"Ready or Not" Is Your Guide to the Digital Revolution

Amihan’s Chairman, Winston Damarillo, has released his new book, Ready or Not: The 6 Big Disruptions That Will Change the Way We Do Business. Find it at a National Bookstore or PowerBooks location near you!

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was founded in 1928, and over the next decade, the company built an expansive network that, for the first time, connected Filipinos to the outside world at scale. By the early 2000s — a World War, a dictatorship, and several corporate takeovers later — PLDT had grown into a juggernaut, with tens of millions of subscribers and a fortune built upon the business model in its name: long-distance calling.

But the past decade has been less kind to the long-distance business model than the century that preceded it. In 2003, a web application called Skype was launched, promising to connect people long-distance through video calls free of charge. Since then, Facebook has launched its Messenger app, Apple introduced iMessage, and upstarts like Viber, Whatsapp, and Telegram has grown from zero to veritable giants in their own right.

If long-distance was the equivalent of a toll road model, these over-the-top (OTT) alternatives allowed people to do voice calls from free over the Internet connection they were already paying for, essentially bypassing that toll road.

PLDT wasn’t alone in this. Banks were finding that remittances, or international money transfers, happened less often through their wires and more often through sites like Xoom and Remitly. Media networks were being usurped by bloggers typing away in their living rooms. Old-guard political establishments found their classic moves neutralized and outgunned by armies of volunteers who mobilized and amplified one another through social media.

Enter Winston Damarillo, a native Boholano who spent his twenties and thirties building, growing, and selling tech companies in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Through his company, Amihan Global Strategies, Damarillo has spent the past few years advising institutions like PLDT, banks like Banco de Oro, and brands like Penshoppe on how to adapt to the new business landscape ushered in by digital.

“Digital disruption means a lot of things, and it can be intimidating,” said Damarillo. “But the core thing to understand is that it comes with as much promise as danger. Technology can unlock new horizons for even the oldest mammoths — if they have the audacity to reimagine themselves.”

For Damarillo, training Filipino leaders to excel in the digital future is a personal advocacy: one that includes the empowerment of young hackers, artists, makers, and changemakers as much as the industry giants. He asserts that technology opens the path for a win-win endgame, in which small players are able to access more tools to create, while large institutions can benefit by channeling and enabling that creativity.

“It won’t happen by itself,” said Damarillo. “There is a danger of people and institutions big and small getting left behind. We need to start by getting everyone on the same page, with a shared understanding of the possibilities and the risks that come with this age of disruption.”

In line with this vision, Winston Damarillo has partnered with Summit Media, one of the Philippines’ leading publishers, to release Ready or Not: The 6 Big Disruptions that Will Change the Way We Do Business. Described as a beginner’s guide to the digital future, Ready or Not aims to orient Filipino leaders to six new technological trends that will reshape business and society over the next ten years.

 

Accessibility is one of the core tenets of Ready or Not. The aim, said Damarillo, is for anyone to be able to pick up the book, read it in one or two sittings, and come out with actionable knowledge about the future of digital technology and what it means for them. Weaving together his personal insights with easily digestible data and illustrations from Manix Abrera, the critically acclaimed artist behind Kikomachine Komix, Damarillo takes readers through a riveting and fast-paced tour of the future as it’s unfolding today.

The journey includes deep-dives into robots, artificial intelligence, drones, and self-driving cars, and demystifies terms like blockchain and the Internet of Things. Case studies from the future take us to the malls and magazines of 2025, to a vision of EDSA without billboards and malls without inventories. A card game by Richard Dacalos, creator of Upstart, completes the experience by allowing people to put the learnings into action through play.

 

Ready or Not is required reading for builders of all stripes who want to play a role in the shaping the future of the Philippines and the world. The books is available now in National Bookstores and PowerBooks locations across the country.

“This isn’t a playbook or a how-to kit,” Damarillo writes in the book’s introduction. “Digital transformation is about changing the core of how you do things, and that has less to do with tactics and more to do with understanding — deeply, intuitively, even emotionally — what the future will look like.

“The future is really much, much closer than you think. It is taking shape here, everywhere, right now.”