Diary of an Economic Crisis Survivor

Life, Death and Miracles of a Startup, in the Italy of the Economic Crisis

Tag: crisis

33. One year of survival against the Great C, looking for the Critical Mass

February 15, 2015, HOURS 16:30
YEAR II, DAY 1.

Diary of a crisis survivor 33

It has been exactly a year.
One year surviving The Great Economic Crisis.
One year of Victory, our startup.
A year made of ups and downs, of right decisions and others wrong, success, tests and escape from Italy.

We think we are still in the Test phase, however we believe it is time to start thinking about another goal, which could allow us to find the best way to survive The Great C.

Now our goal is to be able to create critical mass: a sufficient number of customers that can allow to attract others customers only because of the number of feedbacks, interactions, or other actions you’ve managed to develop. That number could allow you to grow exponentially, to be able to do significant tests about your users, and that allows you, above all, to get closer to your definitive business model.

The next step will be to be able to achieve an important trade-off between: the number of users (our critical mass), and reducing the cost of creating the product / service.
And this would be hard task.

Because at that time, the eyes of Investors may seek Victoria.

Here we are. Where are you, customers? Where are the people who want to change the world with us? The time to find you has come.

But the time has come also to put together marketing campaigns, looking for the Critical Mass.
And it is now time to put up and start running, looking for The Great C.
Because the time has come, after a whole year, to fight the final battle against The Great C.

Diary of a crisis survivor 33 critical mass

32. Fighting the organizational chaos

FEBRUARY 3, HOURS 14:39
DAY 353

diary of a crisis survivor  Gantt & disorder

Disorder.
This is a disordered world.
And The Great C increased the level of chaos.

In particular in Italy, where it is better find a job to survive rather than be brave and try to create your own business.
Even for this reason, losing pieces along the way, we had to escape from Italy. Probably, however, the discussion is valid in any country in the world: no one gives you anything, and you have to be able to find the right trade-off and choose the best team for the next match, depending on the day.

We planned, we optimized, we tested, but despite all, the Great C found us and knocked on our door.
We need something more simple, but at the same time something more concrete: something that can help us understand where we are, how we got here, and which is direction to take.

So while in Italy we continue to talk about the new Head of the Republic, continuing to ignore the problems of the population, we have adopted a tool that will allow us to understand where we are, what we lack, what are the Milestones, which activities to make: we have adopted a control system with a simple, effective and shared Gantt.

 

It will be helpful? I don’t t know but I hope so.
At least something we can understand.

Maybe we will understand that we are just 5 stupids: this business plan was not to be realized, but we fell in love too much with the idea to deny the evidence.

Maybe we will understand, as the past other team members understood, that we shouldn’t leave Italy, but simply settle for a job.

Maybe instead we will understand that everything we did, was part of a long journey, that brings you constantly to face unpleasant choices (without knowing if the choice was right or wrong).

Maybe we will understand what the way to come home is.

diary of a crisis survivor  Gantt

31. The Gateway

January 23, 2015, HOURS 19:47
DAY 342

diary of a crisis survivor dynamic environment

Caught.
The Great C found us.
Despite our efforts to optimize resources and reduce costs, our budget forecasts resulted worse than expected. Both capital and especially resources. We can’t afford to buy new services, but we need them.
Therefore, while Italian politicians continue to not care about what happens outside the “Important Halls” talking and pretending to quarrel about the Electoral Law and about the new Head of Italian Republic, the Great C kindly knocked on our door and forced us to do the only thing we could do:

leave Italy (CLUE Ranked # 9).

After the initial panic, we used the plan B (you must always have a Plan B)and we found a place to stay, a dynamic environment, where we can take advantage of the large number of personalities and professionals to  grow.

It is an essential thing: working in a dynamic environment where you can learn and share. In Italy we could not find it: I think in Italy we have lost that sense of “social aggregation” replacing it with an uncontrolled individualism” (perhaps for pure spirit of survival?).

The really negative side is that we are losing pieces. Here we are just 5: Pigna (the CFO), the “Nerd per caso” (two developers), D (our designer) and me. Luca & The Wolf just gave up: they will remain in Italy, change profession, adapt to the system and they will find a random job(no offense to those who have a random job, but these guys had dreams).

We searched a new start.
And until the Great C will fail to find us, we will work here.
But in Italy will be back soon (I hope as winners).

dynamic environment

29. Please Santa bring me a Crowdfunding for Christmas

DECEMBER 22, 2014, HOURS 14:43
DAY 310

diary of a crisis survivor 29 crowdfunding

“Dear Santa, as you know my name is Victor, I’m 30 years old and I live in Italy.
In September, I create my own startup, with my teammates, some of which unfortunately had to leave Italy.
I went around the desolate streets of my city, a city, as many other Italian cities, devastated by The Great C, and  I thought and thought … well as a gift this year I would love to receive a Crowdfunding for us.
But if in your sled there is no space, you can take what you want, at least a little bit of enthusiasm.
This year, like the last, I will be here to resist and fight The Great C.
Thanks Santa, I can’t wait to see you. “

The 83% of Italian companies are small and medium enterprises. Since the advent of The Great C, these companies have had increasing difficulty in finding the funding they need to not give up.
Not recently, I heard about Crowdfunding, or collective funding for those who are new to the subject, and I discovered two important things:

There are five ways to make crowdfunding:

    1. Donation-based (e. based on the donation and no economic return);
    2. Peer to peer;
    3. Peer-to-Business;
    4. Invoice Trading;
    5. Equity Based (based on risk capital)
  1. The size of the Crowdfunding in Italy is virtually zero, this because:
    1. There are few platforms to do it(as Unicaseed and Starsup);
    2. You must be an Innovative Startup (Startup and Innovation: a relationship not always sincere);
    3. The “donors”, who wanted to invest a significant amount of capital, need the guarantee of a bank.

crowdfunding

In conclusion. In Italy, Corwfunding seems not an easy tool to use.
We’ll try, but as I said in the last post we finished supplies and capital, The Great C is besieging us, our startup fails to get success and we are thinking of abandoning Italy: this is the reason why I asked Santa a little bit of Crowdfunding for us.

We hope that the light of Christmas would bring hope.

Merry Christmas Survivors. Hold on.

doacs 29 crowdfunding

27. Don’t be afraid about The Great C, use it.

NOVEMBER 24, 2014, HOURS 13:31
DAY 282

diary of a crisis survivor 27 use the great c

Finds.
Finds of men who, in other times, fought and defeated the Great C.
I wrote the text of the find in the large blackboard of our office, now all team members of Victory, our startup, can read it. I will write it here, so that you can begin to see the light, in this dark period.
I don’t know if the “crisis” of the author is  our Great C. I just know that these are dark times, we don’t give up and we will use The Great C.
 

“Do not pretend that things will change if we always do the same.
The crisis is the best blessing that can happen to people and countries, because the crisis brings progress.
Creativity is born from the distress, as the day is born from the dark night.
It is in crisis that invention, discovery and large strategies are born.
Who ever overcomes crisis, outdoes himself without being overcome.
Who attributes their failures to the crisis and neglects, violent his own talent and gives most respect to the problems rather than solutions.The real crisis is the crisis of incompetence.
The drawback of people and countries is laziness to find solutions to their problems.
Without crisis there are no challenges, without challenges life is a routine, a slow agony. 
Without crisis there is no merit.
It is in the crisis where the best of each other rise up, without crises any wind is caress. Talk of crisis is to promote it, and silent in the crisis is to exalt conformity.
Instead of that, work hard.
Get it over with the only crises threatening, that is the tragedy of not wanting to fight for it.
He was Albert Einstein.
I’m Vittorio.
And I will use the Great C like an opportunity.

diary of a crisis surviror 27 einstein

26. Take your time to create your own Startup.

NOVEMBER 10, 2014, HOURS 22:00
DAY 268

Zombie Hand

Besieged.
Locked doors and barred windows.
The Great C is besieging us with his horde of depressed zombie citizens.
I don’t  know how long we can hold it, we may not have enough supplies and ideas.

The Great C has overwhelmed  Italy. And Italians have been overwhelmed.
Now both are knocking at my door, they want us. They want our project to collapse.
The Great C took Tim, our handyman: one-way ticket to North Ireland.
And D, our designer, is about to take the same path.
Let’s think about  all those minds that Italy has lost just before the coming of The Great C, all those brilliant minds who preferred to go abroad than prefer to gone abroad than to fight everyday to survive. Marco, Fabio, Andrea. The names are endless.

We are The Resistance of the New Millennium.

Commitment & struggle. In this way we will survive this siege. Because create a startup means this: give up everything, locked in your studio / office / home. No coffee, no beer, no fun, just a great desire to start your own startups and great confidence in your strength.

Take your time, even if it seems like an utopia.
Take your time, even if the Great C is besieging you.
Take your time to create your own startup and do it.

diary of a crisis survivor take your time

24. Startup & Innovation: a relationship not always sincere

October 20, 2014, HOURS 21:30
DAY 247

Be innovative.
Everyone is innovative. But really no one is innovative.
For me, innovation is only “any change that will lead to an improvement.”
Everything else is wrong.

diary of a crisis survivor innovation & startup 2

After the creation of our company we are proceeding with the request for entry in the category of the innovative startup (established by the government of the European general Mario Monti).

This is a particular category of companies, unlisted, and based  in the country destroyed by The Great C: Italy.

(CLUE No. 7) Given that we satisfy seven requirements to access (including never having distributed gains, investment in R & D, have as object “the development / production of services/products with high technological value “), in the future the benefits could be different and relevant:

  1. Less bureaucracy for the business (in Italy it is a big step!);
  2. Tax Incentives for Startups;
  3. Tax incentives for those who invest in startups (in Italy is rare);
  4. Flexible use of working contracts;
  5. Possibility of access to Crowdfunding.

We’re waiting for the verdict from the Ministry.
The things is gonna be serious.
Finally.
Startup & Innovation, a relationship not always true.

diary of a crisis survivor innovation & startup

20. Start up Competition: a way to grow

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014, HOURS 13:20

DAY 197

diary of a crisis survivor startup competition win

We fight the Great C.

Now officially.

While the wars rage in the world, while Italy continues risking sinking (inaction is not usefull) and the Great C is looking for another victim, we face an important moment in the life of a startup.

 

Thanks to writing a Business Plan we are able to sign up to the Startup Competition that we have identified.

It will be an important step, because we will face the public for the first time.

The goal is plural:

  1. Finding financiers or “companions” that can help us on the journey;
  2. Giving visibility to our idea.

For this reason, we are motivated.

Obviously we don’t know yet if we can.

However, being able to “compete officially” gives us a lot of enthusiasm.

We decided to take this step because the first feedback (with friends, family and experts) has been extremely positive.

I’ll leave you, now is the time.

With my click we will be officially in the race.

I’m going to click on (and begin to think that, this time seriously and concretely this time, we will win our battle with the Great C).

diary of a crisis survivor startup competition

19. No Country for Young Men.

Agoust 6, 2014, HOURS 22:31

DAY 171. diary of a crisis survivor recession

Recession. GDP -0.2%.

The worst for 14 years.

“Recession is back in Italy”

No. The Great C is back. Rather. It was never gone. And we knew it, I always repeat it in this blog: the inaction of the country is evident, and the cultural, economic, structural gap with other European countries is widening. “The Italian growth will come between 10 years.”  The voice of the people…10 years because they realize that the job is so much to do that it will be a long path.

The problem is the lack of  trust and opportunities for the young men. We need to have our chanche to play, we are too brilliant to be wasted. Victory is the startup of my dreams. For her, I fight every day to overcome the obstacles that sometimes seems to be insurmountable.

I can’t continue to be an “aspiring old  in a country for old men,” in Italy I can’t afford to invest my few money in a startup(although it is my startup and my dream). The risk is too high. Am I a gambler? Perhaps. Maybe the solution is in another country…. I’ll propose this idea to Victory’s team.

How many startup will die before the end of The Great C?

How many entrepreneurs will waste their projects?

How many young man will leave the country?

Maybe there is no hope Italy. No country for young men.

diary of a crisis survivor No Country for Young Men

18. I’m staying in Italy. For the moment. To Build my Startup

July 29, 2014, HOURS 10:37

DAY 164

Made in italy diary of a crisis survivor

I’m staying in Italy.

For the moment.

The Great C failed to get me.

The offer by the German multinational was not enticing enough.

The trade-off is in favour of Victory, my startup.

 And now?

We continue planning: at the moment we have just completed an intense brainstorming phase and now we are starting with the preparation of the Business Plan.

Accordingly, the form and the information of a Business Plan change depending on the goals (and hence on the receiver): our business plan will be basically divided in  two main sections:

– A qualitative part;

– A quantitative part.

The first part contains all the elements that constitute the concrete analysis of the inside and outside environment of the startup. Specifically, the qualitative part of the Business Plan of Victory, first analyzes the competitive arena and the strategies to create a competitive advantage over the competitors; later, we will analyze our business system, in its various components. The quantitative part aggregates a set of relevant data, including  forecasts and economic and financial analysis. On this point, we are lacking (for now). But two young professionals will help us.

 

Last but not least, the Executive Summary, which summarizes in a few lines the entire contents of the Business Plan.

Efficiency, Objectivity, Madness and Online Services (CLUE n. 6).

 Here we are, here is Victory, the one who will defeat the Great C.

The Great Economic Crisis, diary of a crisis survivor

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