The Dark Side of the Start- Up Business Culture in the Philippines

Almost everyone is into a new start-up nowadays, lured into the promises of what seems like the new ” Silicon Valley” of start-ups, a lot of Filipinos are lured into venturing into their new mobile apps and next revolutionary idea.

While it is undeniable that this is a sign of economic growth there are underlying factors that people rarely talk about- and these are the evil manifestations of corruption and greed- for let us face it, not everyone would become a Jack Ma, not everyone would be an Elon Musk and not everyone is a real visionary- some are just somehow lured into the idea of instant money, instant fame that is heightened by the easy PR strategies of social media marketing.

We are constantly bombarded by images of Jack Ma’s success, or the undeniably technology and revolution that guys like Elon Musk were able to provide, but rarely do we talk about the underlying conditions that happen when meet-ups like this occur. While there is now an abundance of ideas, collaborations, and events that bring people together there are also pitfalls that lead many to create investment scams, fake cryptocurrency groups- that target unsuspecting clients and newbies.

  1. For some, the word start-up has become the new age word for exploitation

Unfortunately, even with the good intentions and energy of building a business from scratch, the big players in the industry has caught on and are now using the word start-ups to lower the pay, and create X-deals with gullible and trusting Tech people and artists who are willing to provide fresh ideas.  Regular businesses, who had to pay employees regularly, are now smiling at the idea of masking themselves as start-ups to avoid paying the real cost of manpower. Though not all, sadly the word start-up is being exploited- and only the ones who are conscious of what is happening is able to get out.

2. X-deal Frustration

A lot of big shots and Con Artists overuse the word CEO,  in the Philippines, there are now so many individuals claiming to be a CEO of this and CEO of that and tend to lure people into flashy but empty promises. Since we currently have no standard or no way of discerning if a person is really who they say they are, there are a lot of young people, even professional people who get lured into X-deal situations, with companies, even individuals who can actually pay the service but just don’t want to.

A lot of artists and tech people sacrifice their own vision, energy and time building a dream, that they will not be a part of. Since a lot of young and talented Filipinos don’t know how valuable creativity is, they willingly subject themselves to this, thinking that so-called mentors and gurus can help them get to where they want to be. They end up realizing, that their creativity and original ideas have been stolen and that they are not even a part of the start-up for which they signed up for. Blood, sweat, and tears, with no legal paper to protect them and their interests.

Since Young people don’t know the value of creativity, and they are often criticized and ridiculed and made to feel lesser than what they are worth- they give in to these deals- some are wise enough and learn from the terrible ordeal but some are trapped- until they lose their own enthusiasm. Those who are able to discern their real worth, after discovering how they are being manipulated, should decide to reclaim their life and just create the business on their own and not allow other people to manipulate them or much worse not provide them with proper compensation.

3. Losing Values in Exchange for Greedy Ambition

Originally the start-up culture is all about following a code of conduct, a proper way of doing things on a daily basis, and once the right set of values has been set in, and there is a proper way of handling employees and partners, that is where people grow.  However, a lot of these good values are thrown away, when certain conditions are changed, some want to be the next Jack Ma without the actual vision of improving the world. Some establish these so-called start-ups for sole profit, for competition and ego sake, and these lead to manipulation tactics that people in the start-up should be conscious about.

While these people did not start out ” evil”, the lure and the opportunities, as well as the networks and the financial gain can turn you into someone else.  The values are lost, even friendships are sacrificed for these ambitious and not well reflected upon ideas.  The challenge then is to not be evil. ” Don’t be Evil”,  and to remind people that ” You can make money without doing evil”.




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