May 30, 2022

How do you scale a Web Agency? | Marco Dalla Libera - Partner Arsenalia-Alpenite | E6


Marco is a partner in Arsenalia, a corporate group made up of dreamers living the present. It is composed of multiple consulting agencies working on global projects in E-commerce, Digital, Branding, and technology. 

Marco is a volcanic entrepreneur with several ventures under his belt and is always looking for ways to create and accelerate new ventures and help clients in the technology world.

He shares first-hand knowledge of what it takes, what to do and don't do, to build, grow and scale a successful agency

Topics:


1. How to manage multiple agencies at the same time?
2. Challenges and Opportunities of being multiple co-founders?
3. How do you scale a Web Agency?
4. Evolution of Companies' Digital Needs?
5. Scaling and looking into the future?



Marco:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marco-dalla-libera/

Watch the episodes on Youtube: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uX8RkSRyKdo


Follow me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcolanzi/
or subscribe on https://www.marcolanzi.co

Transcript

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01:00:26,625 --> 01:00:32,250
Welcome back LeMLVP. We're here today with Marco dalla 
Libera Welcome,

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01:00:33,500 --> 01:00:35,208
Thanks Marco

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01:00:36,500 --> 01:00:39,416
So uh, you guys going to be confused today because Marco, 
Marco, we going to

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01:00:39,500 --> 01:00:41,833
keep on a Bouncing back. So

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01:00:43,500 --> 01:00:49,750
so Marco partner Arsenalia, Stantman, and performer at 
volcano. senior parter at

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01:00:49,833 --> 01:00:51,583
Alpenite,

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01:00:52,958 --> 01:00:58,000
you guys call it so. First of all, what is it that your 
company do,

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01:00:58,666 --> 01:00:59,666
And

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second, how do you manage to keep it Al together at once, 
doing so many

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different roles in so many different ventures.

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Okay, but uh, okay, quick introduction, um, I pay Alpenite 
as you said, and

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volcano. they all, they say, companies that belongs to 
Warnaliai is the holding

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group. Um, let's say we have less more six hundred people

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as a head count today, but it's growing. I mean you know, 
plans for next year is

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still hire other, probably a hundred and fifty. you know 
people around Europe, so

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01:01:33,541 --> 01:01:35,708
it's uh. it's a relative fast growing company,

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Um, we main focus on digital. So, uh, alit, um, it's the you
 know, the company

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which is more focused on Ecom, uh, digital transforssation, 
everything it teach

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the commerce. Uh, Meanwhile Volcano is a pure creative 
agency And then there's

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01:01:52,041 --> 01:01:56,208
many other companies like Um. You can consider Celebra, 
which is an A C P.

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01:01:56,333 --> 01:02:01,541
Partnerlies, which is not even listed in my in my linking 
profile, but it's a new

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company which hundred percent focused on say Sport, Altitude
 or we, and it's a

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01:02:06,583 --> 01:02:11,875
Microsoft foreigner, so let's say there's many technology 
driven companies Ass. So

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01:02:11,875 --> 01:02:17,458
we do you know system integration class, Um. Some other 
companies like Volcano or

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Relev and Um, mainly focused on consulting kind of 
securityative agency, Re,

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01:02:23,000 --> 01:02:25,000
renovate, its, you know, performance marketing,

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mainly digital consulting system integration,

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Okay, okay,

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Um.

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In terms of what you know, uh, how to manage, you know all 
this complexity and

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let's see that it's It's probably the fun partrk. It's what 
keeps me going. This,

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you know, because it's

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I hate to do the same thing you know two times, Um, and it's
 you know, it's really

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fun on the other side. It's it's as you said, it's really 
complex. So

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I, I'm mainly focused on business development. Business 
development In you can see

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01:03:01,333 --> 01:03:05,625
other two different kinds of pure Saage business 
development, which means you

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know,

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Mhm.

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Uh, talking with clients, understanding their problems, 
finding solutions and

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maybe more strategic business developments. You know uh 
where to grow where to

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focus And so uh, you know, this means new line of business, 
new geography,

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And so everything is around. you know, building these new 
businesses or building

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relationship, understanding the market and trying to set up.
 You know new

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structure there.

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Um,

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so Yeah, that's what I do. You know.

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Okay,

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that's my main focus.

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just what you do like in your spare time? right?

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It must spare time. what I like to do.

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No, this is your spar time. right.

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Ah, this is my.

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You run like five or six agencies.

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this is my Sp. time. Yeah, my. my. you know, my main 
business is still, you know,

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restoring old bites and best passa and r them

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That's nice. That's nice.

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So you were say you guys are which countries you guys are 
present Is just like

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Italy. U. K. else?

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Today today there's Italy, U, k, Austria, France, 
Switzerland.

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Uh, about dis areming locations. So

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Okay, that's nice. Nice. Well, I can imagine also keeping 
all the different

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culture together. It's it's quite a challenge.

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it's it's It's a challenge. Sometimes. I'm also a bit 
jealous, you know, from like

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more

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company that has maybe same size or even smaller than us, 
you know, and a, maybe a

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you know, bigger global footprint starting from a kind of 
in, you know, Italian.

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and I mean, the headquarter is Italian and we started from 
from Italy.

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It's in our in, you know, and it being maybe a bit more 
local, so it's two times

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more challenging you know, for us to growbad,

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No, okay can imagine, and let's say another thing. 
interesting question. like

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knowing you guys a little bit. I know that in your vendors 
in your adventures,

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actually, you have a lot of co founders, so it's not just 
you. There are many

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time in many of these daentures. lot of cofnders, which 
could be like

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reallyadantagecause. You guys have like a big team with a 
lot of different

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expertise we bring together, but on the other side, How 
other you guys get

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along Because getting the decision when you have like vious,
 cof, this tricky.

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So what? what's your secret source? What do you guys do you?
 You get along

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together, you fight all the time. What?

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how does it work?

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uh trus cheap north. Let's a it. As you said, you know it's 
it's interesting part,

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but it's also the tricky part. It's the biggest challenge. 
so on one side you know

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M.

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it is is not easy to explain, So there's a a pure 
organization point of view,

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which as you said,

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involves as many people as possible. Uh

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you, you said right in nationality. There's six partners in 
Alpanitta, There's

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other five,

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Salrize, other four five, So there's a lot of people 
involved, but we truly live

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in. Uh. You know a distribution of responsibility, so 
there's a lot of

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responsibility distributed through the Uh. the company. The 
government is as much

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as possible decentralized and we found this is working. So

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it's not just you know co founders or you know partners. But
 then

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Eight?

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inside the company there's many many other people maybe with
 Without you know our

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shares in the company that, in any case, has a quite a big 
responsibility role and

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has their own. Uh, you know they have that all the 
trustshipp and they have all

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the responsibility for specific projects, so there's a lot 
of responsibility

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distribution. This is the key for us to grow. I mean, for 
moment's been the key to

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grow

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On the other side. this is also part of our model. So Mm.

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it's something that it's not uh common and it's not known 
about Uh. Arenale and

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all the companies in group, but we don't have the typical 
shareholder model. It's

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more

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Hey,

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partnship model, Um. so we're designing and we set up those 
companies to create

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exactly mode that to make them grow. So our our objective, 
for example, for

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Arsenalia in ten years is to be probably twenty, not six. 
And

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okay,

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so we created this kind of partnery model where Um, you 
know, it's not linked to

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the capital capital is not. It's something that does not 
exist anymore in our

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company. It's

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okay,

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just a a member Fid, So you you join with a with a fee, 
which is always the same

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for everyone.

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Uh, if we're six, is everything divided by six 
responsibilities, and everything,

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the day will be ten would be divided by ten, and the day you
 live E your share. it

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does not exist. So you get back. You know you defeat. that 
you are, have deposit

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01:07:59,458 --> 01:08:04,666
in in the company and there's a. It's a profit 
participation. So the idea the idea

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is exactly, do not, you know. Don't be in the position. 
Maybe you know we've been.

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We've seen so many. I mean, you know it's the digital 
business is very, it. it's

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small. We know each other. We've seen a lot of companies. T 
Ctera. Maybe you know,

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in a corner not able to scale anymore, or maybe obliged to 
adventure capitalist to

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grow, or being obliged to sell, you know, to the big 
consulting groups just

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because they were not able to. Maybe they, they didn't 
build. Maybe you know, on a

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certain time you, you're tired, you' you know, you don't 
want to continue anymore,

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and you don't you haven't built. You know a team, uh, 
something that you can you

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01:08:44,583 --> 01:08:48,208
know, leave your your heritage and you know, keep on growing

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01:08:48,208 --> 01:08:48,583
yeah, true,

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and you have to sell. You know. so Th. this is their the 
design. We in mind. I'm

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01:08:54,333 --> 01:08:58,333
not sure it's going to work. You know. it's a sort of 
experimental.

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Uh, you know way of working, but but

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No, I think like, uh, ku kudos to that because it's 
definitely like a different

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way to take on one of the problem That are like a lot. of. 
let say, a lot of

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the agencies have like they start to grow one or two people.
 Then, when you eat

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a certain barrier, how do you scale up more

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yeah,

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like it's It's a problem by like many agents. A, as you 
said, then, either you

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need to get some funds in means that you are not the 
decision maker anymore, or

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actually shift a little bit, or you need to sell, and as you
 said like, if you

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want to, it's difficult to have something. But then last, 
you see many

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companies, as you said, But like

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yeah,

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01:09:39,833 --> 01:09:44,291
C grow, they cannot scale and then they need to take 
different paths so often.

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01:09:44,291 --> 01:09:45,041
it's

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yeah,

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01:09:45,208 --> 01:09:45,750
Iter model.

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it's too. you know that, too, main pillars, you know, and 
one is the capital. If

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01:09:49,708 --> 01:09:55,375
you link to capital E, have having someone growing 
internally and means you know,

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01:09:55,541 --> 01:09:59,958
selling shares, et cetera which it's not accessible, and the
 second A's in

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01:10:00,041 --> 01:10:02,750
culture, So if you don't start since the beginning, you know
 distributing

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01:10:02,916 --> 01:10:05,333
responsibility and having people that grows

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in your organization, And that would be always a kind of a 
gap. you know, So

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Yeah,

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the day that the drivers leave, no one else can drive or

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01:10:15,250 --> 01:10:18,875
no, that. that's really true. I think it's really 
interesting it. if they say,

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01:10:19,125 --> 01:10:21,666
make me think of the. It's a model that maybe like the,

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01:10:22,708 --> 01:10:27,041
let's say, the the low firm has, or like, uh, it's uh, like

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01:10:27,041 --> 01:10:27,875
right, that's exactly inspiration.

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you. you. you buy a cheap to to get in. At some point you 
can make partner, but

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01:10:32,625 --> 01:10:36,458
you maybe don't have the money to to buy because the familym
 is super big, but

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01:10:36,541 --> 01:10:40,250
you kind of like allow to get the chep to the table. When 
you go out. You take

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01:10:40,375 --> 01:10:44,458
out your chip. Its, it's an interesting model. Uh, if it's 
uh, it would be nice

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01:10:44,541 --> 01:10:49,208
to see an O of you guys that are able to to make it a 
reality, but

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01:10:49,208 --> 01:10:52,291
Let' have another letter. another session. A couple of 
years.

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sound sounds good. sounds good.

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01:10:56,875 --> 01:11:01,583
Uh, so let's say on on all these, Uh on on all these 
ventures. All these thing

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01:11:01,750 --> 01:11:06,291
that the say, the different consultancy or system integr or 
company you're in

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01:11:06,375 --> 01:11:11,416
and that, let's say gravitate on digital, especially say in 
the last two years

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01:11:11,583 --> 01:11:13,833
where digital exploded, Uh,

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01:11:14,875 --> 01:11:18,458
Wh, What do you see? The issues that customers come to you 
Like are they

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01:11:18,541 --> 01:11:22,541
evolving? Are they changing? Are they The same is just like,
 bigger and bigger,

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01:11:22,791 --> 01:11:26,791
more and more or like. They are also evolving Uh, over the 
course of the years,

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01:11:30,041 --> 01:11:34,333
That's interesting. So others? sure there, some topics that 
you know,

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01:11:35,375 --> 01:11:36,583
still still the same So

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01:11:39,458 --> 01:11:40,583
I see you know

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01:11:42,750 --> 01:11:48,333
digital. It's it's not. I mean. okay. it's it's. It's 
something that it is still

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01:11:48,583 --> 01:11:55,000
new. but it's consolidated so there should be some know 
experiences way to

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01:11:55,250 --> 01:11:58,750
approach. And still, I see you know a company struggling in 
finding the right

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01:11:58,916 --> 01:12:04,416
organisation. Or maybe there's still two attach you to all 
kind of organisations

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01:12:04,416 --> 01:12:05,375
not able to.

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01:12:07,000 --> 01:12:11,166
You know. Um, because of, I mean, there's many that there 
could be multiple

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01:12:11,333 --> 01:12:15,625
reason, but I still see in a company that not able to evolve
 from an organisation

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01:12:15,625 --> 01:12:16,625
point of view,

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01:12:17,833 --> 01:12:18,833
Maybe

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01:12:19,541 --> 01:12:23,083
they, they, they and have that. maybe you know overtaken by 
younger companies that

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01:12:23,333 --> 01:12:26,333
scale up so quickly Because because they don't have maybe 
heritage, you know

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01:12:26,500 --> 01:12:31,708
mechanis, or you know, Uh, ancient way of working that you 
know needs to be

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01:12:32,291 --> 01:12:36,416
changed. That's that's a problem, which is something that I 
still see in twenty

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01:12:36,541 --> 01:12:37,541
twenty one, and probably

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01:12:37,541 --> 01:12:38,208
He

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01:12:38,208 --> 01:12:41,458
will continue to see for a long time, and on the other side,
 I see that sometimes

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01:12:41,875 --> 01:12:43,000
there's um,

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01:12:44,916 --> 01:12:49,250
kind of a confusion. So the, the, the role of digital is 
changing constantly. We,

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01:12:49,375 --> 01:12:53,375
you know, you go to these, you know, events. you know that 
talks about digital.

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01:12:54,125 --> 01:12:58,208
and every couple of years you know there's a different role 
attributed to digital

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01:12:58,291 --> 01:13:00,208
and still is not clear, which is the right one.

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01:13:00,791 --> 01:13:01,791
Um,

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01:13:04,291 --> 01:13:08,125
and I see that again, this is not the main problem, but the 
problem is that you

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01:13:08,208 --> 01:13:13,708
know technology and technology. I mean not just the tools 
available to Uh, brands

200
01:13:13,875 --> 01:13:17,791
and companies, et cetera, but also technology, and the way 
the people consume

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01:13:17,791 --> 01:13:18,583
Technology

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01:13:19,250 --> 01:13:25,375
is changing so fast. Then you know again, organizations. and
 and and you know, Uh

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01:13:25,875 --> 01:13:31,541
brands struggle to to to keep the peace being fast enough, 
being able to

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01:13:31,958 --> 01:13:37,625
understand or anticipate topics. Maybe they achieve, you 
know, and theyrive to Uh

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01:13:38,416 --> 01:13:43,000
certain decision, or a certain way of doing business on 
digital. Which is too late

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01:13:43,166 --> 01:13:45,166
and probably it's okay. you know, time for another

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01:13:45,166 --> 01:13:46,083
transformation.

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01:13:46,083 --> 01:13:46,291
two.

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Um,

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especially in in in In this, you know, and this moment were,
 Um, also talking

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about generations.

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01:13:57,458 --> 01:14:02,416
E. They's so far in behaviors you know between each others. 
So when you have to

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01:14:02,500 --> 01:14:07,375
cover in your brand, you know, and and even let's consider I
 don't know Millennial

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01:14:07,458 --> 01:14:08,458
and that, and

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01:14:09,625 --> 01:14:13,458
uh, because maybe they're they, They're you. you. I mean you
 can' focus on once.

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01:14:13,791 --> 01:14:17,541
Only you know and you have to cover to, because maybe it's 
okay, I, I want to sell

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01:14:17,708 --> 01:14:19,333
from people to twenty to for five.

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01:14:20,666 --> 01:14:25,875
It's It's not like it was time ago, but I mean it's It's 
like selling to different

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01:14:26,125 --> 01:14:30,500
life, you know, and you need to keep tute on a voice. 
Probably you know, follow a

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different way of selling, working on different technologies,
 Different you places

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01:14:35,458 --> 01:14:36,666
to communicate with them.

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So that's what I see Know. It's on one side, same topics 
that that keeps on going,

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01:14:42,916 --> 01:14:43,791
right,

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01:14:43,791 --> 01:14:49,375
but probably and and probably today even more because 
changes requires even faster

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01:14:49,375 --> 01:14:50,291
reactions.

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01:14:50,875 --> 01:14:54,875
Okay, Okay, so if if I, if I understand correctly, what 
you're saying is like

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some of the problems are are still there and are

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01:14:57,208 --> 01:14:57,833
Yeah,

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01:14:57,833 --> 01:15:01,750
just like more and more bigger faster. And I know this kind 
of question, but

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the innovation is becoming even faster and actually even 
more complex. Just

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think about the different, uh, rich or different people, as 
you said, Like

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01:15:12,000 --> 01:15:15,666
Okay, twenty to forty five. You're probably selling to two, 
even three

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01:15:16,291 --> 01:15:20,708
different words or tribes, as you, as you call them, where 
you need to speak a

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01:15:20,791 --> 01:15:24,541
different language. You need to approach them in different 
channels in a

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01:15:24,583 --> 01:15:25,583
different way. That's

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01:15:25,583 --> 01:15:26,083
yeah,

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01:15:26,291 --> 01:15:30,875
lot of personalization and lot of uh, different ways of of 
acting, which are

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01:15:31,041 --> 01:15:34,083
which are not easy. and as you say like, there are companies
 that baby have

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01:15:34,250 --> 01:15:40,083
been, say, stuck or following their model since twenty 
thirty fifty years,

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01:15:40,375 --> 01:15:41,375
yeah,

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01:15:41,375 --> 01:15:46,000
changing and understanding that that is not working anymore.
 It's uh, takes

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01:15:46,166 --> 01:15:47,750
time and courage also to.

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01:15:47,750 --> 01:15:51,708
takes time and coage. Yeah, and then you know it's It's both
 in communication,

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01:15:51,875 --> 01:15:55,875
which is probably something that you can be also faster to 
adopt. You know if

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01:15:55,875 --> 01:15:56,583
you're brave

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01:15:56,583 --> 01:15:56,833
Yeah,

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01:15:56,833 --> 01:16:00,125
enough, and then there's technology that. in any case, 
technology requires effort.

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01:16:00,416 --> 01:16:01,416
yes,

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01:16:01,958 --> 01:16:02,958
so

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01:16:03,208 --> 01:16:05,041
yeah, no, no, not not not

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01:16:05,041 --> 01:16:06,041
reaction, Tim is crucial.

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01:16:06,875 --> 01:16:07,916
not not an easy one. Definitely,

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01:16:09,208 --> 01:16:12,291
uh, so actually t time time is flying. So let

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01:16:13,666 --> 01:16:17,500
uh our ▁. last question. Uh that I I need to ask.

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01:16:19,125 --> 01:16:24,166
So what wass next? Any new venture under way? Anything new? 
You guys are

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01:16:24,250 --> 01:16:25,750
creating any twenty

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01:16:25,750 --> 01:16:26,333
Yeah, yeah,

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01:16:26,333 --> 01:16:26,750
new things?

259
01:16:28,583 --> 01:16:32,416
yeah. you're not far from the real now. Let's say that you 
know, Um, the police

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01:16:32,750 --> 01:16:35,958
that are scenalia. It starts to be attractive, so

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01:16:37,083 --> 01:16:40,125
it's not just because of us, but the model we have in place.

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01:16:40,125 --> 01:16:41,083
Mhm.

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01:16:41,083 --> 01:16:45,375
Uh, the Cch. you have you know, within the company it starts
 to. I mean, no word

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01:16:45,541 --> 01:16:50,666
of mouth starts to be around and we start to to to to be a 
kind of attractive

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01:16:50,833 --> 01:16:54,416
point. You know, for people that want to maybe start 
something, so don't use

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01:16:54,416 --> 01:16:55,000
Okay,

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01:16:55,000 --> 01:16:59,333
the boarding Cubatorur, and that kind of you know we. we're 
burn up there. but

268
01:16:59,625 --> 01:17:04,208
yeah, supporting you know, a new new initiative and start 
new business is

269
01:17:04,291 --> 01:17:07,458
something that we. we were doing at the moment. So we are 
we' Having the problem

270
01:17:07,541 --> 01:17:08,541
is, probably

271
01:17:09,541 --> 01:17:14,416
find a way to you know to keep focused. So maybe you know 
select couple of targets

272
01:17:14,500 --> 01:17:18,583
and focus on that you know, for the next maybe six months. 
Uh, but we're moving

273
01:17:18,833 --> 01:17:19,833
from you know. of course,

274
01:17:20,833 --> 01:17:25,541
Uh, expansion in geography. Uh, that's something that's 
really crucial and it's

275
01:17:25,708 --> 01:17:30,291
uh. It's a topic every day for us, or we're again pushing on
 new markets and

276
01:17:30,416 --> 01:17:34,500
trying to bring on board. You know people from from 
different places, Because

277
01:17:34,750 --> 01:17:39,958
again in our model it works if we bring on board. You know 
people that then can be

278
01:17:40,125 --> 01:17:45,375
part of of our group and on the other side, Yeah, there's 
multiple interesting.

279
01:17:45,625 --> 01:17:47,333
you know, new, um,

280
01:17:49,000 --> 01:17:52,333
topics or kind of business that we're looking for.

281
01:17:54,125 --> 01:17:59,541
Very. you know, In a different. I mean, we're talking to. 
Uh, you know we're We're

282
01:17:59,708 --> 01:18:03,625
looking for a want to start, for example, builing, content 
building

283
01:18:03,625 --> 01:18:04,291
okay,

284
01:18:04,291 --> 01:18:08,750
content. That means three d photography and everything needs
 to be. Uh, you know,

285
01:18:09,083 --> 01:18:12,208
Uh, digital consumer a lot, a lot of content you

286
01:18:12,208 --> 01:18:12,833
Yes,

287
01:18:12,833 --> 01:18:17,000
know digital is, uh, it's uh, you know, it's a crazy machine
 consuming content. E,

288
01:18:17,708 --> 01:18:22,833
and you know again, requires need help to produce this 
content. Uh, another

289
01:18:23,625 --> 01:18:27,875
initiative. for example, we're looking into you know, 
blending digital and

290
01:18:28,041 --> 01:18:34,291
physical, so building a company focus on. you know how to 
bring digital. and also

291
01:18:34,583 --> 01:18:40,916
that the the the users sentry, and the U S approach that you
 know digital has

292
01:18:42,041 --> 01:18:47,958
to to to put it in the in the physical. You know, Uh 
architecture. That's another

293
01:18:48,333 --> 01:18:51,708
thing we're talking to, and so on. I mean there are so many.

294
01:18:52,250 --> 01:18:55,666
okay, okay, No, not man, so that we'll do like another 
episode like a couple of

295
01:18:55,750 --> 01:18:59,416
months, where I say like, Oh, by the way, Marco, I started 
at other three three

296
01:18:59,666 --> 01:19:01,333
ventures. I can talk about those.

297
01:19:03,416 --> 01:19:04,416
Yeah, I more than happy

298
01:19:05,416 --> 01:19:09,250
Okay, cool. So no, I think thanks a all for your time. Marco
 has been like radi

299
01:19:09,500 --> 01:19:13,750
pleasure, as as always, or really looking forward to to hear
 more from what

300
01:19:13,916 --> 01:19:17,208
what you guys got come up with be cause it's a super 
interesting. like di,

301
01:19:17,416 --> 01:19:21,916
different model of agenency, super nice, and a lot of uh new
 things that

302
01:19:21,916 --> 01:19:22,875
you need for this

303
01:19:22,875 --> 01:19:23,750
you guys are always thinking about.

304
01:19:24,416 --> 01:19:28,041
now. Thank you, Mark Thans for involv, And you know it's 
always opportunity to

305
01:19:29,458 --> 01:19:32,416
get out from the you know daily business for half an hour.

306
01:19:33,458 --> 01:19:35,166
Something different. Now think again,

307
01:19:35,250 --> 01:19:38,250
Sounds good. Thanks a lot. I'll I'll see you soon by

308
01:19:38,250 --> 01:19:39,041
so.

309
01:19:39,041 --> 01:19:39,333
bye.