A Winner Never Quits

A quitter never wins, a winner never quits.

I first heard these words from a sweepstakes ticket vendor who exhorted patrons to continue buying from him.

Persistence, that is what it is called. But this thing took on a new meaning to me when I chance upon a section of the book Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen on  Overcoming Obstacles. It talked about how one of the greatest leaders in history may have exemplified this trait. It talked about how Abraham Lincoln did not quit, and eventually won!

Today, on his 150th death anniversary, let me share how Lincoln breathed life into the word — persistence:

Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.

He could have quit many times but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of America.

Lincoln was a champion and he never gave up. Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House.

  • 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
  • 1818: His mother died.
  • 1831: Failed in business.
  • 1832: Ran for state legislature- lost.
  • 1832: Also lost his job. Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
  • 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
  • 1835: Was engaged to be married , sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
  • 1836:Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
  • 1838:Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
  • 1840: Sought to became elector- defeated.
  • 1843: Ran for Congress-lost.
  • 1846:Ran for Congress again. This time he won-went to Washington and did a good job.
  • 1848:Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  • 1849:Sought the job of land officer in his home state-rejected.
  • 1854:Ran for Senate of the United States-lost.
  • 1856:Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention-got less than 100 votes.
  • 1858:Ran for U.S Senate again-again he lost.
  • 1860:Elected president of the United States.
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Puzzle: How much money to bring

Solve this one:

You were going to enter into a 20 stories building…

In every floor there is a guard…

To every guard you will pay a half of the money you brought, then the guard will gave you change of Php1.00.

Question: what is the minimum money that you would bring so that you can reach the top floor of the building having  Php2.00 left?

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Change Yourself, Change the World

This is not to say that we should just be contented with what we see around us. This is also not an argument against working for changes in our society. Neither were we wrong when we marched against corruption and abuse of power by our leaders.

Rather, this emphasizes the need (for us) to also change ourselves in order to become credible agents of change. We cannot talk against  corruption if we too,  pay bribes. We cannot talk about human rights if we too, abuse our own workers and household helps.

I am quoting one of the most popular inscriptions written to inspire us how we  could make a difference in this world.  According to the book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” this was written in the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey in 1100 AD. I verified if there really is/was an inscription written in the tomb of Westminster Abbey from its website. There is no such inscription. Nevertheless, this does not diminish the proposition that we should focus on ourselves first, to make ripples in the world.


When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.
But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my death bed, I suddenly realize that had I only changed my self first, then by example I would have changed my family.
From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”


What about you, do you agree that changing yourself first is a necessary requirement before you can change your community and your country?




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You’ve Got to Find What You Love

October 5, 2014 marks the third year anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs— widely regarded by his peers as a visionary, an innovator and a figure that will be remembered for changing the world.

Steve Jobs left his mark in game changing and profitable  innovations in the field of personal computers(Apple II and Macintosh); animation (Pixar);  music(iPod, iTunes), phones (iPhone), and tablets(ipad).

He did not finish college, but he built a computer empire and became a multi-millionaire in a few years.

He was fired from his own company before coming back a decade later to save it and turn it into one of the world’s most influential corporations,

He is a great presenter, anchoring practically all the product launches of Apple. But perhaps one of the most memorable speeches he has delivered is the one on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. For somebody who has dropped out of college the commencement speech speaks volumes of what this great mind has in mind and could provide inspiration to most young people seeking to build a career.

Do take 15 minutes of your life and just listen to this speech. It is by far one of the best speeches ever given!


Or read the the transcript of the talk below:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.

Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.


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Bill Gates Recruits a New Chairman

This has been in circulation in the internet for quite awhile. I have received various versions of this account and the one below is from Alex Fernandez of Unilab.



Bill Gates organized an enormous session to recruit a new Chairman for Microsoft Europe.

5,000 candidates assembled in a large room. One candidate is MARIO DIMACULANGAN.
Bill Gates: Thank you for coming. Those who do not know JAVA may leave. 2,000 people leave the room.

MARIO says to himself, ‘I do not know JAVA but I have nothing to lose if I stay. I’ll give it a try’

Bill Gates: Candidates who never had experience of managing more than 100 people may leave. 2,000 people leave the room.

Mario says to himself ‘ I never managed anybody by myself but I have nothing to lose if I stay. What can happen to me?’ So he stays.

Bill Gates: Candidates who do not have management diplomas may leave.  500 people leave the room.

Mario says to himself, ‘I left school at 15 but what have I got to lose?’ So he stays in the room.

Lastly, Bill Gates asked the candidates who do not speak Serbo – Croat to leave. 498 people leave the room.

Mario says to himself, ‘ I do not speak one word of Serbo – Croat but what do I have to lose?’

So he stays and finds himself with one other candidate. Everyone else has gone.

Bill Gates joined them and said ‘Apparently you are the only two candidates who speak Serbo – Croat, so I’d now like to hear you have a conversation together in that language.’

Calmly, Mario turns to the other candidate and says: ‘Ano ba yan, pare?’

The other candidate answers:  ‘Ewan ko nga ba pare….’

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Radio: Living and Breathing in the New Digital World

For today’s post, I am reproducing a talk I gave during the 38th Top Level Management Conference of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP). The conference was held at Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City from November 14-17, 2012 and had His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as  Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker.

The Conference Theme was SWITCH ON, TUNE IN, TAKE OFF IN THE NEW DIGITAL WORLD, which tries to the reality that Radio is now operating in a digital world. The topic assigned to me to cover as  resource speaker was Radio: Living and breathing in the New Digital World.

I am providing a link below to the visual copy of 13-minute talk in two parts:


Or you may also want to check the transcript below:


Good Morning Dear Colleagues.

Thank you very much for inviting me to this year’s conference.

You have asked me to give my thoughts on radioin the digital world.  I have four main points to share with you today:

My first point echoes this session’s theme: Radio is very much a living and breathing medium. The digital world presents radio with new business opportunities. It is up to you the media owners, of course, how to seize and monetize these opportunities.

In this day and age of information technology and cyber superhighways, people are still listening to radio. Sophisticated inventions in data sharing have not eroded the charm of tuning into the medium, not necessarily via the airwaves and the standard radio sets, but via other means of distribution and through new devices.

Radio, continues to offer two things that no other gadget can give: Human Connection & Practicality.

ON Human Connection:

Consider this:

Why is it that whenever we hear our songs being played on-air, they sound a thousand times better? Because the mystery and randomness of radio excite us every time.

Why is it that when radio DJs read our thoughts aloud we feel a certain rush? Because it’s always a warm feeling to know we belong, we are recognized, we are part of something, and we are heard.

On Practicality:

Radio will never die for it will continue to serve specific needs. Tablets can be a good source of news and information, but unless you have a driver, you can’t browse websites while clenched on the steering wheel. With a car radio, you just turn it on and you’ll hear the latest news from broadcasters while you’re traveling from point to point.

In times of calamities, when nothing’s left but a lighted candle and your transistor radio, essential news and announcements can still come to you.

Simple circumstances, but enough to show that radio will stay relevant and needed.

My second point is this, FOR RADIO TO CONTINUE to be a living and breathing medium, IT HAS TO FOLLOW ITS AUDIENCE WHEREVER THEY MAY BE.

Your audiences have started to live a double life: Offline and Online.

They now have the devices to do so: mobile phones, desktops and tablets.

They also have better ways to connect. Wi-Fi connection is widely accessible, and telcos are revamping their networks to provide more powerful data plans.

Gone are the days when a radio station’s coverage is determined by the power of its transmitter and antenna systems. Today’s technology makes possible for radio programs to be heard beyond the borders defined by the NTC, even beyond the country’s borders. It is now possible for radio stations to follow target audiences wherever they may be, anywhere in the world.

Therefore, for radio to continue to be a living and breathing medium, it has to be accessible via this generation’s devices: mobile phones, tablets, personal computers – on top of the usual personal radio sets.  Audiences should be able to listen to radio programs not only via the airwaves, but also via the mobile or online networks.

Moreover, radio programs must not only be made available real time via live streaming but also for later listening via podcasts.

To be sure, quite a number of Philippine radio stations are now present in the World Wide Web. Digital appendages of radio stations have already broken down geographical barriers and time-zones, tapping a new market that could have never been realized in years past.

For example, via the iPhone app Radio Philippines, I could still listen to a Philippine station for my daily dose of news and socio-political tsismis even if I am abroad. And in Manila, I could still tune in.

Also, podcasts provide me the convenience of listening to my favorite radio shows at the most convenient time.  to provincial radio stations to keep track of developments in my home town.

My only lament though is this: Most of these efforts are not actually initiated by the radio stations, but rather, by enterprising consolidators who make a reasonable business out of streaming live content of various radio stations.


Several years ago, “Unilateral” is the best way to describe the interaction radio talents had with their listeners. This one-way street grounded the basic format of any radio show: play some music, raise a single topic to engage the audience, deliver the news and air some paid commercial spots.

This format has triumphantly endured the early surges of technological inventions, with listeners then calling in or paging in their responses or song requests (remember Pocket Bell and Easy-call?).

There also came the early days of the mobile phones where radio stations entertained “text” entries, but the cost attached to it became a limitation in itself.

These one-sided formats are now becoming less and less attractive as people got overwhelmed by the digital tide. The idea of online communities sprung forth as interaction-based sites prospered across the web, and people got addicted to it.

Radio just had to keep up, and it did quite impressively well. Finding out that their audiences now value closer interactions and the feeling of belongingness, local broadcasters knew they had to tweak the format: utilize not only their station websites, but more importantly, leverage the influence of social networking sites.

The mechanics of doing a radio show now includes the reactions and thoughts of listeners who tweet and post relentlessly, without censorship and free of charge. It’s as if two shows are happening simultaneously: the actual show in the airwaves and the other one on Twitter and Facebook.

Digital not only widens the market, it also enhances the whole radio experience; it gives a new dynamic and life to it. The on-air discussions of listeners’ texts, tweets and Facebook comments have become as essential as playing requested songs. Notably, half of twitter trending topics in the morning are topics from radio shows airing on different frequencies.


We all know this is easier said than done. The secret is to keep your ear to the ground and never lose sight of your audience.  And both advertisers and broadcasters have to respond quickly upon each discovery of an opportunity.

Moreover, what works for the advertisers now, may no longer be what they want to have tomorrow.

We all remember how this evolved:

It used to be plain and simple airing of the advertiser’s 30-second radio commercial. Then, they started discovering other ways of marketing their brands via radio: AOBs, brought-to-you-bys, announcers’ and Radio DJ’s discussions, and events to accompany spots.

Facebook and Twitter have now evolved into some sort of a digital arm of any radio station. On-air promos and ads would always have a “follow” or “like” element into it, encouraging listeners to visit and join the online communities of these brands.

The use of “hashtags” has become a common way for listeners to be heard and recognized by radio shows they regard as communities where they belong. For broadcasters, Twitter’s trending list has become a gauge of popularity.

Moreover, digital savvy advertisers do not only settle for the usual on-air exposure, they now clamor to get digital exposure as well.  And stations with their own websites can take advantage of this reality:  since they can now offer additional media values through their official websites: Page-skinning, Banner Ads, and a lot more unique executions to cater to different advertising needs.


To recap,

Radio is not dead and provided it makes adjustments given the current improvements in technology, it will continue to attract the next generation of listeners and advertisers.

How can the radio station owners ensure this happens?

I pointed out 3 action points:

  1. be where your listeners are, be present offline and online
  2. adjust content taking into consideration social media interaction; and,
  3. show advertisers that you have the audiences and that these audiences engage in conversations relevant to the equities the advertisers’ brand associates itself with.

Some of you have already done all these, but for those who have yet to do this, or are in the process of doing it, we may be able to help.  

Thank you very much and good morning!

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