My name is Ivan Lanuza. I was raised and schooled to be a skilled, well-respected employee. After 10 years of work, I realized I wanted to become an entrepreneur. A series of unplanned events followed. After another 10 years, I now find myself leading a Php 100M company that I partly own.
What you need to know is that I hope to grow the company to Php 1B annual revenue in a few years. Eventually, I dream of creating a unicorn ($1B valuation) Filipino IT company. This blog will document the journey – unfiltered. And hope that I can create a path that can help others in the future.
In 2010, I started my first business. That business personally bankrupted me. I lost all my money and left me in debt. Took me years to recover – financially, emotionally.
I forgot about business for a while and focused on corporate life.
In 2018, I started my second business. I, and two others, built a software called Retina – a data analytics software. This one went very well – we had a paying client and 2-years cash-flow within 6 months. It was so good that even before we reached one year, we were already acquired by a larger company. I didn’t want to cash out yet – so instead of getting cash for the acquisition, I asked the acquiring company (iRipple) to give me ownership shares. In return, Retina is now under iRipple – and I come in as one of their executives/minority owner.
2019 was a great year with iRipple – through reorganization, additional hiring, and focus on operational discipline, we grew 30% in both topline and bottomline. I was feeling very upbeat about the future.
Then 2020 happened – and you know what it did to businesses. The only goal was to survive.
I start this blog in July 2021. 15 months since start of the pandemic. Business is still bad – but we survived. It is now time to go back to pusuing the dream. I will document the journey – and hope that you enjoy following along.
While my dream for the company has a clear financial goal, the dream is not really about money. Money is just easy to measure and visualize, so I mentioned it first. But the real dream is to build a successful organization that people enjoy being in. There are many companies that are financially successful but is a hell-hole. There are many companies that are enjoyable to be in but are really not going anywhere. I want to build one of those few companies that is BOTH financially successful and knows how to take care of people.
What to expect
This blog will cover the journey. To respect privacy of others, I will occasionally change the name and specific details. But I will keep the storylines as detailed as a I can so that lessons can be shared.
This blog will not give all the answers. In some cases, I will simply share my view of what’s happening.
This blog isn’t the answer. This blog is not the shortcut. It’s simply a sharing of my stories towards reaching the dream – and through my journey, I hope you get some ideas and inspiration.