If I had listened to every “You can’t do it” during my life, I would deal with other businesses at this moment, most likely less exciting (at least for me) than the launch of Orwell’s ambitious project. When I was a greenhorn driven by the sacred fire of the politics, they used to tell me “You can’t do it” and I was elected in the town council of Como. Few years later, during one of the worst moments of my life, I wrote my first novel and many told me “You can’t do it”, and yet it sold few ten thousands of copies and now I reached the number of six books edited. Not to mention, then, my candidacy to the White House: if I had revealed the idea to someone wrong, there would have been more than “you can’t do it”, I would have been judge a fool, but we all know how it ended. Besides that, for many aspects, that unbelievable star and stripe experience was Orwell’s true prelude, for a variety of reasons.
The horizontal communication
Nine months US presidential electoral campaign are not exactly a bed of roses. Not at all, in facts, to succeed at that level I literally had to split myself, giving up sleep and (sigh!) my married life. On the other hand, please try for a moment to think about what it means to inquire, come up with ideas, create contents and answer the thousands of followers that wrote to Alex at the same time. All of them. Well, treasuring the experience of what turned out to be the trump card, I started to think about how to funnel the flow of all those operations in order to provide professionals and companies with a single communication tool: horizontal, effective and truly within everyone’s reach.
Fake news and the difficulty of being a journalist
Alex’s interview requests and invitations for broadcasts explains the structural discomfort that affects all the world of information which needs to play with the rules imposed by the duopoly Google-Facebook, that we can sum up with the sentence “either you clicked or you die”, starting point of the domino effect that penalised the category of content creators, who are already not well paid, with short time to verify the news and without any guarantee in terms of professional continuity.
That’s why I created an online paper where these content creators may freely publish their works and a platform which connects them with who needs contents for their communication. It will allow them to work online and with the guarantee they will be fairly paid and the circulation of quality contents. These are, by the way, the only remedy against fake news, not censorship.
Coherence, identity and authority
The candidate Alex Anderson distinguished himself thanks to the coherence towards the identity he built, remaining loyal to that even when it became objectively uncomfortable, for instance when he announced the ticket with Edward Snowden, considered almost a traitor by many republicans supporters.
Identity and coherence are the basis of the success of every top brand. Just think of the history of Apple, which, not surprisingly, faced its worst period when, under the unfortunate lead of John Scully, tried to imitate IBM. Here the need to start with a book (Orwell, ed) not about the start-up, but the milestones of the path that led us here – starting from Atari 2600 and Commodore 64- and through them, to the vision that carried the creation of Orwell’s Project.
Bringing the best in Italy
It’s obvious that Alex adventure opened not just my mind but also many doors which turned out to be real “Stargate” for Orwell too. It’s the case of ICE New York where at the end of November 2017, I was welcomed to present the very first version of the project and to understand if it effectively might have any potential in the American market. In that circumstance I’ve got in touch with an absolute excellence like Cornell Tech and then, based on their suggestions, I started to sharpen the project together with other startupper: Simone Tarantino (a real New Yorker now), Federico Biasin (Needaly) and, obviously, Sergio Malagoli.
A real full immersion that, in a matter of months and thanks to the aggregative skills of Elisabetta Di Matteo, let Orwell to come out from the pages of the book and set foot in the real world, at ComoNExT, a technological incubator that also really looks like the post-industrial buildings of Brooklyn, including PencilWorks, our base in the Big Apple.
Yes, because if it is true that we start from the American market it’s obvious that our ambition is to bring to Italy a bit of the winning attitude of American tech companies. It might seem another “impossible” challenge, it’s true, but if it is the first Italian who has succeeded in running for the presidency of the United States to announce it, well, then you must believe it!