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

167 replies, 52 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 3 months ago
  • Nicholas Sollazzo

    Hi guys,

    Today’s webinar with Andrea Vaccaro was fascinating and I like to think that he had the opportunity to work with Hyperloop and Google thanks to his experience with Silicon Valley Study Tour.

    Traveling certainly brings you many opportunities and opens your mind quite a lot and, as @katia-palma I also would like to visit Silicon Valley to breathe its creative air.

    With Katia I can also relate to the goal of “doing something great in life“: I always swing between study for university, study new technologies and doing my projects so sometimes I also struggled with the “Am I good enough?” question. However, I think it’s a dumb question because we should always find new ways to improve, and we cannot do that if we don’t ask question to ourselves.

    If things are not failing, you’re not innovating enough!

    Elon Musk

    Life is a journey and if we want to make something grate in our life we should not be afraid to fail.
    I agree with @silviag when she said “the risk of failure or the failure itself, it is what keeps me alive and motivated” and with the quote from Elon Musk that @valeriomarcociampi posted, I’m more comfortable than ever to say that Luca Prasso and Andrea “succeeded” in life thanks to their daring aptitude in life: Luca because he chooses to follow his own path and passion outside university and Andrea because he was never afraid to ask around, send emails and “try his luck”.

    Since today in the webinar we talked a lot about new technologies (in the widest meaning of the term) I would like to answer the question @daniel-romano asked: “what’s tech topics are you interested in the most?“. To me the most exiting tech of all are: distributed technology (like: Bitcoin, IPFS, Matrix, ActivityPub, etc.) and containers. These are like drugs to me: I can never get enough of theme!

    How about you guys? Do you have something that keeps you awake at night and that you can never have enough of? Let me know because I’m always open to explore new things 🙂

    @katia-palma I hope we all be “part of something important”. I think that if you didn’t find something, than you should build something important (FYI that’s what I want to do in my life).

    Daniel Romano

    Hello everyone,

    hope you’re doing well!

    I would like to discuss with you about “Corporate culture”. Which do you think is the best corporate culture in order to create a good working environment, foster talent and create a joyful office at the same time? In your opinion, how should the personnel be treated both economically and professionally? How does the best manager ever look like?

    Looking forward to reading your answers 🙂

    Daniel, Forum Moderator

    Daria Arena

    <p dir=”ltr”>Good evening everyone.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Today’s webinar was characterized by a lot of things: from personal attitudes to professional experiences. I would summarize it as a ‘global growth’. Andrea lived in different places and in each of these made something grate. I think he is reaching one of the most important goals in life: doing the best everywhere and always. There are no limits of space, time and energy. And he is doing this with humilty. It is what I perceived while he was speaking and it is an amazing value.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>@daniel-romano Talking about “Corporate culture” I think it is essential that people cooperate. Working with respect, determination, frankness makes the difference. Being ruthless is not the right attitude while communicating and making decision most of all in a team. Managerd do not have to consider themselves superior watching to others like they are useless for the business. Everyone has a role and each person in the working environment, as in life, is there for a reason. While going to the office people should not feel pressured in a negative way. They must feel encouraged, and only a place where people considered themeselves as peers it is possible. Everyone is different and special and so for this all the resources spent should never be wasted. Employees must feel free to express what they think. They must have the possibility to learn something new because there is always something that is waiting to be known.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Finally, workers must feel rewarded, both economically and professionally. For this reason promotions motivate them. As even Andrea said, money should never be the only reason that makes people act, otherwise they will never consider people as humans and in my opinion this isn’t the secret of success.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Money help people to collect what they materially need to live, but there are so many things that can’t be bought. Living with dignity should be a garancy for everyone and it is even supported in our Constitution.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>People have the right to feel satisfied, rewarded and proud of their lives, so in a professional evnvironment having the possibility to grow and make sacrifice is what realise this aspect.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”></p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>I’m looking forward to knowing your point of view.</p>
    <p dir=”ltr”>Daria Arena.</p>


    Hi everyone!

    I see lots of interesting topics coming up!

    About corporate culture I agree with @dariaarena when she said that “working with respect, determination, frankness makes the difference” and I also think that passion for what you do is the real engine that moves and makes your actions great.

    For this reason I think that working in an environment that motivates you to develop this kind of feeling towards your job is one of the  best thing that can happen to you, even more valuable that money.

    In my opinion the best manager is the one that first of all is able to inspire his team with his passion and actions, behaving more like a leader than a boss.

    Discovering the best qualities of its peers and having the ability to combine them in order to achieve ambitious goals.

    Being the first to celebrate good results and last to fall down when things go wrong.

    I would like also to thank Andrea Vaccaro for today’s webinar, I found it very fascinating and I appreciated in particular the last part when the theme of failure was discussed and it’s fun to notice how behind great successes there’s always a huge amount of failures and hard work.

    About that I find very inspiring this quote by Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

    I’m looking forward to hear your opinions and see you all soon in the next webinar. 😊



    Hello everyone!

    Yesterday’s talk was amazing! Expecially Andrea Vaccaro experience in Hyperloop. I read about the project a couple of years ago and knowing one of the first persons working in that company was great!

    Regarding the topic raised by @daniel-romano, there are a lot of examples of “corporate/company culture”. I think is really important and underestimated in companies in Italy. I feel it is similar to a philosophy of existence of the company itself, a set of values chosen to grant success, growth and well-being inside the company. It’s not only a set of internal rules but depends also on the product the company is trying to create. If it is something amazing and innovative people are more attracted to work on it (like Andrea Vaccaro told us when he read about Hyperloop One’s mission). So, I would say it’s a combination of product innovation, cultural values and economical treatment (including bonuses and equities).

    Personally, I don’t consider economical treatment with much importance: I generally require it is at least in the average for that position in that zone.
    As cultural values I generally prefer an informal environment where people are not micromanaged and where they can spend a little portion of their time in other project they like inside the company (in Google this is around 20% of their time). This help people to keep interest in the company, bringing new ideas inside the company and in the end making workers happier! Everything else, like a fancy office with a gym and such, it’s cool but totally not necessary for the happiness and motivation of the employees.

    Another important thing for me is the degree of ownership I have on the product I’m working on. If I’m not able to put my touch on it to make it the best possible, I simply feel useless and I feel that my time there is not worth the money I’m paid, because I can’t be motivated. Ownership is something you develop when you have some order of freedom in decision making and design, without it everything I’m doing is boring.

    The best leader I had was probably the CTO of the last company I worked in: WeStudents. Despite being younger than me, he put me in the condition to bring new ideas and being responsible while he was ensuring to keep the course. Most of the time was spent together validating my designs and he was just there to ensure I was matching the company goals.
    One of Amazon’s 14 leadership principles is “Hire and Develop the Best. […] Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. […]“. Leaders develop leaders, that’s exactly what he was doing. He put me in the conditions to lead the project while still ensuring the quality of it.

    Looking forward to see other opinions!


    Hi guys, I hope you are all well in this strange period.

    @daniel-romano Eh, I’ve always been very careful not to waste and pollute, especially with plastic materials. in fact, every time I fail a print I often think of how not to repeat it again. I think it’s a very serious matter, we have only one Earth.

    @silviag Thank you very much, I was very pleased to introduce you a bit as we work, have you ever had the opportunity to see one in operation? 😀

    @valeriomarcociampi I agree too, Elon Musk always brings out beautiful sentences, and full of hope. This is my favorite: “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor”. What do you think about Elon and his projects?

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Matteo.
    Nicholas Sollazzo

    @daniel-romano I posted several times my answer on your question but they didn’t show up on the blog, could you check please?

    I temporarily posted it here (https://telegra.ph/Corporate-Culture-06-06) so everyone can see it.

    Let me know if something changes,

    Daniel Romano

    Hello everyone!
    Thank you for responding with so much passion! @sal0hc1n I read your answer posted on your link, worry no more 🙂 If you have the same problem you can use the same solution you used, it’s fine to me, just make it explicit everytime 😉

    Tomorrow I will leave the moderation of the forum to my collegue so I would like to prompt the discussion for the last time 🙂 This time I’d like to ask you what you think about something deeper, something that may touch each of us in the bowels. Imagine having a family that loves you, a girlfriend/boyfriend that would do anything for you no matter what, friends and people in general that truly care about you, and you truly love all of them; now also imagine that you want to pursue your dream whatever it may be, and the only way to do it is to cut the relationships with those people who love you and let them down by doing so. There’s no middle way. My question is, what would you do? Would you leave them and let them in pain to pursue your dream or would you soffocate your dream not to let them down?

    Be careful, there’s no right and wrong question, and I don’t surely have a solution to this problem 🙂 I expect interesting answer from you lads 😉

    I’m so looking forward to reading your questions!!!


    Daria Arena

    Hello everyone!

    @daniele-romano In a certain way I’ve been thinking about the topic you mentioned, but never in a so extreme way. I mean, there are situations in which we have to choose a thing instead of another, but of course the best option would be to reach everything we are working for even if in different periods of our life.

    Considering your theory, I think that I will always opt for love. I would never replace my family, my friends, the people I love for something that, yes, is rewarding, but not as what you receive from people. As I said in some posts, people are my priority. Everything we go for depends on our primary issues. My dreams concern humanity, doing something that can help some having a better life and others keep enjoying what they probably have.

    At the same time satisfaction in professional and studying fields motivate me a lot, I’m so happy when I feel rewarded and receive gratification. But, I would never be able to make people suffer. It wouldn’t be me. So even if it would be so hard to renounce to what I desire for my career at the same time I know that I am loyal to my priority: giving love to others. I will be sad, but I will be with the people that are the best for me and that will help me even in unhappy circumstances.

    Thanks for your sparks.

    Daria Arena.


    Hi folks,

    I am Mattia Strocchi a BSc Computer Science & Engineering student at TU Delft. I started-off my Engineering studies at University of Bologna, but I did not like the teaching, so I eventually moved to Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

    Since I was a child, I am interested in the intersection between Technology and the Human.
    At the age of 17, I started building a Rehabilitation Exoskeleton which gained National and International recognition, among which Sanofi-Genzyme, Japan Institute of Inventions and Innovations, and Yale Science and Engineering Association Inc. I very much enjoy sharing experiences and network to learn and improve, in 2018 I was given the chance to do a TEDx about personal leadership.

    Right now, aside from Uni, I am a part-time Software Engineer at Delft Hyperloop, we race in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. The challenge is just a way to promote Research and Development around the Hyperloop concept. As of now, the world record is set to 467 km/h. This year we are going to try to beat that. Our motto is “Go fast, no pressure”.

    In the next few days, I will take a moment to catch up on all the previously held meetings and discussions. I am looking forward to debating in this forum the highlights!




    @daniel-romano, I am new to the forum but about what you pointed out, I believe that there might be a solution that is not either Black or White.

    As of today you can have friends/relatives all over the world, and be able to reach out to them very quickly. Even if you would see it from a geographical perspective, the distance among you in the US and your parents, say in Italy, is not huge. If you are a Software Engineer working in San Francisco you can easily afford to have a round trip to Italy even once a month. Furthermore, in my personal opinion family is  important to your ambitions. And I want to stress that . Every choice that has to be made should take into account both the terms.

    If your question is: “what would you pick in a trade-off among family and ambitions?” …ambitions, even though I do love my family. But I think that is possible correct answer to the wrong question. This is what I would ask myself in a scenario where I have to “leave” the people I love: “How can I make my family happy by following my ambitions?”

    Ambition (e.g. working in Silicon Valley) to me is not the goal. My happiness and the one of my family is a goal.

    Daniel Romano

    Hello lads,

    thank you all for partecipating to the forum! I will leave the moderation to my collegue Andrea Parodi right now, he’s going to foster the discussion from now on 🙂

    It’s been a pleasure to know you! Hope to see you in Silicon Valley in 2021!

    Best of luck,



    Hello everyone!

    @daniel-romano I think that nothing is forever. Current relationship may not be the same in 5 years and most importantly the family you have now in your 20s won’t be the same in your 30s when maybe you’ll plan to have a child. For sure, I’ll choose career and ambitions. It’s not that I don’t care about people around me but speaking in the long term, the most important person in my life in the future will be my son or my daughter to which I hope I will be able to give the same (or even better) opportunities my parents gave me.
    You have the best career opportunities in your 20s and 30s not in your 50s or 60s, so the time to take drastic decisions is now, not later.

    Since nothing last forever, none can tell that I’m not able to spend the next 5 years in the Silicon Valley far from my family, friends and girlfriend and then come back to Italy and still do something great here thanks to the know-how I wouldn’t be able to gain anywhere else. As @mstrocchi said it’s not that hard to afford a round trip to Italy in an high income-high standard of living area even now and then.

    We live in a connected and fast changing world. I think we should consider as “home” our entire planet, instead of just a restricted region, our relatives and friends are just behind the corner.

    Nicholas Sollazzo

    Thank you for everything @daniel-romano!

    Your difficult and deep question reminded me a lot of the scene in Marvel Avenger: Infinity War (SPOILER ALERT), where Thanos has to choose between Gamora (his “daughter”) and the soul gem; and I think I would behave exactly like him and choose to give more importance to my dreams.

    I know too many people that, in their lives have chosen relationships over their dreams and ended up regretting it.
    I don’t want to make the same mistake of putting others before myself: if they do really love me, they will understand how important my dreams means to me and they will support me even if this will make them suffer.

    Also, I belive that in the end, the gratest act of love is letting go.


    Hi everyone,

    First of all I would like to thank @danielromano for the question, it made my mind busy for about two days and it took a lots of time to understand the most suitable answer to give.

    About that I would like to cite one of my professors here at Politecnico that said that when an answer is not immediate the real answer is that “it depends”, the context was a bit different but I will take the statement as it is.

    Considering only the extreme situation in which there’s no middle way I would say that the main dependence constraint is  age:  as @christianpaesante  said affections may change and I believe as well, in particular when you are on twenties.

    For this reason, in my current situation I will go for my dreams without any regrets or second thought.

    Probabily if I was older, with a family and children my answer would have been different.

    Luckily reality is much more variegate and mediation is possible and so probably I will consider the idea of moving and follow my dreams even with family and children, as @mstrocchi said the world is connected and the possibility to comunicate with friends and relatives all around the world is a strong point.

    For this reason I believe that with strong organization skills, huge exploitation of videocall technologies and availability to take a flight every second even not choosing between the two is possible.

    I’m looking forward to hear your opinions and see you all in tomorrow’s conference! 🙂



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