I do not want to be another echo in the Blogosphere, but here are my thoughts on starting a start-up.
Filipinos, by nature are business-minded, I do agree with Mr. Paraz on that. Everywhere you look, and just about anything can be turned into a business. By nature, we Filipinos are like that. There is a wide range of businesses here in the Philippines, but not all are successful. Most would only rely on earning just a bit bigger than what is needed, and that seems to be okay for them.
As offsprings of the Filipino family, most parents have the freedom and privilege to dictate to their children what they would want of them to become in the future. Some are forced to become lawyers, accountants, doctors and even nurses. Reason for this? This is the highest paid career paths. Nowadays, IT seems to take the big kick in this earning arena. And honestly, I still believe that Filipinos are great in the field of IT, maybe even better than Indians who are famed for their IT skills (I have interviewed a lot of Indian applicants).
Yes, I reiterate, Filipinos are better than others, and even in the IT career.. but there are still a lot who are insecure about their talents, and also a lot of those who think they know too much. Its just a fair deal. Half of the time, you'd find the a good developer but just is not interested enough to join your league, or the developer is branded as stupid for being a freelancer.
A freelancer or freelance worker is a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer. The term was first coined by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) in his well-known historical romance Ivanhoe to describe a "medieval mercenary warrior." The phrase later transitioned to a figurative noun around the 1860s and was then officially recognized as a verb in 1903 by various authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun (a freelance or a freelancer) into various verb forms (a journalist who freelances), and an adverb (she worked freelance).
The freelancer has his/her reasons why he opts to be. In truth, I've known a few good (quality, and I mean quality) developers out there, but is just not interested in working inside a cubicle, moreso, forget to have a life of his/her own due to being immersed in a regular 8-5 job. True enough, the stability of having a regular job is comforting enough for the developer who has responsibilities to attend to. But, as Paul Graham says in his essay, "It seems like people are not acting in their own interest". I often hear a lot about wanting to own their own startup, or be the CEO of their own company, but why have I not heard of their opening yet??
There are a lot of reasons why a Filipino developer would'nt want a startup. I can name a few.
1. They just don't have money. Money seems to drive everything. You can't get anything for free. You work for it, you pay for it. But then, they just don't have it.
2. Faint-heartedness. Just too damn scared of failing. Who isn't, right?? But heck, no guts, no glory. If its not working now, then try harder. It might work soon.
3. "I'm-just-a-developer-attitude". Sure, a developer just can't be the designer, and can definitely not be an accountant or a secretary for that matter. I'm sure that a business doesn't need anybody to be somebody for it to work out. Ergo, it doesn't really require you to be anyone at all. Just do it!
4. And there might be a lot more that you can think of that I have not mentioned here.
Freelancers actually have a lot of edge in becoming their own company. If only a lot of them would consider working on this silly idea, then why would Filipino developers consider going abroad as the most lucrative career move they can think of?? I have already been a freelancer myself, and there are a lot of pros can cons on this too, but it can hold. I'd rather risk trying to have my own company than dying of regret because of not trying. After all, Paul Graham says that though, he's seeing that it'll be only 25% success rate (for their startups at Y Combinator), the actual 50% who were not able to make it did not feel unwell about the outcome.. why should they? After all, they have done all to satisfy their passion.
Now, I want my own startup, but I won't be taking my feet off the ground. I'll take that risk of being a startup, but I wanna work a regular part time job too. This will also keep funds inside our pockets for fueling the passion. The passion, my passion is really where I can put all my knowledge and expertise into something that is never violated in any way and, of course (the more heroic version), to offer my work for the good of mankind.
I'll be a freelancer, for now, part timer tomorrow, then CEO soon.