Not too long ago, God opened a new chapter in my life. It’s so great to be able to start a new platform to talk about the things I am most passionate about. To those reading this, you are one of the reasons why.
Life has been one hell of a ride for me. I was fortunate enough to work for the 2 biggest tech companies that started it all – Apple and Microsoft. One could say that it was the most ideal situation for anyone who wanted to pursue a career in IT. Truthfully, I can say that this helped shape me into the person I am today.
Shortly thereafter, I founded Match Data Systems (MDS), a business that matches sellers overseas to buyers in the United States, which eventually transitioned into business software development. Due to the high demand for programmers by Microsoft back in the 80’s, most of our employees were offered a higher salary by the very same company that has given me my big break. Not surprisingly, many have transferred to Microsoft with the hopes of having a better career.
With the advice of my brother, I decided to move the whole operation of MDS to the Philippines. When I returned here, I was surprised to learn that there were many promising programmers in the country. Finally, I didn’t have to worry about my company being an employment incubator for a tech giant. As the company kept growing, we branched out into developing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software – one of the fastest growing industries during the 90’s.
As the company started getting the recognition that I believed it rightfully deserved, I made the bold move of selling MDS to Great Plains Software and was appointed as its Managing Director. Little did I know I would be working once again for the company that forced me to relocate to my home country when Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software. The business became the first ERP software company for Microsoft Windows in the Philippines. Currently, the software application known as Microsoft Dynamics contains MDS modules that run this Microsoft system.
By that time, I could probably say that I had accomplished my goal for MDS. Maybe it was time for me to retire or just try something new. Good thing I chose the latter as I may not be able to impart my extensive experience to everyone out there if I decided to retire at the age of 45. Just when most people around this age seem to be settling down with their 9-5 jobs and are patiently waiting for their retirement, or forced into early retirement in most cases, I bravely launched Gurango Software Corporation (formerly known as Webworks OS).
For me, my goal for the company was quite straightforward: To be the most successful Filipino software company by fulfilling our mission to be an enjoyable workplace for very smart people. You’ll notice that we put emphasis on the quality of employees working for our company. But it doesn’t just work one way; to attract the best talents available out there, you must be able to provide them a working environment where they can successfully grow as an employee and most especially, as a person.
“If we aren’t willing to weather and survive the bad times, then we will not be around to enjoy the good times. What doesn’t kill you really will make you stronger.” – Joey Gurango
Some of you might think that things were easy for me. Trust me, when your first actual business was delivering pizza to college students living in dorms, you’ll understand my struggle as a young man in his mid-twenties. I wasn’t always the “techie guy,” as the younger generation would love to call it. And bankruptcy? Oh, don’t get me started on how my Macintosh desktop furniture fabrication business went bankrupt after earning over $1 million for the first 6 months of its operation. Just like any normal young professional and entrepreneurs before me, I devoted a lot of time and effort to reach my goals. These life-changing experiences will always be a big part of who I am today.
Fast forward to today. Now that I’m 60 years old, I realized that it is my responsibility to share my knowledge and experience to the younger generation. I believe that it’s so uncommon for people to talk about their failures and only tell the story about their success, even when it’s all hyped and intentionally altered.
When people start doing the thing that they love the most, either starting a business or pursuing a career, they are too optimistic. When you become too optimistic, you tend to disregard the possibility of failure. Throughout my life, I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to do the thing that I love the most, and that is to work in this industry.
Now, I’ve reached another milestone in my career. I’m now pursuing my passion as a business leadership coach. For over a decade now, I’ve been mentoring several startups, helping them establish their business from the ground up. Now, it’s just a matter of opening the door a little wider to help people prepare as they face the challenges of career, business, and life in general.
I’m excited to start this new chapter with you all. You can subscribe to the mailing list to get notifications on my latest blog posts, videos, events, and more.
This is Joey Gurango, your Business Technology Coach!