Back in Italy and everyone is talking about Crowdfunding and Blockchain. Why? And what are they for?

AI, blockchain, crowdfunding, Food All Lab, food-tech, future -

Back in Italy and everyone is talking about Crowdfunding and Blockchain. Why? And what are they for?

For ten years now, I am alternating cycles abroad and cycles in Italy.
Going abroad helps me study, get inspired and stay in the future, working with companies and entrepreneurs already formed to act like managers and not like owners.
Living abroad let me freely think about what can be done better, pushing the boundaries and the limits, and without feeling uncomfortable with my innovative ideas.
Italy on the other hand helps me reconnect with another present and reality, with problems and traditions, immobility and little desire to change. But also the country that produces and gives the best food excellence, the best clothing products, the best architecture, the best manufacturing, the best vehicles and many other uniqueness of which we are recognized as the best in making in the World. We push at perfection of beauty and elegance everything we do (and in digital we are not less).

Both moments give me essential things for my work, a nature and digital engineer, an international entrepreneur who looks at Italy as an immense cultural, economic and social heritage of great value, but which is at risk of extinction. And on the other hand, an expert, connoisseur and tester of the best technological, innovative and social discoveries, thanks to countries (in some ways) more evolved than us, with more solid, open and better functioning social, economic and cultural systems.

Countries and Ecosystems in which I can observe, immerse myself and be captured by the best avant-garde, discover and understand advanced technologies, business models, growth strategies and marketing techniques at the frontiers of knowledge.

This double view has given me a unique understanding of weak signals and trends, anticipating them for a market, like the fragmented Italian one, small and reactive, small realities that could be agile but are not connected with foreign countries, and rich markets that do not have the quality and variety of production and are always looking for special and new products.
Everyone thinks that Engineers do complicated things, or that they often complicate things, in some ways it is true and it has been true, indeed it continues to be true, but it is not a problem of Engineers per se, but of humanity, there are those who complicate things and complicate others' life, and those who simplify and solve them... maybe even to have more time to enjoy it, and not to chase the next possible solution.

The fact is that you still wonder what Crowdfunding and Blockchain are, and I still haven't given you even a clue, or maybe Yes?

Surely they are both technologies and methods, which basically serve to make life easier, in two areas, one the search for funding and investment and the second to make data transactions safe, cheap and tacit.

So Crowdfunding facilitates, expands and makes it easy for everyone to raise capital, or to pre-sell their product on the global digital market and then penetrate sales in a direct way and gain market share. And it is great for small and medium companies, startups or not!

Blockchain, on the other hand, facilitates, speeds up and protects the information you need during any transaction - money, credentials, contracts, goods and information.  And it is great for small and medium companies, startups or not!

During two years living in Australia, where I worked in different fields and where I became passionate about and studied in depth the startup and digital phenomenon, I asked myself what was going on, and my point of view was privileged and different from that of many others.

In those years Italy was recovering from the famous crisis of 2008, the GDP had gone back 10 years, and I already knew that I didn't want to work to make Italian big companies regain ground, roads already travelled, not very innovative choices and a cosmic pessimism. In Australia, on the other hand, the sun is there every day (which is easy) and the crisis didn't even know what it was, if not a newspaper headline from other continents. The crisis has existed, but dear only in the USA and Europe, the other continents in the last 10 years have done well and done great.

And now again, a new global crazy crisis, Covid-19 in 2020. A new big humanity challenge, but also great and tough opportunity and in many cases a necessity to change, and I am watching all of this from London, not too far from Italy but with a different point of view, especially in Brexit era.
That's why being able to earn more than in Italy even working less than half the time, (not only as an engineer but also as a waiter and cook) gave me the opportunity to deepen and study a phenomenon that I still did not know and understood well, I started from startup events, collaborations and consulting, from many books, the first one? The one about Steve Jobs, with whom I left Italy.

The points of view, the relativity that we don't exist only, our vision, our mood and our situation (as culture, country but also as an individual), opened my mind to be able to evaluate situations in a wider and more creative way, empathy is a very powerful tool, but it needs strong values and humility to annul one's own conviction, and use a method of evaluation and analysis that goes beyond even one's own Ego, that takes into account the multitude of critical points of view and senses.

From Australia I came back with the new conviction that if your project is cool and solid, and your determination is strong and clear, then Crowdfunding would have become the technology with which to finance Business Ideas and Projects, without having to go with the classic Italian answer/excuse, "I would like to, but I don't have the money to leave!".

And I can say that after 3 years, that's how it is now, Crowdfunding is consolidating.

Then I came back to Italy, and with my team we launched the first Crowdfunding platform dedicated to Made in Italy, to Agro-food and Agro-tourism projects. It was the time of Expo, too soon, and in fact it didn't go very well from an economic point of view or as they say in jargon, of "traction", the months of work and operations made us discover in depth the world of Italian taste excellence, and gave us a clear point of view, thanks to which we developed a wider business model, and both thanks to Expo and another departure for abroad, this time in California, made us focus on Export.

Because the market that has the will and possibility to buy the best and most excellent food is abroad. Lots of Italian "expats", but also second generations and then a world of international professionals who indulge in good food, but also the American, Arab and Chinese middle classes who are becoming more and more refined and connoisseurs of our delicacies, ask for them from restaurants and turn them into viral trends on Instagram and other social networks.

That's why Crowdfunding is the technology that allows even small companies to find new customers for their new products and markets, even if niche or luxury, and to attract investment capital for their growth thanks to the network.
What kind of other madness is Blockchain instead?

This is actually born from a madness and philosophy, which is not the result of a commercial need or requirement, but a real new model of thinking and operating some information systems, which was launched, tested and first used for the creation of a virtual currency, the Bitcoin.

The first big mistake is to confuse technology with the application, Bitcoin is an application of Blockchain technology, with which you create and exchange crypto currencies, transactions precisely, but with which you can do billions of other things, a bit like with the computer, you could write a text and save it on a floppy disk, from that point of view of functionality think today instead how many things a computer can do, and how many an average person knows, here is the Blockchain hides the same mysteries and potentiality now that we are in a premature and embryonic phase of its applications.

But who uses them? And why?
What are the Blockchain in use in the world today?

by Alessandro Corti
CEO - WOOP Lab   & Food All Lab Ltd

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