Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2020 Go to Silicon Valley Virtually 2020

165 replies, 52 voices Last updated by Giovanni 2 weeks, 1 day ago
  • Nicholas Sollazzo

    Howdy everyone, hope you all doing great!

    A thought very deeply about what @simone-dalledonne said a couple of weeks ago: that “the greatest value I have is to be Italian” and “What values do you think distinguish Italian people?“.

    I think determining what are the value of Italians, is a really interesting and not at all easy concept: our way of thinking, our economy and our culture are all due to a unique and unrepeatable historical path (as for all other nations).

    To explain what I thought, I want to begin from the interview between Fabio Fazio and Renzo Piano shown in the video shared by Simone:

    We Italians must understand that we are like dwarves on the shoulders of a giant: the giant is ancient culture, which has given us an extraordinary invisible ability to grasp the complexity of things, to articulate reasoning, to weave art and science together and this is a huge capital and for this Italianity there is always a place at the table for the rest of the world.“.

    – Renzo Piano

    The aphorism that Renzo uses “We are like dwarves on the shoulders of a giant” is attributed to Bernard de Chartres, a 12th century French philosopher, who claimed that being (modern) dwarves on the shoulders of giants (the ancients) “we can see more and more distant things than they are, not because of the acumen of sight or the height of our body, but because we are lifted up and carried high by the stature of giants“. This quotation is notoriously ambiguous because it can be interpreted in two ways:

    1. humble: often undertaken by most adults who, as in the Middle Ages, rest on the laurels of the “good old days“, pedantically following what has always been done for years, rejecting in every way the novelties;
    2. superb: often undertaken by young people, who think they are better than the “ancients” because they have their knowledge “at no cost”, i.e. they do not have to spend time and energy in research but they already have everything at their disposal.

    In Italy as well as abroad, the idea that the genius of Italians is based above all on the past, on our great cultural and artistic history is certainly more widespread; but it is precisely because of this ideology that people like Tom Kelley, partner of IDEO (the world’s leading design consultancy company), consider almost all industrialized countries more capable than us of innovation, starting from Singapore: “You can immediately understand it from the fact that there, unlike in Italy, people talk more often about the future than about the past“.
    Further proof of this can be found in the fact that Italians appreciate above all the traditional tre F (fashion, food and supplies), despite the fact that many of the most recent and interesting economic agreements were born thanks to Italian companies active in high technology sectors.

    The reality is that our country is full of contradictions and any definition that concerns it could be easily refuted.

    – Carlo Alberto Pratesi, Professor of Marketing, Innovation and Sustainability at the University of Roma Tre.

    In the Harvard Business Review of March 2010, Professor Alberto Pratesi posted an article that I think summarizes very well the characteristics of Italians:

    1. Personals: we like the things that are (only) for us, cuddling ourselves with some objects that we don’t like to share with others. This is also the reason why we tend to have little regard for what is by definition “public” (spaces, services, greenery, etc.) and that, although we are attracted by globalization, we do not willingly give up local dialects, customs and products. The positive aspect of this attitude is that we have a very clear idea of how a good (and beautiful) product should be and we are the best at making things “custom-made” adapting ourselves without difficulty to the needs of individual customers; this brings the advantage that, if something goes well for an Italian, it has no difficulty in being appreciated by anyone (and this explains why the great fashion and luxury brands are often Italian’s).
    2. Flexible: Our propensity for flexibility in time management makes us chaotic; what we do is hardly well organized, even if we are improving in recent years. We hate to plan ahead of time and when we do, nobody expects deadlines to be strictly adhered to; long-term plans (when they exist) are set in a generic and rather vague way. As much as we strive to be on time, we easily find convincing justifications for our delays, and this has a dramatic effect on public administration, which has biblical decision-making times. On the other hand, our flexibility makes it easy for us to find “last minute” solutions to problems and to react effectively to unforeseen events and turbulence in the context: a skill on which our managers are often valued and praised.
    3. Prepared for verbal communication: We like to talk a lot and this leads us to be much less inclined towards written documents. However, this does not necessarily means that in business the words “spoken” are definitive: sometimes we say “yes” more out of politeness than conviction. So whoever wants to do business with us should ask to put things on paper according to the rule verba volant, scripta manent.
    4. Based on a network: We are committed to creating a network, adding connections upon connections to our network of friends. It is no coincidence that Italy is the home of industrial districts, where countless small businesses interact with each other creating a series of interesting synergies or the strong presence abroad of Italian communities that help Italians like the Silicon Valley Italian Hub as quoted by @cbrugo. We are also very capable of seeing problems from different angles, according to a holistic approach that combines different disciplines and perspectives that on the one hand allows us to avoid making big mistakes and on the other hand slows down processes and projects.
    5. Conditioned by the hierarchy: We firmly believe that an individual’s power is given by the number of strong relationships he has managed to build over time, and that’s why we try to connect to those “nodes” (influential people, main companies, brands, etc.) that we believe are more important, but using incorrect metrics of judgment because, as Trompenaars explains to us, “in people we give more importance to the role than to the results obtained by them“. In the world of work this often leads us to have to “endure” hierarchies in order to expand our network.
    6. Mobility (but not always): We like to move (especially for holidays), but we are very reluctant to move permanently: we are very loyal to companies and hardly ever change jobs. However, this makes it very difficult for us to rationalize our organization by moving from one city to another.
    7. Innovative in terms of design and technology: The Italian obsession for quality drives us to continuously search for the most innovative ways to achieve it and this generates a symbiotic (and unique) relationship between creativity and technological innovation.
    8. Affectiveness: Italians lean towards an “affective” attitude, directly expressing their thoughts and moods with gestures and physical contacts: the way we talk is completely original, gestures are our prerogative and we need them to relate better to others.

    In my opinion, young people must leave. They have to leave, but out of curiosity, not desperation. And then they have to come back. Young people have to go, a bit like I did: I always left and always came back. And they must go to understand what the rest of the world is like, but also for something else, even more important: to understand themselves“.

    – Renzo Piano

    From this quote one can understand the importance of traveling, knowing the world and oneself, but I would like to say that there is no perfect nation, free of injustice and inequality: Every nation has its pros and cons, Italy included. For this reason I think it is important, as Renzo rightly says, to come back and import the knowledge learned during our travels here in our country: to tip the scales towards the pros.

    I would like to know what do you think about the characteristics I have found Italian’s have and how we could tip the scales towards the pros in our country.

    See you tomorrow at the webinar with Luca Prasso!

    Luca Signori

    Hi everybody!
    Thanks for all your opinions. As you know, this lockdown situation has rewritten our lifestyle: new ways of study (graduation day on Skype, Zoom or any other web platforms) and work.
    Yes, I agree. Nothing will be replace human contact and face-to-face experiences, lessons or whatever. For example SVST think a new way to spread worldwide the Bay Area inspiration and mood: the ‘Go To Silicon Valley Virtually 2020’.
    I’m confident. In my opinion, we will find the cure and the virus will be defeated. But we learn a big thing about this period. Smart working and lessons via web teach us that sometimes we need to be slower and more thoughtful. A few breaks help us to live better.
    @matteo30, if you want share with us your 3D projects. We are curious!
    @sal0hc1n Nicholas, great analisys about the italians’ pros and cons.
    @dariaarena, thank you for your opinion about the Emilio Billi and Antonella Rubicco’s speech. And the other guys? What do you think about A3cube founders webinar?
    The speech will be sono available on YouTube. However, all of you try to participate live in the next webinars. The next one will be tomorrow, 6 pm, don’t forget. And the guest is super: Luca Prasso, Reverse ARchaeologist @Google. Don’t forget to subscribe here: https://bit.ly/2xMRCig 

    I would kindly ask you to have you name and surname inside the ‘Name’ label, in doing this you will have it right next to your name in light blue and it would be easier for us to recognize you when you write a comment. Thank you!

    P.S. If you missed last week conference, you can find the Go To Silicon Valley Virtually playlist where all the conferences will be uploaded!

    Katia Palma

    Hi everyone!

    How are you?
    Last webinar was really interesting!

    However, I something to say about some points we talked about.

    First of all, I strongly believe that the “American approach” (as someone has called it) to the world of work is worst than the Italian one.
    Infact it does not consider each one’s personality, but only the curriculum!

    No one can feel fully realized in this way.

    Do we need to be all at the same “standard” to be accepted?

    Obviously not!


    Do you agree?

    Daniel Romano

    Hello everyone 🙂 My name is Daniel Romano and I will be the new Forum Moderator starting today. I will cover this role until the 7th of June.
    Let me briefly introduce myself! I am a Digital Product Designer, which means I care about finding crucial problems of a specific target and designing solutions to those problems (in particular digital ones), taking into account both business goals and the users as humans with desires, fears, capabilities, objectives, difficulties and so on. What is a Digital Product? It is actually something you know well: Telegram, Google Maps, YouTube, TikTok, Faceboook, Instagram are all examples of digital products! You get the picture now 😉

    I also am a SVST Alumnus, I’ve taken part to Silicon Valley Study Tour in 2018!

    Having said that, let’s go on with the forum! How do you know italian startup ecosystem and what are your comments about it? Let me give you some rough data about it to help you think: 11000 startups, only 120 out of these 11000 have a revenue stream greater than 1 Milion euros and the average number of employees for each startup is 5.

    I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about it 🙂


    Absolutely, as already mentioned it’s a project that has just started, it has about 10 days to be exact, but we are working hard to expand it.

    For now we are printing copyleft models by the web or other designed by ourselves with a CAD software. The next step will be to print personalized t-shirts with 3D printed stencils.

    We are still small, but if someone wants to take a look at our page, we are on instagram as “cartesiaxy” and If someone is curious about 3D printing… i’ll happy to reply your dubs/curiosity 🙂

    Here some examples:



    Hello everyone! I’m Fabio Brusa and at the moment I’m studying at the scientific secondary school in Omegna. Unluckily I still don’t know exactly what I want to do in the future because I’ve got several interests (such as medicine and physics) so I hope to gain information from these webinars that will help me to find my own path.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Fabio.
    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by Fabio.
    Valerio Marco

    Valerio Marco

    Hello all,

    Hope everything’s fine! Today we had our third webinar and the guest was Luca Prasso with Stefania Tibiletti as interviewer.

    Luca said a lot about his experience and, in my humble opinion, it was absolutely amazing! I was impressed mainly when he said that companies in SV entrust you big projects not because they want to see you fail, but because they trust you and know that you can manage it, it’s the “learning on the job” thing.

    Actually I think this point of view is a little bit missing in Italy. Do you have any comments about it?

    Some of us, like @silviag @eleonoracarletti @matteo30 (I cannot find who else, sorry…) introduced themselves and said what interested them. What about you guys?

    And @fabiobrusa yes, this is a great opportunity to find your path. I’m sure you’ll get it! 😉

    P.S. @paolomarenco speaking about kids and YouTube (maybe you can share this with Luca)… well, some of them have earned just a couple of bucks 😀

    The number one is only 8: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2019/12/18/the-highest-paid-youtube-stars-of-2019-the-kids-are-killing-it/#747a37cc38cd

    Have a good night and I’m available for a talk, gladly (my Linkedin’s profile’s in my bio)!

    Night guys,


    Daniel Romano

    Hello everyone,

    hope you’re doing well.

    @matteo30 I see you’re working on some projects, what do you think about sustainability?

    @fabiobrusa would you like to tell us something more about you? Have you got any passion? How do you spend your time after school? Why would you like t go to Silicon Valley?

    @valeriomarcociampi since you have started to talk about it, what do you think about failure?

    Everyone else, what tech topics are you interested in the most?

    Looking forward to reading your answers!

    Daniel, Forum Moderator

    Silvia Giammarinaro

    Good evening everyone!

    If you followed the last webinar, you saw I presented myself and mentioned I found a new friend thanks to the forum (@eleonoracarletti). I’m so happy we are able to get in touch and discuss things even if we never met in real life!
    @matteo30 I checked your Instagram page, I really like your creations! I’ve always been fascinated by 3D printing but unfortunately, I didn’t find the time to try it out yet.

    @valeriomarcociampi as soon as I read through your post, the 8 years old you’re talking about came to my mind! I found out about him thanks to Marco Montemagno (I leave the link to his video down below). The key to his success, according to Marco, it’s the fact children tends to rewatch the same things, they have a lot of time to watch all the videos they want, and most important they do not skip ads.


    @daniel-romano, In my opinion, the risk of failure or the failure itself, it is what keeps me alive and motivated. As I mentioned in my presentation, from September I work as a part-time junior programmer and I’m currently attending the master’s degree. I am not afraid to tell you there have been several times I thought “I should give up, I’m so stressed and I don’t know how to deal with all of this”. But I keep going. Did I make a mistake? I don’t know and I will never will. The days of reckoning came to me during this winter, during the exam session. At the end of them, I was happy! I was able to pass three exams out of four with pretty good grades. I was exhausted, but so motivated because I reached my goal!
    Are you a “student-worker” like me? Share your story!

    Katia Palma

    Good evening guys!

    Luca‘s speech has been so inspiring for me!!!

    I’ve always wanted to do something great in my life, but I’ve also asked myself if I had the right qualifications to realize my dreams….

    Am I good enough?

    Luca didn’t attend University. However he succeded.

    He also had many failures, but he had a strong motivationand lots of passion for what he was doing.

    I really would like to visit Silicon Valley “to breath” its creative air… to feel part of something important…


    I would never stop dreaming!
    The world is our guys!



    Katia Palma (Genoa)


    Hello everyone!

    We had two awesome talks in the past days!

    I liked a lot Emilio Billi and Antonella Rubicco’s speech. It was somewhat rude/brutal, but it the most important lesson in life: if you want something you have to prove you deserve it or you have to take it. I personally disagree @katia-palma. Taking into account the person’s personality leads to introduce bias in decision making and reduce meritocracy. Of course you cannot treat people like things, but in a business/working enviroment if you want to realize the best product you have to hire/work with the best talents. Of course if one of those talents is not capable to behave with team mates or creates problems (have a bad personality) will be fired or not hired (the “Googleyness” mentioned by Luca Prasso).

    I think that measuring performances of people in a working environment is the right thing to do. Everyone can have drawbacks or bad periods of course, but this avoid to promote someone simply because “he’s funny” or he’s more emotionally closer to me.

    For example Google has a very strict performance evaluation where your promotion is not dictated by your manager (with which you can be best friends), but from a serie of reviews from peers and other metrics. Another example of this is the recruitment process as described by Luca Prasso. This examples also apply to every high tech company.

    I think it’s crucial. This ensure fairness and avoid that horrible situation where you see your lazy coworker being promoted because he covered his messes smartly all the time. This also put the responsibility of your failures only on you. And it’s wonderful because if you fail you know where to look at to understand what went wrong in order to improve and grow!

    I think that a failure must be always a contemplated possibility. The game is to avoid it at all costs. Until you fail. And when you fail, it’s just like crashing a rocket: beautiful to see for others and full of information for you. Just stop a moment, reverse engineer, extract informations and learn. We grew from trial and error after all!

    I have just other few thoughts about Renzo Piano’s words mentioned by @sal0hc1n: “They have to leave, but out of curiosity, not desperation“. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s really possible to not have a minimum of desperation. As Andrea Baldini said in his recent talk for SVST, in the last few decades Italy growth was flat which also means that less and less new opportunities was born. Most historical Italian companies moved their legal office outside of here and basically we are just a market and not a land with value in terms of innovation and know-how.

    I think it’s really hard to find the right opportunities here to really grow and somehow I feel like Luca Prasso when he was saying that in the 80’s there weren’t companies in Italy in the field of computer graphic. I think that my opinion is highly biased from the fact that I’m in the tech field and I consider as a reference high tech companies. I don’t find any Italian company with similar know-how and internal culture where I can really grow as fast as I was doing in my first experiences. Moreover, I had a “bad” experience in one of the companies I interned in the past, in terms of “hierarchies” and possibility get involved and prove my value and I’m kinda scared of getting hired here by a company which is not a startup.

    Of course I’d love to launch a company here, where I can help people full of talent to grow, but I also want to be as technological innovative as the FAANGs. That’s why I first want to see everything I can from the inside.

    Is there any company you consider the one from which everyone should learn?

    Let me know, if my opinions are too “catastrofic” and if you see a real potential here!

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Christian.
    Valerio Marco

    Here I am guys, evening to all!

    I do like this forum, there are always interesting topics: thank you all!

    @daniel-romano what do I think about failure? I agree with @silviag when she says that failure is what keeps her alive and motivated. It works for me too! Plus, I think that failure is part of our lives. Everyone need to fail at least once, more that once is better, to understand what that means and what it has to be done to get improved. Otherwise, how could you ever know?

    Just a couple of days ago, during the Crew Dragon launch, I read this line by Elon Musk: “If things are not failing, you’re not innovating enough!”.

    I mean, this is great and it perfectly fits in our way to see things!


    @katia-palma Luca’s speech has been inspiring for me too. He reminded me a good life lesson: “impossible is nothing” (yes, I know, Adidas will knock at my door soon…)

    Night guys, see you tomorrow on Zoom! 😉


    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by Valerio Marco.
    Daria Arena

    Hello everyone!

    I hope you are all fine.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    As some of you said, I can share the idea that failures have a great impact in our lives. I see them having a dinamic role in our experiences. Every failure teaches me something new. If at the beginning it seems frustrating, then it may be what make us succeed. As a consequence,this remember us the importance of taking the best from every situation and never give up.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    @valeriomarcociampi mentioned “Impossible is nothing” and I absolutely agree with this statement: if we want something we can reach it.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    This is linked with what Charlie Chaplin said: “Let us strive for the impossible. The great achievements throughout history have been the conquest of what seemed the impossible.”

    We have all the instrument and what we have to do is combining them in the most useful way in order to do something sensational, something that really makes the difference. We should not always wait for the “right moment”, sometimes things happen while we are waiting. So, I think that we must recognize the worthy ones, take them and make everything we can to give them an interpretation.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    I’m looking forward to listening what Andrea Vaccaro is gonna tell us this afternoon.

    I wish you a good day.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    Daria Arena.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span>

    Patrick Turricelli

    Hello everyone!

    I’m 17 years old and I’m from Carpi, near Modena. In today’s talk, Andrea Vaccaro has also spoken about the topics of autonomous driving and self-driving cars. It seems like self-driving cars have been five years away for at least 15 years. But now, major players in the industry (like Google spinoff Waymo, GM self-driving unit Cruise and upstart Zoox) are promising that fleets of fully autonomous taxis are just about to roll out.

    It’s a very promising and exciting vision for the future, but like George Hotz said in his very classy way: “It’s a scam”

    He points out that every system on the road today requires the driver to pay attention at all times and be ready to take over. He says that companies touting fully self-driving cars without human safety monitors (and sometimes without steering wheels or pedals) are offering nothing more than a “press demo.”

    As Andrea Vaccaro pointed out, one of today’s problems with regard to self-driving cars is relying too much on the self-driving system, which can lead to serious accidents such as those that have already occurred in the past, like 2018 with Uber.

    What do you guys think about this topic? How far we are from cars that take their own wheels for large stretches without humans paying attention? Is the automated vehicle industry focusing on growth and hype rather than delivering truly innovative products?

    Source: https://youtu.be/Nnh5TQ60hek

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