We talked to Stefano Iotti of WallaMe, a platform that lets its users leave digital messages in physical places that can only be seen by those they want. This is what he said:
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Stefano Iotti: We are fine, thanks. I don’t watch TV, and I believe this helps me to cope with the Covid emergency better.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded WallaMe.
Stefano Iotti: I have many years of experience in providing online and marketing consultancy services.
I lead a Digital Agency AND EMILI; moreover, in the past years, I founded a couple of startups together with some friends.
Coming to WallaMe, when I was young, I had a girlfriend who liked to leave me paper notes in hidden places, so, years later, I thought the AR could be a way to do the same with a smartphone.
I shared the idea with some colleagues who also are professionals in digital innovation; they added their own contribution, and here we are.
How WallaMe innovate?
Stefano Iotti: WallaMe is like Instagram for Augmented Reality. It lets its users leave digital messages in physical places that can only be seen by those they want.
Today it may seem ordinary, but six years ago, it was groundbreaking.
The idea behind that was to allow brands to promote their business using AR and possibly leads shoppers to retail stores.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Stefano Iotti: Covid had no impact on WallaMe’s business.
We have run out of funding, but this is another problem.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Stefano Iotti: If you are not Elon Musk, focus on one thing at a time.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Stefano Iotti: From a technical point of view, it helps to adopt remote collaboration tools, but, most of all, it is important to adapt to change and help our customers do the same.
I think that this pandemic presents an opportunity for systems change.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Stefano Iotti: There are many companies operating in the field of augmented reality; so far, no one has a competitive advantage.
Your final thoughts?
Stefano Iotti: WallaMe was a pioneer in the field of augmented reality, a beautiful project with a great team, but today to stay on the market, it would have to innovate and reinvent its strategy.
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