Tiago Mattos – Co-founder of Perestroika

[quote style=”boxed”]The thing that I do the most as an entrepreneur is to actually do it. By “do it,” I mean create, start and finish a project.[/quote]

Perestroika is a school that offers creative activities with a wide range of courses founded in Porto Alegre, Brazil by Tiago Mattos, Felipe Anghinoni and Marcio Callage.

Its first course focused on creative advertising; today, Perestroika also offers courses in poker, football, business, fashion, the Internet and many others interesting activities.

What are you working on now?

Perestroika, a school of creativity located in Brazil.

Where did the idea for Perestroika come from?

When I was very young, I won a scholarship to study at a very famous school in the U.S. Because of its fame, I was expecting something really inspiring, subversive and disruptive. It was nice, but not even close to the fantasy I created on my mind.

A few years later, I was with two friends discussing ideas to start a business. One of them said, “What about a course?” Immediately, that inspiration came to my mind again. We didn’t need any business plan. I had everything in my mind.

What does your typical day look like?

I run the company alongside my business partner, Felipe Anghinoni, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. We call ourselves “Directors of Whatever,” because we do everything. At 8:00 p.m., I teach to a 35-student class. The class ends at 10:00 p.m. Then, I start answering my email. 🙂

How do you bring ideas to life?

First: I’m a very confident person. I don’t fear being wrong. The only way to be wrong is to make safe decisions all the time.

Second: I trust my intuition. If it doesn’t feel right, you can show me all the research in the world; I’ll say no. On the other hand, if I trust the idea, I go further, even when the research says the opposite.

Third: I work to stretch my comfort zone. It means that I look for things that scare me just a little bit, and beat them. One by one.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to confront yourself with an idea very far from your comfort zone. The best way is to make it bigger everyday. In that case, you realize that ideas that would be outside your comfort zone are now inside.

What is a trend that really excites you?

Artificial Intelligence proving that robots can be creative. I think this is a new field that excites me a lot.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

I was an intern in an advertising agency. The CEO ran the company like I was her son.

If you had to start again, what would you do differently?

I would learn English very early on in life.

As an entrepreneur, what is something you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

The thing that I do the most as an entrepreneur is to actually do it. By “do it,” I mean create, start and finish a project.

Most people have no trouble having ideas. Some are very good at having and starting things. But just a few people finish them. That’s the kind of partner that I love to work with.

What is a problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As a school of creativity, we were offering courses in many fields. But people were looking at us as an advertising school because our first course was about that. So we launched a professional poker course. It was a very disruptive way to make our message very clear: “We are NOT an advertising school.” It was the best decision I’ve ever made as an entrepreneur.

What is a business idea that you’re willing to give our readers?

A “passion fitbit”: some sort of device that measures everything you do and gives feedback about the things you are having fun doing.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

The public schools around the world. They are focused on things that are not important in life. And it’s not teachers’ faults; it’s the system that is linked with the Industrial Revolution mindset. I’d love to see schools teaching creativity, entrepreneurship and “how to find your passions.”

Tell us a secret.

Most of my tweets and Facebook posts have a specific person as a target.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources, and what do you love about them?

Rescue time – It’s a very simple way to find out if you are being productive or not.
Google Analytics – I love to cross-check data about my posts and the way the audience reacts.
Twitter -We don’t advertise at all. The thing we do is to provide free content to our audience. Then, once in a while, we talk about the courses we are launching. I think it’s the best way to engage people to read your ads—make them trust you.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden. The only book that I agree with from beginning to end. Short, precise, funny and deep. Absolutely perfect.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Matias Rivera, Federico Pistono and Yori Kamphuis. Three ex-classmates from Singularity University that inspired me a lot.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I was preparing a class about internet memes and watched the “Epic Sax Guy” video again. That joke never ends.

Who is your hero?

My business partner. He was the best gift my professional life has given me.

One professional question of your choice?

“Why am I working in education?” Because this is the only thing that I know I’m good at and that has a positive impact on society.

What is the best part of being a creative person?

I love to come up with surprises for my girlfriend. And she loves me because of that.


Perestroika on Twitter:  @perestroika
Tiago Mattos on Facebook:  facebook.com/tiago.mattos
Tiago Mattos’s Email:  [email protected]