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Friendship as an added value in our Company

In this article, we told you the story about how the idea behind Linky was born. Now we want to share how we made it happen.

When you start a new project, choosing with whom you’re going to be in the ring is quite possibly the most important decision you can make in the process.

Starting a Business with a friend, is a good idea?

We are firm believers in starting a business with someone else. Our own co-founders wouldn’t have done it any other way, and we’ve talked to other business owners who agree that business is better with a buddy.

We all need someone who can share both the successes and stresses of running a business.

Starting a business isn’t easy and bumps are bound to appear. This is a lot easier (and more fun!) to handle with someone else.

Paolo, mechanical engineer, and Flavio, electrical engineer, were able together to create the first prototype of Linky, but they needed someone else to help them out with the marketing.

Rule number one: it has to be fun.

In February 2015, Cristiano joined the project as a marketing manager. A graduate in economics and an expert in business promotion, Cristiano conceived our newborn brand identity.

Paolo, Cristiano, and Flavio knew each other from the age of 8 years old: they went to school together, played football together, and spent many adventures.

Friends can move fast. Paolo focused on engineering, Flavio on the electronic part, and Cristiano on the business side. Because they’ve been friends for so long, each literally knows where the other is coming from. They don’t need a lot of time to align on the direction or how to do things. They know what to expect from one another and need a few words.

We all know that starting a business with friends can be often challenging, but it can be also very helpful when you start facing big challenges. Wouldn’t you rather face really tough times with someone you call a real friend? And isn’t it more fun to celebrate the good times with your friends?

Choosing co-founders is one of the most important decisions when starting a business.

In 2015 we faced one of the first biggest challenges: finding money to realize the first prototypes and to start our Indiegogo campaign.

The first person who believed in our project was Uncle Stefano. “Uncle” Stefano was the first investor to believe in us and was our mentor until 2020. He brought experience and professionalism to the management of the team of suppliers.

In the same year, Linky’s innovative folding system was patented.

Cristiano, Paolo, and Giovanni P. chilling after an event at Sole24Ore in Milan.

Giovanni La Serra, an electrical engineer who was working with Paolo on a project of an electric vehicle in Siena, joined the team later in 2015 as the manager of firmware and software development. In 2016 Giovanni Pierantoni, a close friend of Paolo and product designer, joined the team to define the aesthetical part of the product.

There’s something poetic about the story of friends chasing a dream, spending hours in their garage (or on their couch) developing the perfect product,  and actually making it big.

But the reality is often more complex than the image, with nearly every aspect of that initial friendship being put to the test. The pages of startup history are filled with partnerships torn on the rocky road to success.

Choosing co-founders is one of the most important decisions when starting a business. This process doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of time and energy to find the “right people.”

Conclusions

Just like a marriage, a business partnership takes time, trust, and commitment to building, but choosing someone who shares your vision and enthusiasm, brings expertise in the areas in which you are inexperienced, and complements your strengths and weaknesses can give you the best chance of success.

Henry Ford, perhaps one of the modern age’s first startup entrepreneurs, is attributed the quote:

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”

Can a founder truly ask for something more valuable than this?

 

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