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Giacomo Balli

Innovation consultant specializing in mobile strategy

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I help traditional business owners improve productivity, enhance employee satisfaction and increase profits by optimizing their established processes. #DigitalTransformation #OpenInnovation

I help startup founders jumpstart their success. #Architecture #UA #ASO #Monetization #Performance #Feasbility

I help modern companies better understand competition and fast-track R&D. #Intelligence #ResearchAndDevelopement

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Mobile Consultant

The mobile app industry is growing at an unprecedented pace... Barely keeping up or are you leveraging all the opportunities it brings?

If you made it this far I know you have motivation, enthusiasm and drive. However, you will need a mobile consultant like me by your side to fully reap all the benefits of what technology has to offer.

Until not long ago, iPhone apps were like the very first websites: in a world where websites were few and far between, just having one was enough.  It wasn't particularly challenging to be a player in the mobile app development game without much competition. Now, as the market becomes more saturated, it is increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.

My years of experience in the field, combined with my MBA and business savvy, make me a shrewd ally to anyone looking to make their mark in the mobile world.

I live in San Francisco, the epicenter of the startup boom.  While I've seen some amazing concepts come to life, I've chosen not to get involve in revenue sharing, equity or similarly structured projects. Instead, I lend my technical and business know-how to early stage startups and established brands as a mobile consultant.

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Do you already have a mobile app? Make sure you know how to properly generate more downloads.

This is why I won't steal your idea

We've already touched this topic but I still get people who spend way too much energy & time worrying about this.

Since I'm a one stop shop for mobile apps, I get often approached by people with their new ideas. In most cases, for some quality feedback, and on lucky days, for a rough quote about the costs of such a project. These people are usually very secretive about what they have, making me explain to them that it's far from my interest to steal that idea. One time, a guy even made me sign a Non-disclosure agreement (thoughts on NDAs)before I could make him an offer for a service he was thinking about. After bargaining with me, he chose a different contractor, but ended up doing nothing, at least to my knowledge. He was obviously focused on the wrong things, instead of getting feedback from as many sources as possible, he was investing energy into bureaucracy and protection of his idea. Let me tell something to him and all others out there: Focus on your product, and don't worry about me stealing your idea. I won't. I have at least five reasons not to.

1. Your idea probably isn't as great as you think


I've seen a lot of different people who had "game-changing" ideas, at least so they though. A few of them actually managed to convince me and my partners that their idea is so amazing that it'll kick everyone's ass. Even though proper market research wasn't done, charisma is sometimes hard to resist, and if you are working with someone you've known for a long time, you are prepared to accept crazy terms, such as a delay of payment until this idea will start to generate revenue. I learned the hard way there is usually a huge discrepancy between ideals and reality, and ended up with bitter stuff to swallow.

Ideas are something, execution is everything else. There is a long way inbetween, a way paved with upgrades, downgrades, changes, pivots, time and hard work. Millions have ideas, only a few can make them work. I've seen Seedcamp companies change their core concepts and business modelscompletely, and these startups are already the best, selected from hundreds, if not thousands. When you start working on something and proceed ahead, the initial idea will often evolve beyond recognition. Not to mention there is a very strong possibility that someone else was already thinking about the same thing, except better, years earlier. Your idea isn't amazing, but it may be good enough to achieve something with proper execution. That's why you need feedback and partners.

2. I have plenty of ideas of my own


You know what's better than your idea? My idea!

Mostly because I kick ass, but also because people get emotionally attached to the thoughts they generate by themselves. I have so many ideas I don't know what to do with them. They are probably not really great (see reason 1), but they are mine, and I try hard to make a few of them come alive every now and then, when I have the time. During the day, I work on real-life projects, during the night, I play around.

When I decide on what to work on next, I usually look for the best ratio between actuality, complexity, required energy and potential. This means I've already made my own priority list of the services I will be rolling out in the future, and I must say, it would really be hard to put one of yours inside this packed list. I'm sure most developers think in a similar fashion, lacking resources to make everything they imagine a reality. Face it, there are hundred times as many people who have unrealized ideas, than people who don't know what to work on. Do the math.

3. Your idea probably requires specific passion and know-how


The idea lives strongest in the person who thought of it. It is a result of that person's experience from many fields, so it's hard to replicate in its full form without that experience. The ideas I've stumbled upon usually solve very specific and niche problems you can't solve without digging yourself into that field. Which most of us don't have time or the resources to do. The core of the idea represents the person who thought of it, it may be taken to another level by a different person, but in most cases, it requires the original author's knowledge, involvement and passion to work as it's supposed to.

I can't execute an idea which will revolutionize kindergarten children education, I don't know shit about the problem, I don't have any connections in the industry, and I'm simply not that passionate about that field.

4. Your idea requires your involvement as a product manager


In the past few years, I've implemented quite a few prototypes and services but simply don't have enough energy to push a service beyond a point, or don't want to. Perhaps this fact will change someday, but at this point, you will need to be the product manager of your idea, and I can be its architect. Since I have a other gigs to attend to, I can't afford to be start a new one.

5. Karma and stuff


I believe in karma. Don't do evil and all of that. I would really feel uncomfortable if I would take someone else's baby and make it my own. So I won't, because this simply wouldn't be a fair thing to do. I value proper sleep above success.

But what if


Of course, there are always exceptions, and I can imagine I could encounter something that would go beyond all of my points above. Perhaps there is one idea that I've heard about years ago that would suit this description. If I ever decide to proceed with this project, I will let that person know what I'm doing and invite him to join the project. Even if I'm thinking about a thing that only faintly resembles the original concept, I can't deny it's that person's idea. And since this guy was able to think of such a marvelous thing so much time ago, he would surely make a great addition to the team (also see reason 3).

That's it. I won't steal your idea, so feel free to talk about your revolutionary innovation with me anytime. All I will do is to try to tear it apart and put it back together, and after we're done with that, if I get the chance, I will try to bring it to life.

Anzi, you should tell everyone about it!

#idea, #startup
Published: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:45:28 +0000

Side Projects

This a collection of some of the numerous ideas/projects that have been conceived and developed usually on a weekend morning.

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About

Currently working as an innovation consultant based in San Francisco. After studying in Madrid and New York, earning an MBA, he broke into the emerging mobile developing market when Apple first released the iPhone. Among one of the first successful Italian developers, Giacomo relocated to San Francisco to broaden his reach within the burgeoning tech sector. While working as part of a travel-tech startup launched in 2013, Giacomo has continued as a consultant to both independent and incubator-based startups. Confident and innovative, loves fast-paced environments collaborating with a team of professionals and experts to ship delightful, efficient products.
Giacomo's passion for progress often finds him speaking at conferences (both in the US & Europe) and teaching college courses.

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This is why I won't steal your idea

This is why I won't steal your idea

We've already touched this topic but I still get people who spend way too much energy & time worrying about this.

Since I'm a one stop shop for mobile apps, I get often approached by people with their new ideas. In most cases, for some quality feedback, and on lucky days, for a rough quote about the costs of such a project. These people are usually very secretive about what they have, making me explain to them that it's far from my interest to steal that idea. One time, a guy even made me sign a Non-disclosure agreement (thoughts on NDAs)before I could make him an offer for a service he was thinking about. After bargaining with me, he chose a different contractor, but ended up doing nothing, at least to my knowledge. He was obviously focused on the wrong things, instead of getting feedback from as many sources as possible, he was investing energy into bureaucracy and protection of his idea. Let me tell something to him and all others out there: Focus on your product, and don't worry about me stealing your idea. I won't. I have at least five reasons not to.

1. Your idea probably isn't as great as you think


I've seen a lot of different people who had "game-changing" ideas, at least so they though. A few of them actually managed to convince me and my partners that their idea is so amazing that it'll kick everyone's ass. Even though proper market research wasn't done, charisma is sometimes hard to resist, and if you are working with someone you've known for a long time, you are prepared to accept crazy terms, such as a delay of payment until this idea will start to generate revenue. I learned the hard way there is usually a huge discrepancy between ideals and reality, and ended up with bitter stuff to swallow.

Ideas are something, execution is everything else. There is a long way inbetween, a way paved with upgrades, downgrades, changes, pivots, time and hard work. Millions have ideas, only a few can make them work. I've seen Seedcamp companies change their core concepts and business modelscompletely, and these startups are already the best, selected from hundreds, if not thousands. When you start working on something and proceed ahead, the initial idea will often evolve beyond recognition. Not to mention there is a very strong possibility that someone else was already thinking about the same thing, except better, years earlier. Your idea isn't amazing, but it may be good enough to achieve something with proper execution. That's why you need feedback and partners.

2. I have plenty of ideas of my own


You know what's better than your idea? My idea!

Mostly because I kick ass, but also because people get emotionally attached to the thoughts they generate by themselves. I have so many ideas I don't know what to do with them. They are probably not really great (see reason 1), but they are mine, and I try hard to make a few of them come alive every now and then, when I have the time. During the day, I work on real-life projects, during the night, I play around.

When I decide on what to work on next, I usually look for the best ratio between actuality, complexity, required energy and potential. This means I've already made my own priority list of the services I will be rolling out in the future, and I must say, it would really be hard to put one of yours inside this packed list. I'm sure most developers think in a similar fashion, lacking resources to make everything they imagine a reality. Face it, there are hundred times as many people who have unrealized ideas, than people who don't know what to work on. Do the math.

3. Your idea probably requires specific passion and know-how


The idea lives strongest in the person who thought of it. It is a result of that person's experience from many fields, so it's hard to replicate in its full form without that experience. The ideas I've stumbled upon usually solve very specific and niche problems you can't solve without digging yourself into that field. Which most of us don't have time or the resources to do. The core of the idea represents the person who thought of it, it may be taken to another level by a different person, but in most cases, it requires the original author's knowledge, involvement and passion to work as it's supposed to.

I can't execute an idea which will revolutionize kindergarten children education, I don't know shit about the problem, I don't have any connections in the industry, and I'm simply not that passionate about that field.

4. Your idea requires your involvement as a product manager


In the past few years, I've implemented quite a few prototypes and services but simply don't have enough energy to push a service beyond a point, or don't want to. Perhaps this fact will change someday, but at this point, you will need to be the product manager of your idea, and I can be its architect. Since I have a other gigs to attend to, I can't afford to be start a new one.

5. Karma and stuff


I believe in karma. Don't do evil and all of that. I would really feel uncomfortable if I would take someone else's baby and make it my own. So I won't, because this simply wouldn't be a fair thing to do. I value proper sleep above success.

But what if


Of course, there are always exceptions, and I can imagine I could encounter something that would go beyond all of my points above. Perhaps there is one idea that I've heard about years ago that would suit this description. If I ever decide to proceed with this project, I will let that person know what I'm doing and invite him to join the project. Even if I'm thinking about a thing that only faintly resembles the original concept, I can't deny it's that person's idea. And since this guy was able to think of such a marvelous thing so much time ago, he would surely make a great addition to the team (also see reason 3).

That's it. I won't steal your idea, so feel free to talk about your revolutionary innovation with me anytime. All I will do is to try to tear it apart and put it back together, and after we're done with that, if I get the chance, I will try to bring it to life.

Anzi, you should tell everyone about it!

#idea, #startup
Published: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 17:45:28 +0000