This my contribution during a discussion why there aren’t many entrepreneurial successes in the Philippines. Yes, there are many successful businesses in the Philippines but we don’t have stories that took over the world. Or, we don’t know about them. When I told friends about Winston Damarillo, Dado Banatao, and Peter Valdez, they all say who?
I don’t blame them. Every time law students take their bar exam, the media is all over them covering even the review sessions. When the topnotchers are announced, it becomes a headline on the front page. In contrast, engineering board exams is a tiny story next to the obituary. While the geeks have become the richest people in the world, engineers are still not regarded as high as we do with lawyers, politicians, and celebrity personalities. (Aren’t these 3 groups related?) When I emailed friends that I had a chance to chat with Winston over lunch, there was no reaction. But when I said that Imee Marcos was also with us discussing the Free/Open-Source bill, the first reaction was “cool, lunch with congressmen”.
Many Filipinos believe that success can only happen if you are in a better country like US, Canada or Australia. Of course, the government’s high-profile never-ending corruption cases and political charades only reinforces this mindset. The good news is that there are people working to nurture and support high-tech business in the country. Some of them are working on local market while others have their eyes on the world.
On a related note, Forbes have a series of articles on opportunity with a take on the American dream.
On one very important measure, America offers less opportunity than almost any other rich country. The real lands of opportunity are places like Canada, Finland and especially Denmark.
— Getting To The Starting Line
Who cares about success rates? Americans feed on success stories, from Horatio Alger to Rachael Ray.
— Be All That You Can Be–And Hurry Up About It!
If wealth and poverty are the result of nothing more than our thoughts, should we blame those poor starving Zimbabweans for being just a bunch of pessimistic sourpusses?
— The Real Secret