During my life, experience always counted more. More than talent.
It’s thanks to experience that I got myself out of difficult situations.
I had enough luck to be able to develop a career across 3 continents, often working for big companies and I always believed that it’s not important how many times you fall, it’s rather how many times you can get yourself up again.
The future always obsessed me. It’s not the concept of time and what I could have become, but rather what I could have seen, use, contribute to create.
I have never followed success at any cost. My objective is a selfish wish to surprise myself, imagining things that still don’t exist and for which it’s worth pushing yourself to create something.
My passion for designing has always been a constant since I was a little boy, especially when it came to cars. I used to draw hundreds of them. Some preposterous, some that are still valid now. Motorsports and particularly F1 gave me the sense of a mix between design and engineering, a field where if you had a valid idea, you could make a difference and help a pilot achieve victory.
A year before I started high school, I had an idea. Why not create a false bottom that would allow to bypass the regulations and introduce again – in a legal way – the so-called ground effect sidebars?
A teenager’s ravings. Despite that, I started sketching a few drawings and I sent them to Ferrari’s Stables and also to Rombo and Autosprint, two industry’s magazines.
I was stunned to receive a letter from Maranello where they complimented me and sent me autographed pictures of that period’s pilots.
Both the magazines published my drawings and this, to a teenager, was a huge gratification.
1992 arrived, and Ferrari’s Stables started to present the single-seat cars. Ferrari presented the F92A, the First F1 with a false bottom. A marvelous and fortuitous coincidence, and also a very funny accident.
I then sent an e-mail to Ferrari (e-mails were not that common at that time), and I awaited their answer.
The then-President answered me and said that yes, there were similarities, but that was only because Claude Migeot, Ferrari’s Chief Designer, and me both had the same intuition.
Years went by, and passions grew stronger. And so did I.
When the iPhone generation arrived, I started realizing a few so called “concepts”, futuristic designs that anticipated those that were to come.
Many of these ended up on important Internet magazines, like Mashable, Gizmodo, Wired, Techcrunch…
At some point I realized that the “iPhone” brand wasn’t satisfying me anymore, so I started to imagine more Apple-branded products.
It was 2010 and I had a new intuition. What if at the WWDC of that year Apple would present an… iWatch? I then decided to design an Apple branded watch, creating a rendering, a website, videos and packaging.
They liked the concept so much that basically everyone talked about it, and every respectable industry’s magazine published a picture of it.
It was the year 2010, 5 years before the first Apple Watch was launched. I remember I used to check the website’s statistics every day, and I still have a screenshot that shows a visit directly from Cupertino: Apple Computer Inc.!
Since then the virtual popularity grew, but economic difficulties grew as well. The company where I worked at as a Senior Designer was in a deep crisis and after a period of self-taxation to exit the crisis, we stopped getting our paycheck.
It was the year 2013, Christmas was approaching, and I had 5 months of unreceived paychecks. I tried to talk to my boss: I wanted to buy some gifts for my nephews, because it was the first Christmas I wanted to spend with them after my divorce. I’m omitting willingly the fact that my father had just recently died.
I asked for a meeting with my boss, but he came to talk to me with just 100 Euros, despite the thousands of Euros that he owed me. In that moment I decided to give up on everything and reinvent myself yet again, even if I had only 32 Euros on my bank account.
It was a very difficult period: I had literally had to decide if I should buy either milk or bread. My unapologetic pride literally prevented me from asking for help. Those were really hard times.
Then I had a dream.
I already had developed different hypothetical and futuristic design projects for Apple, but this time it was different. Besides creativity, there was also a compelling necessity to give my life purpose again and regain my lost dignity.
I always wanted to create something that was mine, a revolutionary product and project that would be a little nostalgic, and the chance arrived while I was staring at Instagram’s icon, inspired by old Polaroids.
I asked myself: why can’t I make a real camera out of it? Why can’t I make Instagram’s icon real?
The name was supposed to be evocative of those old cameras, like the Instamatic, but it was also supposed to look to the future, to being social.
That’s how Socialmatic was born, the first camera that erased the gap between real and virtual. It was May 2012, my latest concept arrived on the Internet, but this time it had something different. It seemed like it had the characteristics to not only make people talk about it, but also to create a new way to approach digital photography, getting back the old-fashioned wish to have a real photograph in your hands, by simply printing it.
The concept was published by magazines all over the world, a “mediatic” success that I did not expect.
I convinced myself that this was a product that people really wanted, so I started a crowd-funding campaign that miserably failed. Hundreds of e-mails from people who weren’t really interested arrived; they seemed to want to fund the project but as soon as it became more concrete, I realized they were just speculators.
My spirits were really low, when one night another e-mail arrived.
A Russian entrepreneur asked me if I really intended to realize that product, and how I much I needed. I was tired to repeat the same things and the same numbers: I was sure this person would give up, as well. So I presented him with a huge amount which was all-inclusive, and I was sure of his refusal. I was well aware of the investments I needed, and the hardships that are hidden behind such a project.
So Socialmatic LLC was officially born, a company whose mission was to give photography an innovative look into the future.
We started to look for partners to realize the project, taking advantage of a network of contacts and friendships I inherited from my Designer and Marketer job.
In the meanwhile, the concept was gaining more visibility and it was in that moment that I received a letter from Polaroid’s lawyers: it seemed that my concept had broken some image copyright here and there. Specifically, it was the use of the famous “rainbow” or so called “spectrum” and some rounded edges.
My fear grew. I thought: either I give up now and go back to anonymity, or I risk everything raising my voice.
So I did exactly that. I answered that they had to sue even my Maker regarding the rainbow, and the copyright regarding rounded edges in my concept surprised me, because I already had a table at home with the same angles.
They answered laconically: Do you really want to realize this product?
We answered affirmatively.
The rest is history. First a Memorandum of Understatement, trips to New York, exhausting and long phone calls, sudden mood shifts, lawyers, engineers, technicians, accidents and difficulties.
Then Las Vegas CES 2014, the international technology fair, arrived. It was Oscar’s night for the digital industry. We immediately obtained the Innovation Award 2015, an award given to the best technological innovation.
The product was there. The new social network was there, too.
During the same year we arrived at Photokina 2014 where Socialmatic Camera almost definitely won the 2014 Star Award for best innovation.
Then we continued… we presented the final version of the camera at CES 2015: we won the Innovation Award again.
Unfortunately, Socialmatic had a short life because of a series of unfortunate events, but it was still a fundamental step.
From that point, I started my international collaborations, I took the stage in almost every continent and developed products, ideas and innovations with the only aim of making people’s life really better.
In 2015 I became part of a Network Marketing company that was growing fast. I knew the owners, who were born in my same hometown, and I had a 20+ years long friendship with them. I was invited to review their ideas and give my contribution.
From this enriching collaboration many products were born, some really innovative, that left their mark on the industry and brought the concept of Total Design under the spotlight: a CDO sets and manages the whole design production line, from the device, to the software, to the internal activities. These had been 3 intense and important years, during which a creation of mine won the award for Network Marketing Product of the Year.
In 2018 I came back as a freelancer and I collaborated with other Network Marketing companies, always fighting for a self-realization in which the product, its quality and its concept always come first.