“Nothing is more creative… nor destructive… than a brilliant mind with a purpose.”

– Dan Brown, Inferno

Watched the movie today and it was nothing short of spectacular. Haven’t read the book so I was not really expecting anything… goes to show that watching the movie beats reading the book first.

The plot of inferno for me can be summarised into the following equation:
Genius + Billionaire + Creative Eccentric Radicalism = INFERNO.

If there’s one lesson, creative geniuses have in possession a gift that’s capable of changing the world. Add in the millions billions resources to make it happen and it will happen even though others fail to imagine it.

What appeals to me though is the intelligent play of events and the wonderful puzzles. And of course there’s the quotes. Other than the one I’ve already used for the title of this post, here’s two more for brain candy:

“When swimming into a dark tunnel, there arrives a point of no return when you no longer have enough breath to double back. Your choice is to swim forward into the unknown….and pray for an exit.” 

“The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It’s called Denial.”

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

And with this I have to agree with Benjamin Franklin.

It appears the Philippines has regulations on taxes that’s different from what I learned during the course of my MBA. Businesses have three basic types of taxes here:

  1. Value Added Tax – is a business tax imposed on and collected from the seller in the course of trade or business on the sale of properties, lease of goods or properties, or rendering of services. The business is charged the difference between the percentage tax on the gross sales amount and the percentage tax on Cost of Goods Sold/Costs incurred to deliver the service. Thus, this tax is directly proportional to the margin a business sets to make profit and is also an indirect form of tax that can be transferred to the buyer.
  2. Percentage Tax – is a business tax imposed on persons or entities whose gross annual sales or receipts do not exceed Php 1,500,000 and are not VAT-registered. You can look at this as the barrier to entry for small entrants, as they get taxed on the gross sales amount of their receipts (not their Net Income) and simply says they get taxed regardless of whether the business is earning or losing money.
  3. Excise Tax – apply to goods manufactured or produced in the Philippines for domestic sales or consumption, and is imposed in addition to the Value Added Tax.

Bottom-line: Tax rules are different for every location.


“Don’t be a turkey, try some free jerky.”

Interesting tidbit I got from the TV show ‘Crowd Control’ when it comes to persuasive selling.

They highlighted three different tactics:

  1. Reciprocity – doing something for others imply they need to do something in return. Highlight the word ‘FREE’ when giving out samples.
  2. Making the first move – there’s a higher likelihood of closing the sale when the salesperson does the first move.
  3. Fun with rhymes – people are more likely to process the message when it’s been broken down, and rhymes are a fun way to tap into that recognition process.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

We are privileged to live in age where we get to be at the forefront of all these advancements. While as an entrepreneur I see infinite possibilities, the bigger question is–how can we position ourselves to ride the wave of these developments?

And more so, are there other things we have yet to uncover?

Deep-dive: A (better) way to size a market


Prior to the Entrepreneurship class with Professor Newman, I found myself guilty (among with many others I’ve met) of taking shortcuts when it comes to Market Sizing. What I used to do is pull up a resource (like IBISWorld), or Google for an infographic that looks like the one above, and once I get the number on the revenue of the industry then I found my market size. Plain and simple.

If you don’t have anything else, having this means you’re already ahead of the pack. But why then would we need a better way?  Here are three reasons why:

  1. The number in the infographic represents what has historically been made, not the potential of what can be earned in the future.
  2. More often we also find projected growth rates, but still this information does not give us insights on whether the market is over or under-served.
  3. The revenue of the existing players does not necessarily imply there’s room for new entrants to take a piece of that pie.

So if this information doesn’t cut it, what else should we do?

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MBA. Now What?

Now that I have those three letters attached to my name… what’s next?

I got home a couple of weeks ago from my one year MBA program in Shanghai, China. While most of my peers had been celebrating the spectacular feat of having completed a very comprehensive program, I in turn had been so anxious about the life after–The New Normal.

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