Meeting an Angel Today.

Today, I met online an angel, an angel investor to be precise. The meeting was mostly me doing the pitching and them listening and asking questions here and there. It was my first time to do this kind of thing. It was my baptism of fire

Good thing, I was able to make and revise our pitch deck the night before and so it was what I shared to them while I was presenting. They were 2 guys — one from Japan and the other was, I believe, listening from Australia.

The funny thing was, the first guy was having his poker face all throughout and I don’t have any slightest clue if I was able to deliver my message across as I meant it. No. Clue. At. All. Right after my presentation and after the questions have been answered, he just told me that he’ll send and email about it, then hung up. That’s it.

I was literally stunned at my place. It happened so fast, I don’t even know how to react. I wasn’t even asked to ask. So, my first experience talking to an angel investor was something to write about — thus, here I am.

I shall write again if I were successful or not. For now, lets keep it at that.


Before I Go to Sleep

Chronicles of a Startup Founder (part 1)

I still think that I’ve made the right decision to quit my day job at some tech company working with a Project Manager (this link here says a lot about hiring someone who is not a cultural fit)who disrupts your work more than I can ever tolerate. Yeah, I think I did the right decision. It was a big push for me to really move with my ever procrastinated idea of really doing my startup idea.

However, it came with a heavy price tag. All of my savings got burnt already. 6 months and I’m living off my parent’s gracefulness. Aside from that, I am working almost double (at some days) than the rate I was doing back when I was with my last corporate job. Nevertheless, I love it. I love thinking. I love flowing with ideas. I love working to solve gut problems — and not office problems and not those mindless clutters of senseless debates and power struggles of office politicians.

With the startup, I have a sense of direction. I have a sense of personal mission. I have a clear vision. It’s amazing how one can just go on and on working on what they are passionate about. It really frees you up. This is freedom from BS (sorry I don’t have any better word to describe it). It’s that bad. It’s worse getting stuck with people who play on people’s trust.

Moving on.

The journey so far is sweet and mostly encouraging. I just feel that we can move faster than our current rate. I feel that I have an amazing team and we can all execute our responsibilities well. It’s tiring to be honest. But in my 10 years working for different people, different company cultures, and different technologies. It’s only now, I felt the real need to just happily learn. And, constantly remind yourself to focus on the main thing. I saw the movie Limitless starred by Bradley Cooper and wished there’s something like that. I think I can finish up more work — excellently. Oh well.

Maybe I am just getting impatient to have our product shipped. Maybe, I am just anxious how we can get more customers to try our service out. Maybe, I am just so deeply into this that I can’t wait for this to grow.

Or maybe, I just need to sleep now. I think so.

Day 60. Is it?

Identity Displacement in the Family

Identity Displacement in the Family
Should children be expected to be breadwinners in the family?
by Omar Cruz

At a young age, I was exposed to the realities of life – that some were born less fortunate than others. I saw little kids at the streets fending off for themselves and for their families. They were selling various items to the passing motorists hoping to make a sale enough for their daily needs. I remember my dad kept saying to us that we need to study hard so as to be successful in our lives, and eventually for us to be able to provide enough for our family when the time comes. He warned us that if we didn’t study or made sacrifices for our exams and all, we might end up like those on the streets. And he said it with a commanding fatherly voice to believe him. He said that we don’t want to see our family suffer later on. Those words made such an impact in my life that probably kept me from really ruining my life, even when I was at my rebellious point of my life.

Now, that I am old enough to have my own family, I am thankful for my dad’s wisdom. I never really understood it back then but now, it makes sense. The decisions I made in my life basically revolved with that fear of not being able to provide because I didn’t do well or at least enough. It was never really a pressure from my family that I felt I have to do this and do that. I didn’t really feel I was being ordered to by my parents. No. The pressure came from within. But at the time, I was like, “what are you trying to say dad? And why are you being too hard on us?” But as I look back at it, I guess my dad was being himself to us. He meant well, he just delivered it differently.

But the real question is, should parents expect their kids to help out in supporting the family? As a true blooded Philippine born Filipino that I am, I think it’s alright. Our ties with family members go beyond anything else. There’s an old saying that says “Blood is thicker than water”. Filipinos have that strong family ties. You can still see a 40 year old man living with his parents! And sometimes parents tolerate their kids on living sinful lives because they’re their children! Yes, it is being taken out of context most of the time. However, my dad was very clear that he won’t lift a finger if we become a disgrace and would let the axe of justice fall to where it would hit. He was clear about the law. Anyway, that’s a totally different topic.

Going back, I believe that it is OK to expect your children to help out and contribute in the family. As a son, I believe that helping out in the family is one of the greatest things you can do to somehow appreciate all the things my parents did not just for me, but to the whole family. It’s a way of showing gratitude that they brought me up well and provided me with all the things I need. I know that I can never ever repay them in full, never. But helping out is a way to show respect and honor to my parents whom God chose for me to have.

But what is a breadwinner really? According to the dictionary, it’s a person who earns a livelihood for the family or dependents. Having established that context, should children be expected to earn livelihood for the family? I believe the answer is no. It’s like taking away your children’s dreams for themselves. It’s like robbing them of their own life. It would be unfair to expect your kid to be the provider for the whole family.

However, sometimes circumstances dictate the roles one has to play. There’s the single mom. There’s the single dad. There’s the “parent” sister or brother in a family. For some reason, that’s just life and we have to deal with it. I am aware that, for sure, there are children out there who are being forced to take on the role of being the breadwinner of the family. It must be tough to support for a family when at the back of your mind, you can use the money for your own personal interests.

So what about those who volunteer to help out, you might ask? There are cases wherein circumstances are forcing every member of the family to work in order to make ends meet. In that case, everyone must become breadwinners. But what does the bible says about being a so called “breadwinner”? Paul wrote an interesting letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:6-20). As I reflect on Paul’s letter with being a breadwinner, is about being a breadwinner in the eyes of God. In line with that, one of my favorite passages in the bible says it in MT 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. Everything sums up to that. Because when you follow God, everything just falls into their proper places. Amazing!

Originally written back in 2010.

Polytron Technologies’ Smart Privacy Glass

Polytron Technologies, Inc. is a leading electronic and optical vision glass/film supplier worldwide. Polytron supplies many creative and unique electronic and optical vision glass/film products to designers, high-end home/office decorating companies, and furniture manufacturers…etc. We are dedicated to supplying our designing/manufacturing clients brand-new and unique product materials that will exceed their expectations. Our product lines are quite versatile, thus compatible with all sorts of design concepts. Polytron is a specialty, architectural glass company, supplying high quality PolyvisionTM Privacy Glass (switchable glass, PolyvisionTM Film), POLYMAGICTM LED Glass (LED glass, LED film), PolyholoTM Glass (holographic glass, PolyholoTM film), PolyflushTM Glass (PolyflushTM Film), PolyGlowTM Glass (PolyGlowTM Film) PolyscreenTM Glass (PolyscreenTM films), PolydigitTM display Glass (dot to dot LED technology) and PolytouchTM (optical multi touch screen). Located in Taiwan, Polytron Technologies, Inc. is committed to offering the best products at competitive prices to all customers in the international community. Polytron Technologies, Inc. is a subsidiary of Polytronix, Inc., an American company that provides the patent product PolyvisionTM Privacy Film to the Taiwan operation and Polytron also has a branch company- Polytron Technologies (Xiamen) Co,.LTD locate in China Xiamen to service China customers. This combination of companies is ready to meet customer needs for new choices of architectural and decorative materials for the world marketplace. Our skilled research and design teams utilize the highest quality raw materials to provide our customers with new application perspectives to compliment their particular skills and creations. Polytron Technologies, Inc. is focused on keeping our technology in the forefront and our quality at the highest level, designing new products and creating new forms of material in order to deliver the best products to our clients.

Polytron is one the business I’m working on. The setup is a Sales and Marketing business here in the Philippines for Polytron Technologies Inc. in Taiwan. I can say that finding clients is quite hard with this niche products as most developers are not yet into this type of glass technology and would rather get blinds for the price. I hope there would be some big break before the year ends.  If you’re interested you can reach us at this email addy:

Thank you!

On Making My Passion Count.

Raining. Back aching. 3 hour sleep. Still working. It’s been a few months since I resigned from my corporate job and focus on what I believed I needed to do. It’s been months since I received a salary and now, my savings are gone. Wiped out. Hey, I need to feed my family and pay the bills. It’s not easy when you go to that point where there’s nothing left. And the business you’re trying to put up is still far from where you envisioned it to be.

A lot of things happened and a lot of delays. But I can say that it’s all worth it.

Without my parents and my sister’s financial backing, I would have been dead by now. Seriously. I really appreciate them to bits. I am thanking the Lord for them and for this wonderful time of humbling. There are so much learning and application that this phase gave me the opportunity to experience. I can’t wait for what’s next.

I appreciate also my wife who was very patient with me and with all the shortcomings that I had. I’m still blessed. I appreciate how she does the thinking for me when I’m totally helpless already. Yeah, there are quite a lot of instances when I was really out of gas. She was the one who provided the extension. Thank you.

So, this application, service, product that I’m working on is somewhat the totality of the journey I have so far. It’s really tough to find people to join your team. Tougher when it’s going to be with little salary. It’s also tough to find investors who’d trust you enough to put money in your cause. It’s also tougher when you see competitors popping up here and there. I remind myself, I don’t have control over them. What I do have control is myself – the things I will do; the things I will decide on; the things I will invest my time and (little) money on. And that’s where I should focus on. The rest, I live it up to the Lord in prayer.

to a higher perspective

Success for me is not accumulation of money. Success for me is the everyday step towards your goal. It’s that progress on the daily basis. It’s that journey from one point to another. Money is just a by-product. More importantly, success is reaching your God-given purpose. Using your given abilities and sharpening your skills for that. All for the glory of God.

This season of pruning, hardship, and pain taught me a lot about faith. The hardships brought what I’m really made of and how lacking I am without Him. So, in every step of the way, I know this is with Him. And that, I know I am safe. I am secured.

Stress and Selfishness

Philippians 2:3, 14-15 NLT

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.

Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

What a reminder and a rebuke for me. Since the time my folks went to visit and are staying with us, stress has been mounting atop our already stressful situation. Almost constant little things that keeps on piling up eventually will get you – and it did.

Now, my wife and I are sleeping less and skirmishes are frequent over little things. Patience has been running thin. With so many reasons that brush us off, stress is just hard to manage and we’re very close to blow off our steam at each other. Pressures on all sides are squeezing dry our being nice, accomodating, and considerate.

Yet we are reminded not to be selfish and to be humble. To put others above our own interests.. I am thankful that God is the main thing in our all. He is the source of our strength. He is our hope.

Thank you Lord Jesus. I know I am selfish beyond what I can admit. I know I get stressed out easily than most people. But because of you, I am able. Because of you, I am renewed.

Personal Growth

As I have an opportunity to spend some time to myself, I ought to revisit some of the books I used to read a lot. These books are mostly about business, leadership, management and the likes. I guess one of the reasons that I did is because I felt that in those years that had passed, it seems little progress was made. Ouch! 

Anyway, it’s good to acknowledge and be able to assess the reality of the situation to be able to make adjustments right? One of the books I read and reading again is John Maxwell’s book titled “You Road map for Success”. I have read this book when back in 2004. Yeah, about 10 years ago. I saw the notes I wrote on it, the underlines/highlights I made, and reminded of what I was like back then – full of dreams.

Now, 10 years older, I still am full of dreams but I don’t think I achieved that much since. I won’t focus much on why but I will focus on what I can do to really make an impact first, to my personal growth in the sense of success.

I read that “complacency kills growth“. I think after a few years of my professional life, I kind of settled to pursue the wrong things which at that time I thought was right. I tried to short circuit and fast track my promotion, gave in to the temptation of higher paying jobs but to the detrimental of my character growth, and basically spread myself too thin with so many things. Now, I think I’ve learned hard and will be more cautious, focused, and prayerful. :) 

On the book, it was mentioned that environment plays a lot in one’s growth. So in order for anyone to grow, a growth environment must be in place or created.  Here are the things listed that a growth environment looks like:

1. Others are ahead of you – When you surround yourself with people from whom you can learn – instead of just people who are learning from you – you are more likely to grow.

2. You are still challenged –  Complacency kills growth

3. Your focus is forward – If you’re thinking more about the past than the future, your growth has probably stopped.

4. The atmosphere is affirming – Industrialist Charles Schwab said, “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not bother do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.” The same is true not only of work but also of growth.

5. You are out of your comfort zone – Growth requires risk. Ronald E. Osborne stated, “Unless you do something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you will never grow.”

6. Others are growing – When it comes to growth, it’s better to swim in a school than try to do everything your own. 

7. There is willingness to change – Clayton G. Orcutt declared, “Change itself is not progress, but change is the price that we pay for progress.” If everyone in your current situation isn’t willing to pay that price, growth will be especially difficult. 

8. Growth is modeled and expected – In the best possible environment, growth is not only allowed, but leaders model it and expect it from everyone. And when that happens, everyone’s potential is off the charts.