The story of Friendz began in spring 2015, in a remote village in the province of Varese, and, at the beginning at least, had as its protagonists Alessandro, Daniele and Cecilia. Over a coffee and a slice of cake in Grandma Imelda’s apartment, three friends wanted to revolutionise the way companies communicate on social media. The premises were very simple: online advertising banners were becoming increasingly annoying, while millions of people were publishing content on social media which, unintentionally, depicted company values in a creative way.
After too much coffee and another round of cake, they had a flash of inspiration: why not combine the two?
And that was how the idea for Friendz came about. It didn’t have a name or shape yet, but for the three friends it already existed. They could see it, almost touch it, as if they had a virtual reality set on their heads and were facing the very dream they shared.
From that moment on, they couldn’t think of anything else. There was so much to do. None of them had ever worked, none of them knew how to build a company, none of them knew the world of marketing and communication.
How do you create a business model? And how do you write an application code? How do you become smart entrepreneurs? How do you convince your first customer? And the second? And the third?!? How do you decide on the price of a product?
This is where Giorgio entered the scene, the fourth protagonist, who at first pretended to be a beta tester of the application and then invited Alessandro, Daniele and Cecilia out for pizza. Despite the awkwardness over what they chose to order (pizza marinara and tap water as they couldn’t afford anything else), he decided to support them in developing the technical side.
Then came the competitions between start-ups, initial successes and the first investors. The launch of the app in stores, with thousands of downloads straight away. A Friendz community that continued to grow. An operational headquarters, at last. Later on there were even four locations, spread over Italy and Switzerland. The job interviews didn’t seem like interviews, but rather like proper parties where candidates had to pass tests of skill, creativity and public speaking, and then found themselves shut in an Escape Room with only 60 minutes to get out and earn their first job.
The four protagonists had become entrepreneurs. They now lead a team of 50 people, supported by managers from prestigious companies, with a business model that offers new challenges every day. As for the future? Who knows what surprises it will bring. At the end of each climb, there will always be a new peak to reach. Never forgetting Grandma Imelda’s apartment, the smell of coffee and the taste of apple pie.