MANILA -- A new book hopes to help Filipinos reinvent their businesses as they navigate the "new normal" brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Serial tech entrepreneur Mario Domingo on Monday launched "Creative Innovation Launchpad: Building a Culture of Innovation," which gives advice spanning the full cycle of building a business.
He draws from 30 years of experience in corporate environments such as Globe Telecom, as a founder of several successful artificial intelligence companies, his continued work in fields such as fintech and health care, and as the director of the Institute of Digital Enterprises of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
"Creativity is inherent in Filipinos, and they succeed in innovation. They just need an opportunity to apply it," Domingo, one of the brains behind Globe's GCash virtual wallet, said in a virtual briefing with the media.
"We can do all kinds of creativity but ultimately they need to have an impact to the user, to society, to the conglomerate or the company. Whether it's revenues or corporate social responsibility, or social development. The difference between innovation and pure creativity is that it (innovation) will bring value," he added.
Domingo said his book is targeted at "anyone who has an inkling of digital, of innovation, of creating something out of a good idea."
He stressed that while innovation in today's world is about leveraging on technology, "it's the people that make the difference."
Domingo dedicated a part of his book to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that it has accelerated the Philippines' digital transformation.
That said, he mentioned the importance of a "virtual first" approach to the "new normal," pointing out that those who refuse to adapt will become obsolete over time.
"Two words, virtual first, in two sectors. First sector is health care. Just like it was 100 years ago, during the pandemic, the first order of business is how to improve the delivery of health care," he said.
"The second is the supply chain, the way we move goods around, the way we interact about the consumption of goods. Lalamove's doing very well, Grab everything is doing very good," he added.
"Many organizations will have to now think of doing everything that they used to do virtual first."
Meanwhile, Domingo also shared some of the common mistakes that startups make.
These include spending "too much money on things that do not create the minimum viable product," "giving the shares of your company too early," "hiring a chief innovation officer as if innovation can be delegated," and "not adapting to change."
But of all these mistakes, he considers "falling in love with an idea too much" as the biggest.
"The very reason of innovation is to try to validate whether your good idea is indeed good. And so what happens is they give up their soul, they give up half of the company just to make it fly. They raise the money, they fail, they don't have control, they're puppets of the venture capital," he explained.
"What happens is there is not enough courage to let go of an idea that's really not taking root... If you don't have a customer who is not even willing to try it for free, forget about it. Let's move on to the next idea," he ended.