Armando & Massimo of AdEspresso:

Marketers building a product
for marketers

Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biondi share their experience with 500 Startups, the future of digital advertising, and common marketing mistakes to avoid when running a business.
Guest
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Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biond,

founders of AdEspresso – Startup Exits Podcast – StartupSoft

Listen to founder of AdEspresso sharing their stance on Silicon Valley as the Mecca for startups, their experience with 500 Startups, and tips for business owners on digital marketing mistakes.

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Guest bio

Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biondi are founders of AdEspresso, a ground-breaking online tool to manage and optimize your Facebook Advertising Campaigns. They are also business advisors and investors. In 2020, they embarked on a new exciting journey by founding BreadcumbsIO, a revenue acceleration platform.
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In this episode

ANDREW VASYLYK SPEAKS WITH MASSIMO CHIERUZZI AND ARMANDO BIONDI, FOUNDERS OF ADESPRESSO, ABOUT HOW THEY:

  • built a product for their own needs and then turned it into a standalone marketing solution;
  • understand the future of digital advertising;
  • moved their company from Italy to Silicon Valley;
  • share what startup M&As look like;
  • explain the biggest marketin mistakes businesses make (startups vs. big corporations);
  • answer what services business can outsource and what qualification you need to work offshore.

 

Top moments:

Silicon Valley vs. Italy: The core differences in the startup ecosystem

1

Founders of AdEspresso, Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biondi, started and ran their company in Italy before moving it to Silicon Valley. So, in this episode, Andrew Vasylyk got a chance to ask them what differences they see in the startup ecosystem in Italy and Silicon Valley. 

Among many things that make the two different, Biondi mentioned that Silicon Valley’s got incredible resources available. Right now, startups and innovative companies can easily raise hundreds of thousands of dollars thanks to a growing number of hubs, angel investors, and private funds. This is still not the case for Italy. They say that even though the technology market in Italy is evolving, when compared to Silicon Valley, it still has a long way to go to achieve the same level.

Silicon Valley: Mecca for new and developing startups

2

With this being said, both Chieruzzi and Biondi agree that for any startup, Silicon Valley is the Mecca of the business world. It boasts a unique concentration of capital, talent, legal infrastructure, and acquisition prospects.

However, Biondi points out that while all of these things are beneficial for a startup, aiming for Silicon Valley right from the start may not be the smartest move. He claims that Silicon Valley is more fitting for “more advanced companies” and recommends getting traction first, getting from zero to a million dollars in revenue and ahead of the competition, and then moving to Silicon Valley in order to get more visibility.

While Silicon Valley is a Promised Land for any business, it is incredibly expensive. So, moving your whole team there will cost you dearly. Therefore, in the case of AdEspresso, its founders didn’t move their team to Silicon Valley, at least not all of it. They moved there themselves and several other key players and kept the rest of the team in Italy. They state that hiring top talent abroad costs them a fraction of what it would cost them in Silicon Valley, and back then, it made fiscal sense to hire in Italy.

What to offshore: In-house vs. remote teams

3

Both ex-founders of AdEspresso, Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biondi, unanimously agree that it is a good idea for companies to go offshore if they’re being smart about it. 

Thus, for instance, at AdEspresso, they found that development and design can easily be outsourced to a remote team.

However, since content was one of the core channels of demand and lead generation, they found it very difficult to offshore this service. They kept them in-house and always had a native speaker to proofread and offer feedback regarding the quality of the copy.

Marketing mistakes to avoid when running a business

4

Finally, Andrew got a chance to ask Chieruzzi and Biondi what they, as investors, founders, and advisors, think are the biggest marketing mistakes to avoid when running a business. 

“I would be very cautious of any startup that is reliant on a single marketing channel to acquire customers because that’s always risky,” says Chieruzzi. 

Moreover, among other common digital marketing mistakes, they mentioned that as investors, they’re very cautious of founders who either experiment too much or don’t experiment at all. They say that experiments are important, but you need to know when to stop and double down on what works well for your business. 

Finally, they said that one common thing they see is that many founders focus on one area like product, or sales, or marketing, and do not invest enough time or resources into the others. In the meantime, the winning scenario is to even out your efforts, make the three work together in sync, and build a strategy that would determine the next step for each one of these departments. This is usually one of the marketing mistakes made by big companies. But startups are not immune to this either, unfortunately.



Startup M&A: How it works

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In one of their recent pieces, Chieruzzi and Biondi, who are being extremely transparent about their acquisition, shared what M&A looks like in real life. There’s so much confusion around the topic, because, frankly, acquisitions are very rare. So many stars have to align for it to happen that it barely ever does!

And when it does, founders find themselves overwhelmed and confused because they were not prepared for the occasion. So the fact that Chieruzzi and Biondi shared with the community what M&A looks like is priceless. 

In this episode, you’ll hear them share a long list of things to do to prepare for the acquisition as well as the crucial stages companies go through between signing the first agreement to actually merging the companies together.

Wrap up
Listen to a new episode of Startup Exits with Massimo Chieruzzi and Armando Biondi as they share their journey from building a product for their own marketing agency and then turning it into a standalone marketing solution that got acquired by Hootsuite.
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host bio

This podcast is brought to you by Andrew Vasylyk, a host of Startup Exits Podcast and a founder of StartupSoft, your reliable partner in hiring, managing & retaining remote employees. Andrew is passionate about startups, technology, and Ukraine.

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