The good part is: there is a growing number of local online tech startups in the Philippines.
So the questions that came coming my way were as follows:
- Are Philippine local tech startups making the grade in terms of advancements or creativity in developing new and unique ideas?
- Are we not yet exposed or do we not have the strength to pitch to seed or angel investors?
- Is it really that hard to monetize local traffic? What are the barriers faced by local developers in successfully monetizing traffic instead of through the usual affiliate programs?
There are a few reasons that I (quote: in my own opinion) can think of:
- The local online ad scene has not developed yet in the Philippines with the majority of small to medium businesses preferring traditional marketing over online local advertising. Its just a matter of time in my opinion but we have to continually educate the public on what is the importance of online marketing.
- Crab mentality is still strong with the Filipino mindset. No one wants to disturb a stable source of income with individuals preferring to join known companies instead of bootstrapping to success.
- The local online community isn’t exposed entirely to the big social media scene or revolution for it is only partially exposed as the usual websites being viewed upon are still the usual suspects: FB, Twitter, Friendster, etc.
- Local investors, friends or families - the majority of them do not know what you are talking about or how is your online tech project going to rake in the money as the first thing that they would want to know is: How are you going to monetize the site? or what is the ROI? or how does the site engine work? (Its really hard to trust someone nowadays especially when you are not in-tuned to the market or business that he is targeting.)
- The government has promised support to local tech startups but nothing came out of that. So again, it has to be something in writing instead of uttered through words of promises.
- Local banks here are not keen on lending money to small startups without a collateral like a land title, etc.
Before, I used to think that the Philippine Social Media scene has matured to an extent that creating a local website and earning through Adsense can provide you a good living. But no, I was wrong for it takes more than that to monetize traffic.
Care to discuss this or share your thoughts with me?