I believe that different points of view combined together could really come up with the best solution for each problem. A great and close-knit team is crucial for a good business.
Cecilia is a 27 year old entrepreneur, working and selling ideas in Italy. She studied Economics in Turin and she got a Master’s degree in Business and Administration obtained in Switzerland and South America. In 2014 she worked for a Company Consultancy Project commissioned by GROM, but the turning point in her life was meeting Daniele Scaglia and Alessandro Cadoni. With them, she founded Friendz, a startup that connects companies to people willing to provide support in the generation of advertising content, directly posted on their personal social media profiles. When she is not working at Friendz project, you can find her traveling the world in adventurous trips.
Where did the idea for Friendz come from?
Friendz wasn’t born in a garage or in a incubator in the Silicon Valley, like the majority of other startups did. We started our journey while having a cup of coffee with a slice of cake in Alessandro’s grandmother apartment, in a countryside village close to Milan.
I know, the choice could sound unusual, but where else three entrepreneurs “in the making” were supposed to start?
In that cozy environment, the other two co-founders and I, designed an app with the will of revolutionize the way companies would have communicated on social media.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Does it really exist a typical entrepreneur’s day? Our job doesn’t really have a routine. We have to overcome challenges and problems with a smile and give up the ideas of planning and certainty. Adrenaline is what we really can’t do without.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Basically, brainstorming with my colleagues. I believe that different points of view combined together could really come up with the best solution for each problem. A great and close-knit team is crucial for a good business.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love vintage, second hand objects and handicraft. I love buying things with a story. Commercials products, even if efficient and an amazing solution as far as quality and price are concerned, lack the appeal of handicraft products that it doesn’t match with perfection. That’s what’s amazing about them!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I don’t have one. I sleep very little, I eat whatever and I do sport only when I can and in a very intense way. This should be the tragedy of productivity, but actually is what gives me energy and balance are people: they could be clients, partners, journalists or even my team. Everyone is a pit full of ideas that incentivize my productivity!
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell her to be more patient, more understanding and less worried about the future. To be more open to accept other people’s opinions and different point of view.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Having a great communication with the people who work in it and, most importantly, recognize that a good team can really make the difference. This might seem a very basic thing to do, but for this people tend to take it for granted and this brings to a bad working environment and, ultimately, bad results.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
At the beginning, everything was a challenge! That is why we spoke with every relevant person in the field, we took part in startup competitions, we filled white papers with ideas and we improvised ourselves as skilled graphic designers, developers and salesmen. We improvised and we tried, a lot.
Initially, one of the biggest issue was getting the attention of big brands and marketing managers: we didn’t have a track record or a product yet, but we had the courage to dare and to try every route. Stalking? We tried that too and it worked. We stationed in front of the headquarters of big brands, close to the smoking areas, hoping that someone at some point would have left the door open for us to enter and meet all those people we emailed who never answered back. And finally, the lucky day arrived: we were able to sneak in unknown corridors and nobody never noticed us or called the security (fortunately). Directly knocking at the doors, we were able to tell managers what we wanted to do and ask them for feedback in order to develop a service that could perfect answer the needs of future clients.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Travelling, meeting great people, buying something that make me crazy!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
A telegram group for any topic inside the company (project, designers&dev, creatives and accounts, partners, and so on); our own CRM; our own accounting platform.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The lean start up” by Eric Ries. Plan A rarely works out but you have to be ready enough to accept the challenge, keep on evolving your project, desiging plans B-C-D……Z until you reach the success.
What is your favorite quote?
The more I practice, the luckier I get. (Tiger Woods)
- Never lose enthusiasm of your job
- A great team is what makes the difference in any business
- Travel a lot, meet new people and never stop studying
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.