Over the last seven years I have been leading a number of projects, proposals and pitches for several top enterprise clients, spanning several verticals like healthcare, consumer goods, retail, food and beverage, chemicals, travel, luxury and media. Many of them are Italy-based global brands with a strong industrial heritage. I do it coordinating multi-disciplinary teams of creatives, UX designers, strategists, digital marketing specialists and developers. I travel regularly to client premises in Milan, Rome and Turin, as well as to some of the main European Sapient studios, especially London. Albeit at a different pace, all of these companies are changing or will change because of what we are being used to label “Digital Transformation” (right on this topic, I have here my reviews of Rogers 2016 and Westerman et al 2014, both great books on the topic.
From 2004 to 2010 I have been a freelance. I spent most of this time working in international R&D large projects on mobile and wireless technologies. I immersed myself in the analysis and prototyping of applications and services that later on have been made popular by smartphones and social media. In doing so, I had the opportunity to face the challenges of pre-competitive market stages, research funding and the politics of industrial alliances.
From 1998 to 2004 I completed my first long ride in a digital agency – actually it was more a series of agencies, considering acquisitions and rebranding: Fullsix, InferentiaDNM, DNM and Datanord Multimedia, going backwards in time – it has been possibly the largest Italy-based player in the early 2000s, with a big France arm.
And here it goes my career start: following a master degree in Philosophy I ended up working in a local newsroom, partly out of necessity and partly for interest and curiosity for media and publishing. It was the mid-90s. PCs were already a mass phenomenon but the Internet was still in its early days as a social and commercial platform. I began wiring about it as a technology journalist on the Italian press but for a tour of events I turned into a consultant with that first digital agency, with the famous surprise of the kafkian tale. The company grew exponentially and afterward went through a tough restructuring. I earned the leadership of a consulting unit, completed a number of successful projects and I finally switched roles taking the senior account path. I think I learned a lot on the field and from the industry pioneers with whom I had the privilege to cooperate. Those lessons are still with me, alongside the determination to keep studying & cultivate an attitude that an old Italian master called “ostinato rigore” – constant rigor.