Gutenberg Technology President & CEO
Università degli Studi di Milano Bachelor’s Degree, Applied Digital Communications
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
um a long wrote, um with a lot of changes I I'm opinion on and I moved to Italy when I was 18 years old to study on Bond played soccer, basically, and after spending a few 23 years in Italy working, I started in software development from then consulting. And I was looking for a company in Milan, Italy, to international company. So, like a consulting for the world that could give me the opportunity to move to France. Paris. So I found this company worked a year with them and then ask for a transfer, which I got. And then this is how I got to terrorist in Paris. I spent a year with the same company and then decided that was trying to do something else always in this, uh, customer facing but more towards business still with ingredient of technology. Because that was my expertise and I joined the company were today with the technology, uh, joined initially to dio to manage some of the customers that move to sales and marketing. Then later on, uh, got the role of deputy if you joined the board and moved here in Balkan Thio open the U s offices develop business. But finally I got chosen from the board to be this deal. The group. And here I am today, basically, we will develop a platform to allow Publishers University different ways to create their content online and then published on all devices specializing education. So, trying to make education more fun, accessible, a lot kind of devices.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? What are the top three priorities? What are weekly work hours like?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
Yeah, Responsibility and decisions. Responsibility would say the main one is really the definition off. The strategy and making sure way are ahead of the market ahead of the competitors on DWI are agile in the sense of the strategy. You define it. But with the current situation ability, it's very important. The second thing I would say hiring or building a very solid leadership team. And consequently, just in general, Hi the right talent. Because it's all about the people you hire, um, and then making sure that everyone but everyone is department Everybody alignment with the company's service objectives on that. Nobody is that the issue is somehow the psychologists off of the company, I would say so, Really taking care of people. Uh, top three priorities. Really, It's the same. It's making sure that, uh, to start hire the right people, set the right company culture on baking. Sure that peoples are clear for everyone and everyone needs to No. What is the venue? Compute the company. Uh, basic self close hours. Weekly hours can go from 60 to 80. Really? Uh, what was it

What are major challenges and pain points in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in overcoming them? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
I would say the first challenge is, uh, depending on depending on the on the stage of the company. But I would say the first one, it's really finding the right people finding the right people with the right experience. It makes a huge difference and with the right attitude, because depending on where the company is, um, timing is very important. Some people can fit in certain. Five. Uh huh. Don't just some people put the warning big companies on DARE very, uh, structure that don't deal with change. So I would say that's one of the main challenges. Second goes back, toe the culture and again to the people. It's setting the right culture, really, that that's a challenge. And it's not just setting it, but as well, making sure that it's kept and is lived. People brief on and they see the self in that culture. Um, but I would say it's really, um, growth. So how do you make sure that we do more with less and you have, ah, you find the right product market fit and scale, um, used to carry your sales or marketing your skills operation supporting that growth. So that's I think that's a very, very that's a good challenge approaches. Uh, there isn't one across approach. It's all because they get it depends on the context. Um, but I think the in terms of police off methodologies, really making sure that, um, you set clear strategic goals. Uh, if you set your strategic goals, it will make everyone's like, easier on. If you have a good company culture that is employee and customer oriented. I think that is all facilitates because we don't want You don't want to run a company when you run against people. Your people. It's really the people that needs to make things that, uh, because they believe in home, um, examples. Well, I would say of the rial example, It's cold, right? Because it happened on that was a big begin back for everyone, for us, too. So we had to very quickly let's be a review of our strategic objectives. Make sure to really see what was still realistic. What was not would be prepared overall with business. Uh, there were part of the business that Linda was negative. There were parts off business was, in fact responsible because of the online learning demand and really make sure that as a leadership team, to update those goals and will be realistic and update expectations and communicate with the team with everybody else each manager communicating or what is expected and what are the risks and what is expected from from the future with current customers and the customers so that everybody prepared in their their job and not just, you know, managing everything. Chaos have people caught by surprise so that I would say, uh, it's a very good example that shows you how as our business is, how can people can are really people prepared to, uh, deal with quick change or not? And as well, in some cases, uh, do people have the skills as well? Thio make those changes because those are already important.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
First of all, the I mentioned earlier the setting strategic objectives. So we do use a framework called, um scorecard way use a tool coehlo strategy to set those objectives and cascaded for the team communicated to the board, communicated to the employees and making sure that we're measuring the KP ice, um, other that we use well, marketing platforms, crm classical, I would say. And then when it comes to our plot from the product, we develop them, we use, I would say that the latest technologies that, for example, companies such as Google and Facebook use, uh

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
inside within the organization. Well, I'm usually mostly I work most closely with the, uh, steer for my CFO or CEO. Um, have a have a girl. Which around sales and marketing on the head of product and as well, often with the head of engineering, uh, to really make sure that we are I'm aligned with them and they know where we're going. Effect. Uh, you know, you cannot give everything for granted. It's important to be very close to the now on its way. Obviously, um, externally outside the organization, I'm usually in touch with other CEOs chief technology officers or head off with this boat, for example, um, or head off training, online training or provosts from universities or presidents from universities, Chief digital transformation officer Uh, what approaches are affecting work with them? It really depends. It really depends on who is it what the company is? Is it a Is it a big company? Is a billion dollar company or is it a small company? It really depends on that. It will defensive we're talking about. This is the prospect of a customer. Is it a potential partner? The protests are usually different. Uh, with a customer. You wanna present it differently? You wanna present a bringing? You need to make sure you present well value proposition. You present the company as a big company. No matter the size. It's the perception is very important. Uh, making sure that you are strategic enough in the conversations. Um, with partners, it's all about business development. Where relations, um, s so on, so on.

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
my management style. Usually usually it's easier for other people to describe my management stock. But I would say I'm genuine person, person and leader. Um, charismatic, also visionary, uh, to me, it's all about taking care of the people, really empowering people. I'm a very get trust, and I give people the possibility, Thio, trust me. And it is well for me the past, But to me again, it's really about making sure that I, um, support my team and I make sure that they have what they need to succeed. Obviously, in both way, I didn't mind my support, I expect from my team is horrible. They need, uh, goals. Uh, yeah, experiences or how is it it has a hold. Over the years, I would say I didn't get my job of CEO and president, uh, from Day one. So I wasn't employees in different companies. I've seen companies involved where they have completely different national from let's say, very micro with micromanagement, some others with different type of style, more successful with arrested persons, and I would say it was a great experience is because it's not. It's often important to know what to do, but it is very important to know what would not do right. Um, experiences with books that influenced my management style World books from early beginning. A lot of books from Jeffrey Pepper, his professor. But I think those were being very, very, but then, in general, are very power. Business Review has a material when it comes to management leadership, Uh.

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
uh, the top. It's a top down, I would say initiative. I've learned over the years that the only way to create a culture of trust, openness and a healthy work culture it's really about starting with me being open and providing my trust. People being open means that, um, in the past, for example, when I was working for other companies or even the same company when when I was not a CEO, the leaders have a balance of saying Well, we cannot communicate everything off. The decisions are being made because people will get panel. They will not feel secure. That will leave, always assuming that people get panic and people don't have to deal with these things always assuming that people would not understand which I discover that it's not the case. People are very open to hear environment on. And if it's communicating the right way, even sometimes the less good news or just providing content context on on specific incident. That kind of openness from leadership team from the management allows the creation of risk off this work culture where people feel more open thio to communicate. They feel safer. Um, that's the world, but by promoting this openness. But by really inviting people thio communicate, we ask questions without sometimes acting like whose fault with, uh, really treating people like, uh, like professionals and experts in their field, because that's what they are. That's why you hire them. Um, managing conflicts. Um, it really depends on the case by case, but to me it's very important to understanding the why off a conflict the y from both perspectives, and not just take one perspective and go with it sometimes. Um, the concept can be in the center or more complex, more complex because it comes from the personality of a certain person and not really because some of the other person did something. So it really starts with that with the empathy of understanding the why with two people and take it from there and try to really bring them together. I see state

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
um, one of the books from Jeffrey Feffer. It's called Power. Why? Some people have it on good how to how to use it. So in that book, there is this. I remember I read that in 10 4011 and at the time I had this boss who was very micromanager and very into Cherokee. There, This, uh, you have layers and layers and layers of charity, and I'm like, Well, I cannot talk to him like it doesn't Doesn't know it's never happens to for me. So what I decided to do is that because you can work 80 hours per week, but if you don't communicate, nobody will know. Nobody will know what you do. Nobody will know what you do well, or you don't Don't do well aside from your manager, assuming that you might have a good manager. And if you don't have a good manager, it's a disaster. Um, so at the time when I decided to do, I was working on this, uh, building mobile applications for the newspapers so that newspapers can publish their news on iPod path, for example, Um, when I'm in private from time to time something like once a week to go through the general manager on Meet Him and say, Do you have five minutes? I would love to show around working on and I think it would be helpful and meetings that you have with customers and that that action, um, made me get me more visibility Thio my visible to increase. And that's a very simple example that I would say people can apply in their jobs either with CEO, I would say important people, important people in the company mistakes. It's a fine balance between wanted to show up or wanted just to connect. So it Z it's a fine violence, but that you need to find, you know you need Thio. Make sure you understand that what you're doing comes from a genuine place. Um, and when to do this because, you know people are business and don't wanna waste their time about people awesome

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
Yeah, KP ice. Right. I talked about strategic objectives, strategic objectives to start its revenues. Adiga, for example, a down when it comes to marketing the generation, Uh, other other indicators when it comes to products or customers. But I would say and then have been the main ones are all around related. Thio, Uh, a current revenue number of use horses. Um um annual among the recurrent revenue fast. This is our moderate success model. Those are, um, from a business perspective. And then when it comes to and police, it's all about the okay. Are that linked to go more bigger taking place, Yeah.

What skills and qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
so we use this way. Use this methodology that it's called. It comes from this book that's called Who the A Level, uh, pop grading, which goes to the very detail when we when we weigh, hire someone. But personally, I look at the attitude, making sure that the attitude to get kids with the culture of the company, you, depending on what you're looking for, usually you might find a person that is very qualified when it comes to skills or even overqualified. But Thea attitude off being open, being driven, being flexible, being open to change on a special being always hungry to learn. Those are things that I think make the difference in a candidate because often you might find a very good candidate. But they're they don't do good with change. They don't fit well with the company culture. They may be a hard time to integrate with the teams or, for example, Thio work with teams that are remote. We have offices here in Boston in Paris, worked with a team as well in Albania, so it's three different cultures, three different languages and they will speak in English with social English. So it's really important, but had to do this spiritually

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
I'm very proud off. When I joined the company, I completely the first thing that I did is I changed the company culture again, making it more second clear goals, setting up three years strategy and really turning the company. Teoh a culture that is employee and customer centric so that the company really takes care of the employees and the heuristic care of customs. And this is the second Year way just did our annual reviews with the team just about 23 months ago. And the feedback has been, like never before has been fantastic. People are very happy with the quality of the work has increased. Customers aren't happy s, um, of course, I'm very proud of that. I would say the second achievement is when it comes to, um uh for results. Since we opened, our Boston offices were done, something like 100 and 75% growth yearly. 40 years office is the best. That's a fantastic achievement. And just overall, I would say the capability or going from country to country, uh, going higher and higher. It's not uneasily, so now that needs to think that we get between languages and cultures. It's always very complicated. Mhm

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle? What were the top three priorities and pain points? What strategies were effective in dealing with challenges?

Based on experience at: Professional Services Consultant, EidosMedia
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
responsibilities I had time were really too managed. The digital transformation hall, Uh, this newspaper's companies, media companies, uh, working very closely with customers understanding, uh, their pain points, the tools they use, the workers they used and the business goals. So newspapers, as you might know, they started their digital transformation way just because it was being sold anymore on most important, because the because of the new devices smartphones, tablets. So the user's change. So they need new uniforms and those new business models need to be supported from these platforms are allowed to produce the content in a more flexible or multitude way. Um, the decisions. I was there, Thio. Advise them on what to do, how to do it based on their business goals. And, uh, I was responsible for the definitional. The school, an Israeli diplomatic ALS technical speaking, uh, priorities and pain points outside the priorities. Well, first of all was to make the customer happy, no matter what, the customer had to be happy. Uh, the second, the priority, which is kind of related to the first, is that make the customer happy, but not by saying just everything, but rather by educating them toe implement the rights movement even in those, sometimes they were not happy with that solution. Why? Because when it comes to digital transformation, digital transmitting, all about change, change means you're going there because they don't have that skill. They don't have the skill, meaning that you have to educate them first because you were there. But in reality, you need to do the transformation that changed with them. So the payment, one of the biggest pain points is first educate them, really explaining. So they understand. Why is this being done that way? And then strained them so that they can good with you? Because if that doesn't happen, then they will act as a blogger. Uh so that was one of the bigger things when the second big pain point was that the business model of the time they were not, uh, concretely defined. So there were a lot of continues to change and continue to change. Another one was, Well, the I part of the crimes he's got was new technology. How do you make mobile application? Probably come from from the but water usages. Users just we're not completely fine. So there was a part time uncertainty there and gray area. But we had thio that we have to deal with in terms of strategies dealing with those challenges. It's really, uh, inclusion, including the customer from day one and not really not really having this attitude. Um, be expert. I know you don't know nothing so really including them. Training them and working as one team over on, then sharing experiences from one person to the other. Sometimes even have them talk to each other because that were accelerated even more the adoption of the education of, uh, customers.

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
I did my close program in Italy in Milan, and it's called digital Communication. And the goal of that program was to build this hybrid profiles between business and technology. They can speak both of these languages, uh, because of workplace needed people that could understand technology and explain to the business, and vice versa. Explain. The business goes to technology people. So I would say it was a fantastic program because you were in the same time you would learn how to do software, developed software, learn marketing, learn business economy on. But in addition to that, I did I did, uh, I would say crush course into how to, uh, have to launch a startup. So really pushing the, uh, thinking off Well, you can code you can do marketing. You could do some business. But if you were to launch a startup like, where do we start? What is it you need to know? So P and L and raising money, all those all those concepts, Um, how did they prepare to me for my career? Well, the good thing is that I was able to thrive in as a software developer because I had those skills I was not the most expert one because was not completely specialized. Talked about, uh, but the part of understanding the business helped me when I was talking about to speak to my managers, to speak with high level people. Ondas We'll navigate very easily from its start with position to then later a consultant, Thio Small, more sales and marketing oriented now managing business. So that mix the multitude off skills that I learned during my college really help the law in going from these different positions that otherwise if I would have done something, that was only specialized One thing I don't think, uh, I would I would understand here today, or maybe, you know, but that's what what I think.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? If any, please also discuss your experiences facing adversity, or trying something unusual.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
So the biggest lesson I would say. It's always always embraced uncomfortable situations because you can only learn from those. And you can you can. Those are the moments when you girl the most. The examples. Um, I moved. I moved to Italy. New cultural, new language to study in Italian It took me a full year, year and a half to really change my brain. Really studying Italian, Very technical, Very technical language. Uh, something. I moved to France. I didn't know the language at all. I had to work with newspapers when where language is very important. So those were very uncomfortable situations. And then moving from a job, the other where with different specialties. So we're learning from scratch. Yeah. Eso really that uncomfortable part and really being open to it. Not being scared. Scared? Fear it's part of it. So here is There's this new book called Fear Is the Fuel, which are highly recommend by Patrick Swing, where he describes that if seriously, was world can be a big, big, um, fuel for your engine for you. Drug. Um, second, I would say to in the same concepts, to not be to not be scared Thio just changed. Changed, going from one specialty to the other. This is, uh this is an era where education learning is There's so much material out there. You can you can become a stuff to develop or you can become a marketer. You can become a salesperson. We're working. Yeah. You don't need to go anymore in tow. Three years college. Uh, course no. Other than inciting people do not go to college. But do not be scared to really switch. I'm sorry. Um, third one. Yeah. Be likable. People like people who are likable. You are not likable. Three Probability off, Houston exceeding wherever you go is we lower? It's a skill that it completely can be learned. And that will help the law. Well, yeah, yeah.

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Mon Oct 12 2020
I would say, uh, a place a company where for some of you have the possibility to learn. Because when you start, you really it's all about learning, learning, learning, learning. I'm practicing. Um, that's the first thing I would say. Second thing is, uh, if you haven't yet found, uh, the, uh let's say specialization like the type of work with type of probably wanna dio explore. But really look at them to look at the market. Where? What is it? What's the trend? Where is the world going towards? Is it a Is it something else, really, to look forward, Thio Industries of our thriving on where the future is? Um, that's something super important. I would say, um, other advice is doing Don's I would say it's possible to fundamental because we know what we know, but we don't know everything I would say We don't know what we don't know, so sometimes it is very helpful. Thio speak with people that I've gone through the bath so often. If you wanna become a project manager or salesperson or market or technologist to really, for example, going Lincoln and look people that have done the same degree diplomas. You college degree, That's similar path and really comfortable and asked, Hey, do you have any question me? Because that can save a lot. A lot of time that can, um, on board for YouTube. Sometimes making things things. Um, yeah, that definitely would. Sometimes I found whenever in my best career from people who I have had advice for me has been social. So healthy, so healthy. Um Brown a mentor can be somebody don't know people who really from the same university friends who find something from a great matters too. Um, or a bus? Yeah.