Giacomo is one of the most experienced growth hackers in Europe, becoming one of the highest-paid consultants within the blockchain and crypto space by having successfully advised 150+ companies. Now he’s concentrating his efforts on investing in early-stage start-ups and cryptocurrencies.
Hi Giacomo, how did you get into blockchain, and please could you tell us more about your journey as an investor and speaker? How did you become one of the top 5 highest-paid international blockchain public speakers, for example?
Back in 2017, I was living my life, enjoying my church(my office is inside a sixteenth-century byzantine church) when a crazy guy broke into my office and offered me the opportunity to get involved as a consultant in the production of a new currency. As you can imagine, I immediately sent him packing. However, five weeks later he sent me his article in the Wall Street Journal and said that his crypto had raised €27 million overnight!
It was the last time I spoke with him. I packed up all my stuff, piled it into my little car and drove to Lugano feeling like I had missed the biggest opportunity of my life. It was then that I started my journey to develop a deeper understanding of crypto.
Who are your role models?
Elon Musk is the person I admire most, but I’m not only focussed on business role models since I’m also a music and art lover. I cannot fail to mention Maurizio Cattelan, Caravaggio and Marina Abramovich.
Did you read any books that inspired or motivated you on your journey?
I read a lot of books but the most important was “Il Principe” by Machiavelli. Lately I’ve fallen in love with Yuval Harari and his book “Homo Deus”.
What has been your most memorable experience during your career?
Back in 2018, during the DELTA Summit, I walked onto the stage at 2 am, turned on all the lights and shot a video and took pictures of me presenting. The day after I sent that video and those pictures to all the relevant events, and from there, I started getting booked. Later, thanks to my mentor Davide Zucchetti, I was able to set my fee at 20,000 USD per hour for no particular reason, and I’ve since been included on the highest-paid speaker list.
Which of the many conferences you have attended as a speaker do you remember most fondly, and why?
As a speaker, I’ve attended a conference more or less every three days over the last 2 years. For sure, the most engaging one in that period was the AIBC summit, in Malta, where I started creating my network.
Would you like to share any secrets that have helped you achieve success on your journey?
I’ll happily share my first and only quote, which is also the title of my upcoming book: “Hack it till you make it!”
Would you like to thank anyone for the success you have had in your career?
Yes. I have to say “thank you” to all the people that betrayed me and let me down, like Elio Pari and my ex-employers at Black Marketing Guru. Without them, I wouldn’t be a happy and successful millionaire. Thank you guys for giving me the strength to achieve such incredible goals!
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I can work from anywhere, help people, and go against banks and governments!
What makes you a successful investor?
I think the only measures you can consider when we talk about investment is ROI and EBITDA.
What do you look for in start-ups?
The first thing is the team: I want to see the eye of the tiger! Secondly, it’s the project, but it’s 99% team and 1% project.
How important a role does social media play in your business?
Social media is fundamental, but be careful not to fall into a rabbit hole by becoming addicted to it. You have to control the socials, not vice versa!
What are the challenges and opportunities right now for blockchain?
I see a bright future as we are living the fintech revolution, which is a prelude to decentralized finance.
How has the world of blockchain changed in recent times, and in what ways do you think it will change in the future?
Lately, we have seen deep transformations every three months: ICO, IEO, ITO, STO. Now it’s time to take these acronyms apart and get focused on the things that matter: decentralize power and finally take control of our lives.
How can people connect with you?