I think I’m back

I have been surprisingly silent in the last 3 months. When this happens, either you are in big troubles or new exciting events are taking over. For me, the second.

My professional life has been turned around by a tornado. I started my own business in September, after 8 very disappointing months in the SaaS world. Good vision, wrong people, unprepared management, miserable people-management practices, structural inability to make things right. Leaving the startup wasn’t difficult; it was probably the best decision I could ever make.

I found myself nearly without a job at 48. Luckily it didn’t last long. Thanks to my (best) half, I approached the situation with a positive attitude and I simply ‘let the flow hitting me‘. I closed some great deals in few months with large tech enterprises. Met some of the best marketers on the planet. Started an insightful  strategic collaboration with LinkedIn and its content marketing agency. Opened collaborations in my home town, Milan. Then, one month ago, luck struck me again. A new great opportunity and a new start. Still keeping a slice of my own business, which is giving me that wonderful sense of freedom I never had in 20 years of corporate life.

At personal level, another tornado. This. And plans for a future trip I have always dreamed of, since I can even remember.

So, I am still not entirely sure if I am back. Yeah. Probably I am.

Content Marketing and Italy

Just few weeks ago I started a new collaboration with The Story Group/Lifonti & Company, an Italian agency who is literally paying a lot of attention at the content marketing space. I will support them and run their content marketing efforts in Italy. At the same time this collaboration will give me the opportunity to closely look at the country from a digital marketing perspective.

Had the opportunity to chat with many people in the last several weeks and the feeling is that interest for content marketing in Italy is rapidly growing. At least, this is my perception. First content factories have been established, companies and agencies are starting to think about content and move investments from traditional advert to content creation. Still, the market requires lot of education and this is the reason why this is a good momentum to be in countries like Italy.

Definitely not my intention to leave London; but Milan is my home town after hall, and these market evolutions are something that I am closely investigating.

And here is some press stuff. In Italian of course: Engage, PubblicitaItalia, IdeeIdeas, BrandNews, YouMark, ImpresaInternazionale, Assocomunicatori.

LSBU

For the first time ever I have been invited as a guest speaker by a University. Specifically, the London South Bank University. I will be introducing Content Marketing Strategy at the ‘Emerging Issues in Marcomms’ module, which is part of the MSc Marketing Communications course.

I have been speaking so many times, and I’ve been in front of very diverse audiences; but this is a special invite. And it makes me so excited!

More details in the next few weeks.

Freedom, Fairness and Equality

Equality

I’ve been obsessed – I just can’t find a better term – all my life with the respect of three values, freedom, fairness and equality, which in my (ideal) world are core values of the left – a left that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. I took so many decisions, personal and not, with these three values in mind. I failed sometimes, but still I felt proud of my sense of respect for these three guiding principles.

A few days ago Seth Godin has published a little gem, where he defines, guess what, the three values. And he adds some arguments about responsibility and equality that quite frankly are the cause of some of my failures. Here is what he writes. I think it is worth to share.

Freedom doesn’t mean no responsibility. In fact, it requires extra responsibility. Freedom is the ability to make a choice, and responsibility is required once you make that choice.

Fairness isn’t a handout. Fairness is the willingness to offer dignity to others. The dignity of being seen and heard, and having a chance to make a contribution.

And equality doesn’t mean equal. Equality doesn’t guarantee me a starting position on the Knicks. Equality means equality of access, the opportunity to do my best without being disqualified for irrelevant reasons.

Socialism and Individualism

Via The Guardian – here the full piece.

There are several reasons why rampant individualism sits at the core of the Tory project. Individualism promotes the idea that our successes in life are purely down to our own efforts. That rationalises inequality, because it perpetuates the myth that the wealthiest are the brightest and hardest working while the poorest are the stupidest and the laziest. Inequality simply becomes just desserts, rather than the sign of a society rigged in favour of a lucky minority. Tax becomes a punishment for success rather than a contribution to the collective kitty.

Individualism transforms social problems such as poverty and unemployment into personality defects, rather than the ills of a poorly constructed society – to be cured by a change in an individual’s attitude rather than by collective solutions, such as a welfare state. It erodes a sense that the majority have shared interests and aspirations, which are not only different from those of the elite, but on a collision course with them. It is fatal to the logical conclusion of this sentiment: that the majority should deploy their collective strength to challenge the concentrated wealth and power of the few.

As a dogma, this form of individualism is a formidable obstacle to socialism. But in practice it has increasingly resulted in insecurity: no wonder, then, that solidarity is so hankered after by so many. Labour has an opportunity to fashion a new individualism, with the promise that only socialism can liberate the individual.