Forum Replies Created
April 12, 2019 at 20:13 #3777
As always, the conference is a source of discussion and inspiration for reasoning; I am very grateful to have the opportunity to hear all these beautiful stories of life. Comment on yesterday’s conference following the order in which the interventions followed. I must admit that it made me feel strange to hear about “feminine startup”, let me explain better. As Eugenia Di Somma said, studies affirm that women have more difficulty in public speaking and tend to be more averse to business risk than men. I think that is the result of a society governed purely by men and built for men where women played a marginal role because the work was strictly physical, and the differences emerged more. Now we are living in a period in which society is finally changing and starting to talk with greater intensity than this absurd problem, even if obviously there is still working to be done, otherwise, there would be no space to talk about “feminine startup”. This is crazy, talk about startups and women because in the past the two questions were like two parallel lines. I think that if the percentage of women in leadership positions increase, we will live in a world that is far better, and I think that Eugenia Di Somma and Alice Melocchi are a living demonstration.
Regarding “SheTech”, they are doing an amazing job, and I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about their free workshop on coding. What a great opportunity! Don’t you think? There are many saying that coding will be “tomorrow’s English” as we can read in the following article:
I believe “SheTech” is offering us a great opportunity that we should all seize.
I also want to dedicate some words to the incredible experience of Alice. I have great admiration for her, she did not stop at her degree with honors, her doctorate in research, being selected at MIT, but she went further by opening a business. It is not a common thing, she is true Italian excellence! Among the many suggestions she gave us, I want to report here is curious. It might seem trivial and obvious advice but being curious is really something that can open many doors, and I think it’s one of the ideological pillars of the Silicon Valley Study Tour, in fact, it leads students to see one of the most stimulating areas in the world.
Have a good evening!
Valerio Demontis.April 9, 2019 at 14:09 #3760
In response to Giovanni Agrone. I totally agree with you when you said that we don’t have to be scared about technology innovations, but I would like to move the conversation to another direction According to the previously posted graphs, Economists had studied different models of the innovation process, and the exogenous is the much used from Central Banks and International Organizations. They affirm that the growth of one economy is natural (the cause of the balance is not the effect of the exogenous variable, but it is the effect of other variables that do not belong to the model) as the technology progress. They think that there is a trend to consider as right the phenomenon that interrupts the growth. Sometimes this technological progress had a deceleration or exogenous shocks. For the opinion of the exogenous theory, there is nothing to do, in the meaning that the shock is temporary, and it decelerates the growth, but in a certain natural moment, “it fixes” and restart to grow.
What I want to say is: it is the only way to let happen the innovation process or we can slow down the growth and try to adapt better the population and avoid the economic loss?
I think that if it happens every time we have the duty to find a possible solution.
I bring you an example:
A lot of “futurists” are agreeing that in few times we are going to have a robotic society, where the services are offered by the robots (a 3D print is actually a robot), it means that a lot of actual jobs are going to disappear. One solution to slow down this process could be the graduate introduction of a basic income. Why this should be a solution for the deceleration? Because if jobs that people do now will be replaced by robots, one possible solution is to guarantee an income to let live people. How can it be possible? As the trend suggested by this article:
Half of all jobs in the US are subject of automation, and if we look to another trend, the multi-billion companies are gaining billion and billions of dollars but they are hiring few and fewer people and they have a bigger revenue per employee.
What will these trends bring us? I think they will cause structural inequality. I don’t think that is nothing to do or that it is the destiny/nature of capitalism. One of the possible solution that Economists and futurist are arguing is “free money for everybody” that is unconditionally distributed. One possible question is “how can give all that money if people stop working”? We could tax the big companies (that will always earn a lot) and redistribute this money to people. In this way, we could stop using our time to do unnecessary things, like go to the supermarket, and start to do things that we love, like travel.
What do you think about this proposal?
In response to Paolo Giovanetti, regarding the 3D print used for producing food, I think of course that could be a good solution to produce food in poor areas of the world, but it is possible that there will be problems to allocate the expensive technology. I have found an interesting Italian startup that faces up this problem with an aquaponics system. I am attaching the link here:
An innovative way of production, achievable anywhere in the world and economically viable.
It could be a good solution to solve this problem?
Have a good evening,
Valerio Demontis.April 7, 2019 at 23:35 #3753
I would like to say thank you to Margherita Tambussi for talking about the visit at the 3D Lab at the Faculty of Engineering here in Pavia. I also find that this experience was very interesting because let me understand closely how the 3D printer is changing. In 2016 I had visited the Lab “Make in Nuoro” in Sardinia, that was principally specialized in the production of traditional objects of Sardinian tradition (probably today they are expanding in other fields); while during the last Tuesday visit I saw that they are principally specialized in surgery and engineering (in general).
Comparing these two visits I realized how this technology is applicable to basically every field, that’s why I agree with Giovanni Agrone and I also think that this technology is revolutionary, and I feel like saying that is going to change our everyday lives. That’s why I think it’s important to talk about the potential of this innovation.
This is not the first time that we have been in such a situation, I have found two graphs that show the development of technological innovation. The first one is called “Hype Cycle”, and the second one is the “Schumpeterian patterns of innovation”.
I think that 3D print technology is following these directions. For example, if we compare the evolution process of personal computers, we can notice a similar trend. In the beginning, the computer was a huge object used by companies or States to translate secret or indecipherable codes, with years now we have that technology in our hand whenever we want. As the guide at the Lab told me, we have big probabilities that in few years we will have 3D printers in our houses. They are ready to revolution our lives, but we will be able to adapt quickly? How can we prepare for big technological revolutions?
What do you think about it?
Thank you for your attention and have a good night,
Valerio Demontis.April 3, 2019 at 22:17 #3741
I apologize for this message; the fact is that I forgot to complete the discourse on the “three words”. I am attaching below the text to which I am referring to:
“This led me to formulate an argument that I want to build on three words. Money, productivity and flexibility. Money, what is money? It is often identified as the ultimate goal of a company, the main objective for which it is dealt with, so much so that many entrepreneurs are so obsessed with concentrating entirely, losing sight of other aspects (for example: the well-being of the community, the happiness of their employees). While I was studying macroeconomics from Oliver Blanchard’s book, chapter 2 (2014), I concluded that it makes me understand money, not as a source of wealth, but as a tool of production. What really creates wealth is productivity. This, in my opinion, explains why macroeconomic economists study production aggregated very carefully, so productivity is the determining factor that allows the company to create added value to its product, it is the productivity that creates the v added value that consumers are willing to pay and that tends to place a company within the market. To reach, in conclusion of this brief reasoning, the flexibility or, better, the adaptability of the company. The SAES Group is a perfect example of how important it is to produce, so much so that in order to remain in the market they have changed their production several times (from getters to functional chemical)”.
I am sorry again and I wish you a good night,
Valerio Demontis.April 3, 2019 at 19:32 #3740
I want to thank the organization first and that allowed us to meet engineer Massimo Dalla Porta, who I listened to with great pleasure and as much attention.
One of the things that struck me most was his speech on money, “you have to be an entrepreneur with the heart,” he said. Furthermore, he added that in Italy we have been taught to solve problems with few types of approaches.
This led me to make an argument that I want to build on three words. Money, productivity and flexibility. Money, what is money? It is often identified as the final goal of a company, the main objective for which business is done; so much so that many entrepreneurs are so obsessed with it that they focus entirely, losing sight of other aspects (for example: the well-being of the community, the happiness of their employees). While I was studying macroeconomics from the book by Oliver Blanchard (2014), I concluded that makes me understand money, not as a source of wealth, but as a tool of production. What really creates wealth is productivity. This, in my opinion, explains why macroeconomic economists study aggregate production very carefully. So, to end the conversation, it’s the productivity that allows the company to create added value to its product; it is productivity that creates the added value that consumers are willing to pay and that tends to place a company within the market.
I believe that the engineer Dalla Porta is right when he says that in Italy problems are faced with a limited approach (I don’t remember if he used these words, but I think he meant this). For example, how many times in newspapers have we read that production depends on the demand for goods? This can be said to be true in the short term (the time frame that includes one year), where changes in demand can undergo variations based on changes in consumer confidence (a bit like what is happening with foreign investors in our country); but the same cannot be said for the medium and long term. In the medium term, (10 years) production tends to be determined by the stock offering capital, level of technology, size of the labor force). Also, about the long term, things are different, in fact, it is characterized by structural programming actions in a future perspective (50 years), for example in sectors such as school or bureaucracy. This made me reflect on how important it is to try not to let things be controlled by chaos.
In this regard, I connect with a sentence from Dalla Porta, who said he was very lucky to be able to talk about the company yesterday because many of the companies born together with his now no longer exist. I must admit that I don’t agree so much with him in this case. Or it could be that Mr. Dalla Porta made humility a “strategy” (obviously not with us), however if I consider that when he was handed over by his father the company in 2000, the latter was worth 160 million, and he had debts for 100 million; today the company is worth 250. Having said that, I believe there are greater forces than luck. I believe that it is a mix of personal intuitive characteristics, accumulation of knowledge, a touch of madness and then (why not?) also, luck. I would like to take the examples of great geniuses of humanity as: Steve Jobs (who has been successful not only with Apple, but also with Pixar and with computers Next) and Elon Musk (who in addition to the various “Tesla”, “Space X” and “Neuralink”, was the protagonist of several multi-billion-dollar companies). If success were just a matter of luck, I really couldn’t explain these two people I just mentioned above.
I want to share with you this graph that shows some important changes that Elon Musk made in Tesla when he became CEO. He had been in the company since 2004 (as the principal investor) but was elected CEO in 2008.
Thank you for your attention.
Have a good evening!
Valerio Demontis.March 25, 2019 at 23:48 #3694
These days I thought about the questions that our moderator asked to us, and while I was thinking in which context Google is placed I thought this: let’s think of a competitive market, let’s take for example the opticians’ business in Pavia. Going along “Corso Cavour” one of the first things that catch my attention is the abundance of these stores, so if you are not different from all the other competitors you will have to fight hard to survive. If you offer the prescription lenses for free and you only charge by the frame of the glasses, you will probably have less staff or pay lower wages (for example guaranteeing only the minimum wage provided for that category) compared to others. These, in addition, will need to exploit at best every efficiency (so, for example, maybe they will take many interns in rotation, but they will never be able to hire them because they are useful only for lowering staff costs). The newly described competition market has an incredible rate of morality and birth. The competitive ecosystem pushes economic subjects towards ruthlessness or death.
When instead I turned my attention on the Google position, the situation seems different. Google in the information market is an oligopolist and has the largest slice of that. So, they don’t have to worry so much about the competition, they have more time to look at employees, products and their impact on the world.
Regarding the second answer, I would like to add a concept to my previous reply. I believe that one way to prevent employees to go to others company, can be to have a strong and precise corporate identity. Subsequently, something even more difficult to implement is to be good at transmitting to your employees’ values and vision of why the company is doing that. I believe that if the employee shares and feels the way in which the company is pursuing its goals, it will be more complicated for these two subjects to separate.
When Steve Jobs returns at Apple in 1996 and met Johnathan Ive (in that period he was the Director of the Industrial Design, now Chief Design Officer) asked him why he was still in a company that for Jobs don’t have style or neither sense of the design. Ive replied that he was one of those people that believed in what Apple stood for, or rather that the computer or whatever it might be, should be a natural extension of the individual. Is that mission, that devotion, those ideals and heart that kept Ive in Apple even in dark days.
After all, I think that a factor that helps to make employees happy can be an adequate corporate structure. In the sense that businesses are different from each other, therefore the organizational structure of them could certainly change, due to needs that can depend on the market, on the objectives pursued, and its intrinsic characteristics. In general, I like to imagine an efficient organizational structure founded on these two pillars, or better say, two figures: a pyramid and a horizontal line. In this pyramid, the horizontal line can go both upward and downward. The pyramid means that inside there is a hierarchy to be respected regarding the decisions that must be taken. While the horizontal line represents the totality of the individuals that constitute the company. The latter must be able to give everyone the opportunity to be able to freely express their opinions without any awe. This could be useful because also the ruling class is informed and takes an interest in the processes that underpin the business activity, but also, for example, a warehouse worker could understand why the entrepreneur took that specific decision. I believe that this facilitates a process of understanding between the various blocks/compartments/team and leads individuals to greater respect for the work of others.
Thank’s for your attention, have a good night!
Valerio Demontis.March 22, 2019 at 2:44 #3656
Surely those smiles come from a strong corporate culture that in the environment is known as “Googliness”.
Responding to the input given by Lorenzo, it is more correct to talk about “employee caring” which is certainly a fundamental part of their corporate culture. It has been a long time since large companies have adopted this type of treatment for their employees, but what makes Google special is the lifestyle they have created. Google is like a big family, moving harmoniously for a common purpose with common ideals.
They have something like a moral code into their offices, something that regulates the way to live into Google; like a list of various possible drivers that create value for the company and for the employers. Some of these could be: valuing users and colleagues. For example, it’s Google, to put the user first, and similarly to help a co-worker. It’s not Google to let either down. Again I can say that rewarding great performance is really important there. Hard work and good work are rewarded. The rewards can take many forms, for example: endorsing notes to managers, kudos, shout-outs in meetings, monetary rewards, corporate benefits, free goods and services into the Google spaces, and so on.
They have understood that employees are a decisive component within the company and that if they are valued, they are more motivated to do their best, and the company itself benefits.
Thank you for your attention;
Have a good night,
Valerio Demontis.March 19, 2019 at 0:14 #3630
Regarding the following Margherita comment: “In my opinion it is important to develop a collaboration between FB and the police to find more easily the people who make violence their propaganda”. I think it is difficult to implement a police intervention through regulation and without state involvement. I partially agree with regulation. For example, if you make laws that oblige large companies that hold personal data (in Europe there is “the right to be forgotten”), but if you go outside Europe (for example in Switzerland) those data become available again. A solution could be that of the blockchain.
What do you think about it guys?
To change the subject, I would like to ask you a series of questions, of which I am curious to know what you think about. How do you imagine the world in ten years? According to your vision of the future, which are the sectors that will change the most? And what will be the innovation that will most change our lives?
To give you a starting point, I share with you my thoughts. I report a concept enunciated by Jeff Bezos during an interview: think in what will remain the same in ten years, can be a solid base for imagining what will be the future. I copy the link where his quote is shown:
Among other things, I have just read Margherita’s new comment on Amazon and the e-commerce revolution. I think the automation factor will contribute a lot to the cause. Everything is going in that direction. I imagine we will have a company in which most services are performed by machines/robots. I think Amazon already has a plan and for example, is thinking about how to carry packages using drones; although I believe that they will find some problems with the regulation provided for air safety.
Thank you all for the previous shares!
Have a good night!
ValerioMarch 16, 2019 at 18:51 #3594
I am glad to take part in this lively forum and, for this, I would like to thank the organization and the participants! I consider this project a great opportunity to get to know creative people with whom I can exchange constructive opinions.
I would like to introduce briefly myself. I am Valerio Demontis and I am attending the first year of the master’s degree in “Economic Development and International Relations” at the University of Pavia. I am 24, I came from Sassari, the city where last summer I graduated in International Relations. I’ve always been interested in innovation of goods and services because I think that it contributes to up the level of welfare of society. Since I wanted to deepen these issues, last year I enrolled for the selection of the Contamination Lab promoted by the University of Sassari. Here I found the team with whom I managed to win the competition, with a project that a year ago was called “Insect”, with the aim to substitute chemical pesticides with 100% biological antagonist insects that kill those who ruin the plantations. We are still working to implement the project. Since I am here in Pavia I took part in “Activators Pavia” meetings, a group that promotes innovation and startup culture in the territory. There I found a lot of active people, or simply interested, in innovation issues.
When I first heard of the Silicon Valley Study Tour, I was immediately captured. I think it’s really a great opportunity to “capture” information from the largest and most innovative area on the planet. It is the place where everything happens. In Silicon Valley, everything follows a different way of thinking and I believe that this way of life can “infect” me. It would be an honor to know some of the most brilliant minds in circulation.
Regarding the article named “Elon Musk and his fight with the SEC”, I believe that he confirmed his genius on that occasion. He knows well how to attract the media and the popularity with the “storytelling”. It is the instrument on which he built his success, and his ability to find alternative methods and forms to talk about his actions is extraordinary. On this way, he manages to focus the attention of the media on his figure and manages to dictate the themes of the debate. Regarding the clash with the SEC, even if now both the numbers on the stock exchange, and the direction that the judicial matter is taking do not support Musk, I think it’s too early to judge his work.
As for the case of the nationalization of Facebook and big data, I think that the States still have important information from Facebook, so I think it is right to regulate this situation. One could think of a public take-over of platforms, including data centers. It could also help improve the cause of fake news. What do you think?
I would like to talk about the video posted by Lorenzo Daidone, regarding his crowdfunding campaign. It reminds me the story of Theodor Seuss Geisel better known with the pseudonymous Dr. Seuss. His first book was rejected by as many as 27 different publishers before becoming one of the most important and prolific authors of children’s books. I want to congratulate Lorenzo because he was a fine example of resilience.
Have nice weekend guys!