King del Rosario – Founder of Finisher.me

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King del Rosario - Administrator of Finisher.me

Early in life I found out that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. That is why if I don’t get support for an idea that I feel strongly about, I usually do it by myself, even if it hurts financially. Some things are worth the calculated risk. If it doesn’t work out, you can always chalk it up to experience.

King del Rosario is a 29-year old marketing professional from the Philippines. Although his professional background is focused on consumer products and retail, people often have the impression that he is a full-time blogger or a social media practitioner because he tends to be very vocal and visible online whenever he offers himself as a volunteer for a particular cause or project. Professionally, he has worked on businesses in the Philippines, ranging from small consumer brands to a multi-million dollar medical and aesthetics product.

He hails from Tagum, which is in the southern island in the Philippines called Mindanao. He earned a marketing management degree from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde. He runs during his free time and has participated in 6 marathons, although he is quick to admit that he isn’t very fast compared to most runners. But he believes, “we are judged by what we finish, not by what we start.”

What are you working on right now?

I have a day job, so currently I am heading the marketing, sales, and business development for the Thermos brand in the Philippines. Although we had a great 2011, we are pushing for bigger improvements this year.

I spend my free time expanding my network and addressing inquiries about Finisher.me. Finisher.me is a social network in the Philippines that helps brands connect with runners for exclusive freebies and promotions. Thanks to our international exposure on Springwise.com, I am hoping to convince certain brands and individuals to formalize their support for the project and the running community in the Philippines.

Where did the idea for Finisher.me come from?

The concept of creating a social network that connects runners and brands for exclusive promos and freebies sprung from my desire to do something crazy, innovative, inexpensive and feasible for the local running community. I have been participating in running events since 2006 and I noticed how things have changed for both participants and sponsors. Although you can say Finisher.me is a “silent endeavour,” I consider it to be highly successful because of the international database of runners it has captured in just 2 months. I believe connecting a runner’s online presence with his offline participation in events is what makes this project feasible and beneficial for everyone. Members of our community receive guaranteed loot bags in exchange for wearing the logos of our “partner brands,” which I would like to believe all runners would enjoy.

What does your typical day look like?

During weekdays, I am expected at the office before 10 AM, but sometimes I am at my desk as early as 8 AM. If I’m not in meetings outside the office or in the field, I usually stay past 7 PM. Depending on my mood, I usually end up watching a movie at Eastwood City or the Ayala Cinemas here in the Philippines. On weekends, I try to catch up on my running and blogging.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Early in life I found out that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. That is why if I don’t get support for an idea that I feel strongly about, I usually do it by myself, even if it hurts financially. Some things are worth the calculated risk. If it doesn’t work out, you can always chalk it up to experience.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I love the fact that the Internet is now experiencing market segmentation. I am quite confident that give or take 2 years, the top websites will have a major overhaul in ranking–especially with respect to traffic coming from the Philippines.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I think to say it was the “worst” would be a tad bit too unprofessional and imprecise, but I think my job at PSBank, the second largest savings bank in the Philippines, left me somewhat unfulfilled. This is because for the short time that I was with the bank, I feel my impact was quite insignificant. I could have done so much more given the opportunity. If I had been more aggressive with my ideas and a more discerning employee, perhaps something wonderful could have been created.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would take up computer science at De La Salle University so I could code my next big project all by myself.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Some say I have an entrepreneurial mindset, but I am far from being a full-fledged entrepreneur given that I am still employed full-time. Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to be one soon enough. As a marketing professional, I suggest that people take time to study the market. It might sound moot or academic to some, but to say you know the market based on intuition (or in some cases, because you believe you are part of that market) is a fallacy that can harm your  business. Pride will eat you alive.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If anyone wants to replicate Finisher.me in his/her community, that is something I can live with. I believe anything on the Internet is up for grabs. That said, we’re also open to partnering with groups in other countries since we are likely talking to the same brands (hint, hint) that would benefit most from the Finisher.me project. We’re all in this together.

Tell us a secret.

The Philippines is the last digital frontier for all dotcom behemoths. Our innate love for social media and technology can make or break websites. People in the industry should value what our country has to offer.

What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?

I subscribe to a long list of keywords on Google Alerts. It  keeps me well-informed about topics I need to know about on a regular basis. I also adore Google Analytics because it gives me a clear understanding of users’ online behaviors on my projects, including Finisher.me. Finally, a Blackberry may not really be an online tool, but it’s a big help to me these days.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout was the first marketing book I read after the iconic Principles of Marketing by Philip Kotler. I believe every marketing professional, businessman and entrepreneur should read this, as well. The latter is expected, the former will give you an edge if you know how to use it.

What’s on your playlist?

Air Supply, Roxette, Example and DJ Earworm.

If you weren’t working on Finisher.me, what would you be doing?

I’d be working on weekdays and running whenever I could. I’d most likely be on the prowl for another idea that is worth exploring.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  • Follow @Lord_Voldemort7 and pray he doesn’t follow back. Tee-hee!
  • The feisty Philippine senator @senmiriam, who was recently elected as a judge for the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
  • My former boss, Dennis Balajadia, aka @edgeboy. Along with his wife Emily, he is the tandem behind the Dragon Edge Group.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I last laughed out loud when I received an e-mail from Mario saying that he wanted to interview me for IdeaMensch.

Who is your hero?

We might have some differences, but I still consider my mom and dad my heroes. I may not be “that” successful yet, but we’ve come a long, long way thanks to them. From a more professional point of view, I really admire Bill Gates. They said he was evil. He proved them all wrong. That is what all business should be about.

What do you think is the biggest pitfall for most startups in the Philippines?

My sister would say I’m too much of a pessimist, which is the reason my ideas are less crazy these days. Most startups, in my honest opinion, fail to consider that doing business in the Philippines cannot be as informal as in Silicon Valley or other places.

Aside from regulatory aspects, most startups in the Philippines fail because of lack of funding. Let’s not even start on the subject of taking out loans from financial institutions, which is next to impossible if you don’t already have money to begin with. This is why even if one has a great idea, if you are not well-connected or fortunate enough to have ample money of your own, it can take time for your idea to become as big as you want it to become. Of course, that should never be a reason to stop anyone, but it is a factor that should be studied and considered.

Why do you run?

I run because I can. I wasn’t really an athletic person in school. During college, I would run early in the morning so no one would ever see me. In fact, I felt shy and embarrassed to be seen in my running attire. A lot of things have changed since then, and this has paved the way for the local running community to grow. I can no longer count the kilometers I have covered, but while I run I get my creative juices flowing, solve professional and personal dilemmas and to prove to myself that I have what it takes to succeed if I really put my heart into it.

Connect:

Finisher.me Website: http://finisher.me/profile/kingdelrosario
King del Rosario on Facebook: http://facebook.com/kingdelrosario
King del Rosario on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kingdelrosario
King del Rosario on LinkedIn: http://ph.linkedin.com/in/kingdelrosario
King del Rosario on WordPress: http://kingdelrosario.wordpress.com

This interview was posted by Mario Schulzke.
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