I wanted to personally interview Alessandro Cadoni, co-founder of Friendz, to better understand what is the best entrepreneurial approach to be able to keep up with new forms of enterprise financing.
Let's start from the end, what prompted you to do an Initial Coin Offering and open Friendz to the blockchain?
It happened at the right time. We were discussing about a potential equity crowdfunding round when our cofounder Giorgio told us that he was following this new type of fundraising, which had been going strong around the world for a very short time. So we decided to try to see if it could be done, and after a few weeks of study we decided to go for it. The whole thing then came naturally because our model was well predisposed to blockchain both because of the fact that we already had an internal currency and because of some processes that we had already decentralized to the community, such as transaction verification.
Did you expect such a positive response? What investments should be made as a result of this result that you consider a priority?
The result was unexpected-until a few weeks earlier we thought we had failed in our collection effort. After spending several hundred thousand dollars in traditional marketing we had not gotten any results, so we decided to use what we had learned over the years to give visibility to the project, which was to engage people and have them advertise the project by word of mouth.
Would you advise a company that is structuring a digital project to open up to the world of blockchain?
Blockchain is an enabling technology for many innovative businesses and a solid technology to lean on, so it is absolutely recommended.
However, blockchain should not be confused with cryptocurrencies, which instead form an industry at the moment exclusively tied to and dependent on speculation that can prove very dangerous for those who are untrained or new to the field.
So the advice is to study a lot and prepare yourself. Whenever a new technology is discovered, in the hype phase it is very easy to run into all kinds of scams.
Friendz is often juxtaposed with the world of influencers, is this the real positioning of the project?
Friendz was born to bring the end consumer closer to the brand, so the traditional term Influencer Marketing does not totally describe us. We were born as a particular case of influencer marketing focused on so-called micro-influencers, i.e., people who are very active on social media with profiles that see as their audience no more than a few thousand people but who see a strong relationship of trust with them given by the direct knowledge between them.
Being in fact a full-fledged agency, we also deal with traditional influcencer marketing projects in which campaigns carried out on our app are sometimes part of a broader social strategy.
In addition to the perfect synergy of the two products, the strength is the common vision regarding the two companies and the ability to share resources and use economies of scale regarding user and customer management.
Identikit of the entrepreneur
Alessandro Cadoni, Entrepreneur and CEO of Friendz
His advice for your digital project: The key, as always, is to make fewer mistakes than others. Those who start a project now often start at a disadvantage by having little experience, but they have the advantage of being able to learn from the mistakes made by others and be quicker in resolving them.
My advice, therefore, is to study as much as you can, not in books, but on the players in your field. Trying to get to know those who are on this path before us will enable us to survive longer, and you will often find that you can help yourself.
Distinguishing marks: loves teamwork
He started laoving at Friendz while he was pursuing his degree and became interested in the blockchain industry. He founded Friendz together with two other university colleagues.
Friendz has since been funded by Triboo and continues to grow.
What is he doing now
He is taking Friendz all over Europe after raising funds through a successful ICO.
Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cadonialessandro/