it surprising, still belongs to the old economy of global expansion of markets. BPO workers in the Philippines are the new Overseas Filipino Workers in the form of tele-commute work.
So, what do these analog managers make of tech startup entrepreneurs? They are in fact the new laborers of the knowledge economy. Market innovations funding is still costly if deployed in the First World. This is the reason why they are eyeing Asia as the emerging market. F>!
Why can’t these technopreneur magazines just say it as it is. Touristic investors are eyeing Asia because of its burgeoning free and captive labor force of knowledge workers ready to spread their legs and service them idea innovations, trademarks and patents.
Half a million Philippine pesos as accelerator funding?! Why should we even bother starting anything. So fucking cheap prize it’s almost an insult to computer professionals! What it means to become a technopreneur is to be on a perpetual treadmill of brainstorming, conceptualizing, mapping, designing, testing, analyzing…. And they all do it without pay because…. Elimination Round.
That’s why in the Philippines, only the young and the rich can afford to become technopreneurs. It’s a lot of intensive brainwork WITHOUT PAY, then if you lose you’ll get nothing! For those finalists, they get PhP50,000 plus free mentoring. Mentoring for three months, live in. Then, they will get to final selection for accelerator funding where they have the chance of winning PhP500,000. This fund would have to be stretched for the next 6 months, divided among the two or three person team. This is insane. Don’t they know the meaning of web mobile app development? It’s real time development. Ideally, it is like working as financial analyst, analyzing in real time traffic, heat maps etc, and for coders, constantly testing then thinking of how to shorten the code lines then writing it again then testing… Bottom line, it is process innovation in real-time, everyday. That is why it is knowledge-intensive. They don’t wait for weekly reports like in assembly line production quota, developers apply process innovation in real-time. Developers are the laborers of the Knowledge economy.
For the accelerator winners, they would have to do brainwork while worrying about whether or not they are gonna get funded for the next 6 months. This is ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be more sustainable if they could get PhP5 million funding in escrow, then for every milestone they achieved after months, the funding in escrow would be released to them? It is the peace of mind while doing brainwork that a PhP5 million escrow funding would provide. Can you imagine waking up and working thinking about whether your team is going to fold up or not. But I guess this same plight applies to all knowledge workers in other fields like the natural and social sciences and humanities. The endless treadmill of project proposal writing, grants application, waiting, liquidating expenses, then applying for grants again, does that ring a bell? Maybe I’m being a brat. Maybe this is the norm.
So, why would developers do the brainwork for free? It is because they have this motivation to offer solution for social change in their country and because the market is such a frontier of exciting possibilities. Like writers, designers, artists, I think developers have the same momentum and urge for creating perfection from scratch. Large BPOs can’t offer them that playing field of creating from scratch to implementing a systems perfection. They want to create change in the physical reality by innovating a digital product hence a mobile app.
And now, because of this innate aspirations, they are doing brainwork for free because of technopreneurship gospel.
I hope someone from the local academe would be able to articulate the nature and characteristics of knowledge workers. I’m waiting for that moment…. Bleh…. Are they all stuck in old economy zeitgeist?
Governments can’t help being stupid. Dutch disease inherited from the Spaniard colonizers. Foreign debt servicing. No S&T funding. No R&D funding. GAA funds disappearing into thin air.
Large companies in the Philippines grow not because of market expansions. They grow by captive market acquisitions of water, health, telecom, education, utility power, social services through incompetent government-greedy corporation connivance, otherwise known as Public-Private Partnerships.
Tanga na lng ang magsasabi na OA ako, d ba. Ang nde na lng worried ung walang alam sa mundo, hmm like most of feeling middle class Pinoys. Ano na gagawin natin sa walang makaen at mainom mahal na lahat dahil pRivatized na. Punyeta, walang makaen sa probinsya, walang makaen sa syudad. Tao na lng ang kainin kasi yun lang ang marami. Zombie apocalypse nga e.
PPP are being justified as the only choice because governments can’t help being stupid. Not to mention corrupt. And then private banks lending infrastructure development in exchange for acquiring social services would blame this on the host country that civic community governance is the issue why PPPs are not as functional as it should be. Well…. F**^%}>^ If they already fucking know that there is a remote possibility that our governments are corrupt and selling its citizens short, then why the hell would they fucking do business with our govt and initiate contracts. F#^»>€ double-speak. They should be shot dead by Somalis.
Ok… Enough of that angry rant. Going back to technopreneurships.
Technopreneurships are the disruptive form of engagement for top talents in the Global South, since governments don’t support them, they figured they have no choice but to innovate and have their knowledge products be acquired through buyouts. If this condition would persist, users data gathered will never or may not become open access. As you can see, app users are the new natural resource to be harvested by the new laborers called technopreneurs. Technopreneurs transform data into sensible information or raw material to be used by whom? They can use this sensible information as leads for another mobile app or web service products or they can sell the information to Anyone who can pay, I guess.
The bigger picture of the knowledge ecosystem, ideally, necessitates open access for everyone to survive including competitors and rivals.
But see it this way, one can readily spot an analog mind when ask about competition and rivalry. Analog minds still believe and are faithful to healthy competition and rivalry for the industry to develop. This is obsolete.
An ideal and egalitarian, post-industrial Knowledge economy will not survive without open access and cooperation. If you are truly a genuine digital person, you would know that reinventing the wheel is the first mistake that you would try never to commit.
To not commit reinventing the wheel is to have data. We don’t have data in the Philippines. This makes most tech startup products mere college project assignments since no sound feasibility and viability where being conducted. And these are the products that touristic investors are willing to risk their money for. Because they don’t know any better.
It is not unlike hybrid insurance products with financial investment product add-ins, their captive market is the old people without health care benefits in the USA, and this is exactly why Philippines is also a captive market because we do not have a decent health care and insurance benefits program from the government. This is the reason why my own mother and sister succumbed to this so-called investments. And again, they will avail of these products because our country sucks and they don’t know any better.
I don’t want to sound all gloom and doom but this is the reality. I just want you to know what’s the real deal behind all this startup accelerator gospel I wanna change the world hype. By all means every smart person should grab the opportunity for startup funding because it builds reputation and opens doors to exciting worlds. Let them fund your idea by all means, get in the game. They have the money to burn, so burn it wisely.
Smart and talented people should join startup competitions and win. But if you don’t and you think you are charismatic and good-looking enough, well why not join Starstruck. Popular culture media will always have cash to burn for star quality, do-gooders like us.
In the meantime, I will have to register patent and trademark for a mermaid fitness program that I designed and earn pocket money by decorating hipster shirts with NIRVANA logo juxtaposed with Aaron Swartz face.