“Ignorance is bliss” when it comes to developing apps and games.
What’s your story?
I have failed, I have failed, and I have failed. This makes even the humblest of successes worth it. My story starts in Manila where I was born and raised; your typical island boy I spent weekends on the beach and studied in international schools which helped prepare me for the international world we now live in. I eventually moved to Las Vegas for university but always wanted to move back and take what I had learned back with me. After many ventures into various industries like television production, fuel wholesale and mining, I find myself lucky enough to be working with a super team of developers, artists and like minded individuals who share a goal to reinvent apps and game development in the Philippines. We want to show that the talent here (which is utilized heavily in an outsourcing manner) can be used to create our own original world class games and apps.

What excites you most about your industry?
The fact that it is all very new to me; I am learning as I go and trying to absorb as much as I can. I feel this is a strength though because during this period you can operate outside of the boundaries that people normally set for themselves. I like to believe ignorance is bliss in this case.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am proudly born and raised in Asia. I did get my university degree in the States (UNLV) so I feel very fortunate to have spent time abroad but Asia is home and this is where I see myself.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I would have to say Manila. This place has always been the ugly duckling compared to her sister cities around the region but it seems like it is changing; people seem to be more open to Manila and can see that the people of our city are educated and innovative, but still have reasonable expectations. On a personal note, this is homecourt for me and who does not enjoy that?

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Remember, no one else knows exactly what the hell they are doing; everyone is just doing it as best they know how. You will make it through.

Who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from many individuals and teams. Some are decorated athletes, some are people in my daily life. People who take the time to help or make an impact on someone’s life even if they have nothing to gain always puts things back in perspective for me. Especially when you get derailed and need that kick in the @$$ to get you back on your track.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I learned more about Tony Hsieh and his Downtown Las Vegas project. He spent almost $400 million of his own money for a cause he personally believed in. This shows a man who has won and isn’t afraid to lose. A man who has a vision and will see it through despite the difficulties. On a personal note the balls needed to tackle a project aiming to change a portion of a city are at the very least noteworthy.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I feel I could write a book about wrong decisions, derailment, getting my ass kicked up and down the block. But cliched as it sounds I feel all these experiences not only make you stronger and more knowledgeable; but they open new doors, new ideas and ways of thinking. On a fun note, I would love to go back to my college days in the States and seed fund Instagram – that would be great.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy unwinding with good friends over a bottle of bourbon. To keep balance I also maintain a pretty strict workout regimen. Racing cars are a big passion of mine and I join local drift competitions when time and budget allow. However being from the tropics I need to say nothing quite resets the body and spirit for this island boy like a trip to the beach.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I would have to say Palawan in the Philippines. Beach wise it just doesn’t get any better. There are resorts to suit all tastes and budgets as well as countless activities adventures and reasons to do nothing. However if a person is more inclined for recreation rather than relaxation; Boracay’s nightlife will not disappoint.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Who Moved My Cheese? — seeing as things get dated nowadays pretty much faster than we can innovate it’s good to remember to keep on top of your relevance.

Shameless plug for your business:
Big Brown Eyes Game Studio is a startup that breaks the rules. The fact that we do not all come from a tech background is a strength. We have a lot of influences to draw from. We also do not limit ourselves to the constraints of a single industry and we we are going to press on with our own rules. This is definitely something worth watching because succeed or fail, it is going to be a hell of a show.

How can people connect with you?
They can find me through most social media platforms; facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Just search for Raoul Olbes. I can also be reached via email; [email protected]

Twitter handle?
Twitter is the one social media platform I do not have. I do share my thoughts and pictures on Instagram though — raoul_olbes

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:


Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

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