On the occasion of the launch event of the first book by Mauro Porcini – SVP & Chief Design Officer of Pepsico – our editor in chief Tommaso Cartia had the chance to converse with the entrepreneur sharing precious tips for the creatives and the innovators of tomorrow. The event was wonderfully hosted by journalist Francesca Di Matteo, Founder & CEO of the Our Voices broadcast and StrategicA Communication at the enchanting Pinko Boutique in Soho. Special attendees at the event were Mr. Fabrizio Di Michele, Consul General of Italy in NY, and the Director of ITA – Italian Trade Agency – Mr. Antonino Laspina.
By Tommaso Cartia
“This day for us is about rebirth,” exclaimed with pride and emotion Francesca Di Matteo presenting StrategicA Communication’s very first in-person event after one and a half-year of pandemic. And it was, truly, a day filled with trepidation, also for me getting dressed and happily ready to experience again the aliveness of a community getting together to share ideas and perspectives for the future, shaking hands and exchange those vivid glances, thirsty for life, and those smiles, that could reassure you, that perhaps, the worst has been left behind. Not even the violent tropical storm that flooded the NYC’s subway on that day, intimidated or tamed the urgency to be together of the more than 100 guests who bravely traversed Manhattan to be present at the event. And the occasion to listen to Mr. Porcini talk about creativity, innovation, and the future of our business models, was certainly, unmissable, for everybody and particularly for us of Creative Point-On who have been “starting up” our business venture not too long before the pandemic hit. How many times, during this still time of our lives and our economy, have we thought about the concept of starting up, of starting over, how many times during this interminably long year have we stumbled and started all over again?
“Creativity Is The Answer,” that’s the first thing that catches my attention when I’m introduced to Mauro Porcini for our interview, a sentence written in cubital, sparkling letters on his sweater. A sentence that resonates, profoundly, with the philosophy of our company. During the pandemic, Creative Point-On produced a web series entitled #CreativityWillSaveUs, an initiative born to support the artists’ community during the lockdown, and “creative” is the fundament of our name and business identity. It really feels like this encounter with Mr. Porcini should have happened somehow, sometime, and I’m very happy that it happened now, now that we all need, more than ever, to start-up and think about creative ways to take our next steps into the future.
“We need to be students of life and students for life”Mauro Porcini
I’ve never met Mr. Porcini in person, although of course I’ve been knowing him by his exceptional professional journey and I’ve been fascinated by his entrepreneurial story and rise to success. I think that any upcoming entrepreneur who is serious about his/her career today should study Mauro Porcini, and I’m confident that his book: “L’ETÀ DELL’ECCELLENZA – THE ERA OF EXCELLENCE”; will be that trusted companion in the development of any contemporary enterprise. I have a feeling that it will serve the same purpose to the future generations that Steve Job’s book served to Mauro Porcini when he was an upcoming entrepreneur himself.
What struck me about Mr. Porcini when we started talking was his kindness, his politeness, his flowing rhythm in responding to my questions, his poised elegance and those vivid eyes, thirsty for life, and that smile that can reassure you that, perhaps, the worst has been left behind.
“One should always feel curious and receptive, 24 hours a day.” Tells me, Mauro, when I ask him what kind of tips would he give to young entrepreneurs. “We need to understand the shades of trends and how they change. Some macro trends have been gone on for quite a while, the pandemic has accelerated them. For example, the health & wellness field, or the personability of brands, digitalization, sustainability, and many more. We need to understand this acceleration and what could be the unique point of view. Often the unique point of view is offered by technology. For example, in our field, food & beverage, we are now utilizing wearable technology that monitors your body and gives you tips on what you should eat or to make your beverages personable, based on your taste, but also your emotions and physiology.”
But technology per se is not sufficient, and it shouldn’t and it can’t be disjoint from the human factor: “This is what my book talks about. You can’t just commission a market research or go online and read stuff on social media or blogs, you need to be there, “on the road”, you need to be present and understand what it is happening. To rely just on the A.I. without the human factor and our ability to interpret and decode what we read in the data, it’s a limit.”
“To rely just on the A.I. without the human factor and our ability to interpret and decode what we read in the data, it’s a limit.”Mauro Porcini
And for Mauro Porcini, “Creativity Is The Answer” to this decoding. “If you don’t work on yourself, on your education, on your training, if you don’t nurture your natural talent you will not get anywhere. In my book, I talk about the inventor of the IQ test who says that people who have been properly educated, formed, who study a lot, can even increase and surpass the ones who have a hereditary IQ higher than them.”
A native of Gallarate, a city and comune of Alto Milanese, close to Milan, Mauro Porcini has a strong humanistic and classical formation, which is the quintessential and most distinctive trait of the Italian Renaissance culture. That educational foundation has been for Porcini an inexhaustible resource of inspiration but also a model, a way of living, a modus operandi.
“We need to be students of life and students for life,” is, in fact, the motto that he coined and it is one of the fil rouges of the book: “We need to be students of our life and the life around us, we need to analyze the past and attempt to decipher the present. Curiosity, humility, and kindness are the keys to be truly successful.”
These are some of the traits of the so-called “unicorns”, a term with which Porcini metaphorically identifies the innovators of tomorrow. “Many make the mistake to think that once they achieved some sort of success, they know everything and they are done learning. I see this as a sign of weakness, because you fear that if you don’t prove to yourself and the people around you that you know everything, you lose credibility. On the contrary, I believe that strong people, who have great confidence in themselves, are not afraid to ask things, to a collaborator, to a child, to the people in the streets. When you start asking questions nurturing your knowledge every day, your business will naturally grow stronger. We should be, indeed, students, for life.”
Waiting for Mauro Porcini’s book to be soon released in English, entrepreneurs of all ages will now have in their hands another essential book to treasure in their “students for life and students of life library” to co-create all together this new era of excellence.