Technology

Gian Javelona: The Pinoy ‘Steve Jobs’

Posted on Updated on

Gian Javelona is the kind of person who would reach for the stars. In a recent interview with Rappler’s Ezra Ferraz, he confided, “When I was a student, I always dreamed of having a company. I wanted to build something that any person could use and a product that could change people’s lives. I remember my classmates were laughing at me when I told them that one day I would have a company that will beat Apple, and that I will name it OrangeApps.” We can imagine who is laughing now, but Gian is modest about his success.

Gian Javelona is only 20 years old, and he is now the CEO of of his own company, OrangeApps. How that happened is based on several factors. In the first place, Gian has never given up on his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. He has always dreamed of having his own company even when he was still a student. One plan has remained on his mind: To build something that any person could use and change people’s lives.

To be a successful entrepreneur, Gian knows that you have to surround yourself with other people driven to succeed. A person can learn from them by absorbing their knowledge and ideas. The young CEO also has an attitude of confidence and resourcefulness. He has never allowed other people’s suspicions to get him down. This outlook helped him find the right people for his company. People have asked, “How can a 20-year old CEO successfully run a company?” He knows this is how many people think but he chose to ignore naysayers.

Building the company from scratch can be overwhelming. Javelona knows that there are issues he has to deal with. He confesses that building his OrangeApps team was the most difficult experience he has ever had. It’s not just because people looking down on his age, but there are other matters at hand. For one, it is hard to get people to join a very young company. It is another challenge to convince them when he can’t even assure them of a regular salary. For so many people, it is too risky to join a company that nobody has heard of.

Despite these circumstances, Javelona found inspiration in the story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Gian claims to have watched the biopic ‘The Social Network’ ten times, and he identifies with what Zuckerberg went through during the early days of  Facebook. Coincidentally, both Gian and his idol Zuckerberg started out by breaking rules. Zuckerberg built Facemash, precursor to Facebook, by taking the photos from Harvard’s website without permission. Gian created and released his first mobile app, a PUP-based mobile portal that accesses public information on the university’s website, without notifying PUP.

The school authorities told him to shut it down because security issues started cropping up. This did not discourage Gian. It just made him more determined as he fixed the app in one month. He tried once more by doing a relaunch. The app was an instant hit with  PUP students in just three days. The users grew to around 2,000 active users out of a school population of 70,000 from over 20 campuses. He shares, “The President of PUP called and asked me to present the platform. Sometimes, you need to break some rules to make big things happen.”

In spite of this success, some people still question his capability to run a company at a young age. He responded by building the company “like someone would build a family – you have to make sure there is chemistry.” He picked people whose way of thinking is out of the box, like he is. He also chose those he knows he could work well with.

When asked how a person can unlock his or her true potential, Gian thinks it has something to do with the Philippine educational system. The country’s institutions of learning still have a long way to go to match its global counterparts. What it is doing now, according to Javelona, is to force students towards a job marketplace where being employed relies on skills that constantly change every year.

This is why Gian’s biggest advocacy is youth entrepreneurship. He is constantly invited to speak to young people in symposiums and seminars. Javelona believes young people should consider becoming entrepreneurs. On this, he thinks that education is the main problem. Our educational system molds students to be employees and not employers. He emphasizes, “If you ask a student today, what they want to do after graduation, most will say that they want to work for a big, local company or go abroad and earn big money.”

Last year, Gian was accepted to Ideaspace Foundation’s incubation program for young entrepreneurs. He remembers a funny moment when he is presenting his ideas to Coach Chot Reyes and Manny V. Pangilinan, and he was just wearing a regular shirt. He admits not knowing that he needs to have financial projections and a business model. “I didn’t even understand what those words meant back then,” he says good-humoredly. Even so, Javelona’s time at Ideaspace was life-changing. He actually recommends the incubation route for those who want to build a startup, but have no idea how, for as long as they are determined to see their business ideas come to life.

The people at Ideaspace assisted the young entrepreneur in terms of incorporation, financial projections, valuations, and marketing. Gian says, “Through them, you will meet the best people in the industry, including entrepreneurs, technologists, social innovators, and other aspiring startup founders.”

OrangeApps recently launched the app Khawna. The name comes from the Tagalog phrase ‘ikaw na’ (that’s you), a teasing way to praise a person who has done anything remarkable or impressive. It coincides with the company’s slogan: “It starts with you.” Gian believes that all of us can make a difference in the world.

According to him, Khawna is a learning platform where you could learn skills currently required by the industry. He believes that the app bridges the gap of industry learning and makes education available to everyone around the world. The learning platform offers online classes that emphasize hard skills, such as science and technology, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship.

Gian says, “Imagine a kid in a rural area attending a class on entrepreneurship from his mobile phone, one taught by industry experts. What will happen to the Philippines? There are 7.93 million underemployed Filipinos and 6.24 million out of school, young Filipinos. With Khawna, we can make every Filipino employable.”

He hopes that this would result in more students aspiring to become entrepreneurs and create their own startup companies. In this, Javelona is very optimistic. He shares, “I’m really happy to see successful startups operating in this country, such as Kalibrr, Guestlist.ph, and TimeFree Innovations. They inspire young startup founders to keep pushing forward – They help us realize that disrupting industries here in the Philippines will lead the country to a better future.”

Every time Gian talks to students, he reminds them of how many huge tech companies started out as small ventures. He emphasizes that all of these tech companies like Microsoft and IBM started the way he and other young entrepreneurs started. “They were built by human beings like us. So it’s not impossible for Filipinos to also build a billion dollar company in the future,” he says.

For a lot of students and fresh graduates, it will be their first time to be told through Gian’s talks, that they can do something other than compete for entry-level jobs. He shares, “For the first time they see a Filipino company who wants to build something that can definitely change lives. I always tell them that ‘the sooner you start, the faster you will learn.’ I hope that inspires them.”

Many young Filipinos are so impressed and inspired by Javelona’s story. Many of them want to work for OrangeApps, and some feel encouraged to start their own company. Some of these young people started out as Khawna’s earliest users. They see the app as a launching pad to learn the skills they need to survive and succeed in the job market. Gian hopes that most of them can become future innovators, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders who will help uplift the country’s economy.

Effects of New Technologies to the Family Business

Posted on

[by Enrique Soriano]

BUSINESSES that are handled by families need to be equipped with the proper set of tools. The members of the family are expected to contribute and support the operations of the company. The problem is, at some point, not all of the members in the family possess the necessary technical skills needed for the business. This is where the use of technology could take place. Business tasks could be completed through the use of machines, gadgets and other technology-based mediums.

 

http://www.phanchor.com
http://www.phanchor.com

Running a business requires technology in these times, because customers are now more knowledgeable and selective. They would like to receive value for money, which means a company would have the most satisfying products and services. Customers look for convenience and instant delivery of their orders and requests. These call for strong capabilities which could be achieved a lot easier through technology.

Any company that would not improve on technology would not be able to make it in the industry. If you are thinking that people is the greatest asset of a company, then yes, you are right. However, if you would be looking for uniform quality at the fastest and even the cheapest if not the most reasonable rate, in reality the use of technology could have things done twice as much of the same high quality and as fast as what people could ever deliver at the lowest cost. So, having the latest equipment by your side is an advantage. On a similar note, if you would not have internet access, then you might as well resort to limited sources of information or take longer periods of time just to get the attention of your target clients. Looking at the bigger picture, if that would be the case, it would be like a race between a turtle against a rabbit!

Technology is present in many areas of business. Beginning from human resources, accounting, sales, promotions/advertising, public relations, legal, purchasing and even to the production and all other departments, technology plays a major part. Some of the usual applications of technology that ease the work at the office involve the use of computer programs like Microsoft Office, which includes Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. What could be useful in these programs are the templates for presentation, business card making and charting that are already available for those who are always busy and need some organized material. Recruiting highly competitive staff could be laborious work for the old-schooled. Nowadays, there are softwares that sift through the pile of resumes sent by applicants, leaving only the ones that contain the criteria that the company requires and prioritizes. To those who are having difficulties with how to go about their businesses, say the basics of accounting (for the first timers in the business), electronic books are made to give the simplest explanations. Training the staff could be conducted through educational videos that capture all the important lectures that would not only teach step-by-step, but could also entertain the trainees. In the area of making a specific company’s branding known to the public, it is the development of a unique company website that would comprehensively provide the public with the impressionable, accurate and remarkable data on-line which technology proves its worth. Most companies utilize search engine optimization or SEO which uses specific keywords to make the search online fast.

The use of SEO could make websites appear right on the very top of the list. The use of electronic mail and on-line faxing are quick mediums for communication on the internet. All departments of a particular business could benefit from these means of fast communications in the virtual world. Paying bills of the company have never been easy through the use of online payment. Credit cards are widely used and electronic bank transfers are quickly done with just a few clicks. The use of cash registers makes your sales systematic and easily monitored. Using it could lessen the time customers wait on the line. The entry of robotics in the aspect of production made waves by improving quality and increasing output in tremendous quantity. The flaws of each product would be evaluated at an instant and specific features could easily be customized and installed.

The closed-circuit television or CCTV camera is another example of the many positive effects of technology to business. The security of the business establishment is closely observed. After the many unfortunate events that led to the closure of many businesses because of theft and other dangerous attacks, the use of CCTV cameras has become ever more important in the security department. It could uplift the sense of security of the clients, the employees, and the owners, because they would know that whatever unlikely happening occurs, they could be assured that significant evidence could be retrieved from these devices.

Technology has greatly impacted the way different businesses; including family businesses are operated. It has changed the way products are manufactured and services delivered. It has changed how people think and expect from companies. Moreover, through technology, many things have become possible, which would have never been possible in the previous decades.

Expo Autoworld Brussels 2

Posted on

Electric and Amphibious Cars

By Jun-Jun Junia

AFTER seeing a jeepney and seeing lots of old cars inside the AUTOWORLD Expo, it made me realize that I’m inside a vintage car museum. Now that made it more interesting. It’s car heaven.

There is one nook that caught our attention. It was a selection of different car models from vintage-looking to futuristic-designed vehicles. As we went closer to the area, there was a sign that read “EVOLUTION OF ECO CARS” and there I saw, in the corner, a 1916 Detroit Electric.

1916 Detroit Electric

Yes, you read it right, there was an electric vehicle (EV) during those times. I’m not sure if it was running but the body is in perfect shape. This EV was popularly sold in the 1910’s, selling around 1000 to 2000 cars a year.

The Detroit Electric was mainly sold to women drivers and physicians, as this car starts immediately without the physically demanding hand cracking of the engine that was needed with early internal combustion engine vehicles. They outsold all other types of cars since they did not have the vibration, smell, and noise associated with gasoline cars.

Autoworld2 for web

The question is, what happened to them? In my research, I learned that in the 1920s, internal combustion engine autos became more common and inexpensive, sales of the Electric dropped. The stock market crash of 1929 forced the company to file for bankruptcy. Detroit Electric cars were available only until 1942.

Amphibious Car

Of course we all know that now, electric is in again due to imminent environmental concerns that made car manufacturers develop hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. So car manufacturers went back developing electric vehicles after all, to eliminate emissions and save the world.

Amphibious Car Propeller

Going to the second floor of the museum, we saw a car displayed near the stairs. It blew our minds away. We thought this type of car was only intended for films, perfect for a spy movie. It’s a 1950 Amphicar, a real amphibious car which can be driven into water and converts into a boat. Just like in the movies! I’m amazed with the design of this car.
At the back, underneath the car, near the location of the muffler, was a propeller. The propeller is sealed and there was no muffler in the area, meaning this can really be converted into a speed boat. Amazing! Looking at this car reminded me of the floods in our country.

I guess this car design is the answer to the flood prone areas in the Philippines since heavy rainfall nowadays causes chest deep waters, or sometimes even worse. Imagine if you have an amphibian car when it’s raining hard and you need to go to work…have nothing to fear, amphibian car to the rescue! You don’t have to be afraid of parking your car in flooded parking areas, all you need is an anchor.

Overall AUTOWORLD is a big car museum with over 300 interesting vintage cars on display. From an 1890s three-wheeled car to a recent electric one, race cars from the 60’s to 90’s with Formula 3 and formula 1 cars, to add, some vintage motorbikes and royal carriages were included as well. The place was really a car lover’s paradise!