Friday, October 3, 2014

Last year, I set a goal for myself. 

"Do something great before I turn 20."
 It was a very vague goal, with no measurements or events that would let me know if I've definitively achieved it, just "something great". I found out a few month later, however, that setting a goal so figuratively wasn't the best practice one should use but i decided to run with the idea and, with or without me knowing, the decisions I made from then on would lead me to achieving this goal a year early, at least in my standards.

ashley uy
Ideaspace #Technopreneur Bootcamp Bohol 2014

Just recently I had had the privilege to once again work with the wonderful startup community that led me to this path. Our friends at Ideaspace, after witnessing the success of Startup Weekend Bohol, wanted to hold Bohol's first Ideaspace #Technopreneur Bootcamp. Naturally, the local tech community and organizers of Startup Weekend Bohol (i.e. the TechTalks Tagbilaran community) were contacted and tasked to be field organizers and prepare the group before Ideaspace arrived from other engagements.

Meeting New Friends

Much like our experience in organizing SWB, there was a deep low on the number of participants. Working with my friends in TTTagbilaran was clear as a whistle as everyone had the right connections and drive to push through all the technicalities and logistics needed for the event. Giving it our all, we only managed to get 15 to 20 pre-event submissions. 

Ideaspace arrived, the venue was set for an assumed 115 participants and the TechTalks Tagbilaran team were internally screaming. But lo and behold, 135 participants showed upa nd idea submissions bamfed up to 41 before the mentor's Cafe started, which immensely delighted our friends from Ideaspace. "You seemed like you weren't worried at all! You were so relaxed!" One organizer said to us, core organizers, referring to our mental and emotional state a day and a few hours before the event started when things looked grim. We awkwardly laughed and replied "It's because we couldn't do anything more to make the situation any better."

Startup Weekend Bohol 2014

The situation was just as grim in before Startup Weekend Bohol opened a few months ago with a high number of "free" participants and a low number of "participants who would pitch". Mentors and Judges, both local and international, were there at the opening night looking forward to hearing Bohol's bright ideas while the organizers and I looked at each other in the sidelines with weary eyes about the number of people we expected to actually go up front. Much of our efforts in pre-event bootcamp sessions were, although fun, only attended by a handful of people. We thought the event would be a bust since nobody had an idea to share but the people of Bohol thought otherwise. One stood and pitched, then a group of two then a third and the next thing I knew half of the seats were empty because everyone wanted to stand up and share!

My first ever Press Conference

So much to say, the experience of going out there and engaging with the local community opened my eyes and taught me many lessons. To never underestimate the ability of people and to never ever give up when a challenge has been put in front of you.

ashley uy
Hanging with the big leagues

Being able to organize two such prestigious events was such a mind-blowing thought to me when I realized I had actually reached my goal. Hopefully, I am proven wrong and another bigger chance for me to "do something great" presents itself in the following five months but basking in the afterglow which was the Symph experience, I just wanted to look back at the things I was able to do in just a year following my decision to make myself better and man did I do a lot.

Chilling at Geeks On A Beach 2

One of which "lot of activities" I got to do was attend my first ever Geeks On A Beach at Mactan, Cebu. I met new friends and reconnected with old ones and once again learned so much that my experience at GOAB2 deserves a separate post on its own.

All the reflection and self-praise aside, being exposed to these events and communities of such crazy and passionate people, you get to look deep into yourself and makes you think about what part you play in all of it. Saying that, I think it's time to set another goal for myself, with output i can actually measure this time so I can't cheat.

"Symph has to be a purely startup driven/developing company before I turn 23. By then, I also have to be an expert at Rapid Prototyping and reliable at Growth Hacking. " 
And when I say "purely startup driven", I mean "purely startup driven". No client projects, no odd jobs, just purely the team around a table working together to solve the world's problems.

That was quite an intimidating dream actually and I'm very tempted to change it, but setting such a high standard for myself will only benefit me in the end, I think. "It won't be too bad, I hope", says the idealist me as I type this last sentence sealing my fate to this three-year commitment.


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