Thursday, April 15, 2010

Idea Camp I-Café Concept

By: Gener Morada

Image from The Idea Camp
After the successful Microsoft I-Cafe Program briefing held last April 7, 2010 at the Max's Restaurant Gateway Mall Cubao in which 116 internet cafe owners participated, Sir Ed and I sat down to conceptualize the next summer event of I-Cafe Pilipinas. We would like to take the advantage of the summer vacation knowing that business is quite slow for the internet cafe owners at this time of the year. The original concept was for a formal internet cafe technology update seminar in which we would gather our event partners and have them orient the internet cafe owners of their latest offerings. But it seems to be so lame since we have done the same format several times over in the short span of time since I-Cafe Pilipinas was conceived in November of last year. So it was time for something different and it was time to put on the spotlight on the internet cafe owners that we feel could inspire the rest of the industry through their works and vision.

I remembered an event in which I participated in last year in Davao City. A friend of mine, Mr Art Esmiralda, invited me to give a 15 minute talk about the virtual computer. It was called IdeaCamp Davao which was originally conceived by DABAWEGNU, a free and open source group based in Davao City, with the primary aim of help spread all sorts of ideas around for people to pick up. In a nutshell the idea of holding an Idea Camp could be best explained in the words of Mr. Mark Maglania, product marketing manager for G2iX in Davao City:

“It's a free event where you can meet the thinkers and doers in and around Davao City. It doesn't impose any obligations on you. Just come with an open mind and a child's curiosity. When the talks are over, you have full freedom to decide what to do from there.

We only require 2 things from our speakers: 1) that they talk about something (anything) that they are passionate about and 2) that they don't go over 15 minutes. :-)”

Idea Camp I-Cafe would have some slight modifications from the original theme. We would be having our regular event partners doing their product presentation but in between we would be presenting internet cafe owners who we believe have shown excellence in what they do. The general idea is for them to inspire their fellow internet cafe owners to show that there is a silver lining in this industry if you know what you are doing. It is time for the regular trainors of I-Cafe Pilipinas to take the back seat and let others provide the inspiiration.

Who's Coming in Idea Camp I-Cafe?

We will be updating the resource speakers as they confirm their participation.

Mr. Bien Balajadia a.k.a Bien ( – can be considered to be an old timer in the internet cafe industry since he has been around since its original inception in 2001. He prides himself in being the first one to set up an internet cafe in his own private residence in Markina during those times where in most of the internet cafes were in the commercial districts. Now after 9 years in the business still going strong as ever. Before being an internet cafe owner he was a former OFW in Saudi Arabia for 9 years wherein he learned all of his computer skills primarily due to his engineering background. He would be talking about “Creating Your Own Market, to Hell with the Competition”

Oscar B. Desiderio III a.k.a as netguides – one of the most colorful character to have graced and often most misunderstood. I for one would have to admit that I am guilty of misjudging him due to his numerous spam post in the forum. It was a little bit later when I added him as part of my network in Facebook that I realized what a big mistake it has been. His youth and vitality sometimes makes him do spontaneous things online and this is a quality which we believe that is needed by the internet cafe owners in order to do good in this business. A former gamer who admits that being addicted to online games ruined his education but he is back with passion. He is using his addiction to his advantage by focusing his energy in worth while projects like his “Thin Client Project” which he was able to use one CPU for 4 desktops and his use of Free and Open Source Software in his internet cafe in which 50 percent now of his computer system is now running in Linux. Point this guy to the right direction and let him be surely his passion would show some great results. Still being young and spontaneous he hasn't decided on what he wants to present. This could be a nice surprise to the participants as well.

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