Member Spotlight: Giacomo D'Angelo
I’m Giacomo, I come from Italy where I lived for almost 30 years before moving to Berlin first and then to New York City, where I arrived last May and where I discovered the amazing Croissant community!
I joined StreetLib in 2009. At that time, it was a newborn startup called “Simplicissimus Book Farm”, and since then I always worked to take down the old publishing fences by developing softwares and leveraging on the Internet technologies. I’m a software engineer turned StreetLib CTO and, since last year, turned StreetLib USA CEO.
Today, StreetLib is the largest independent multi-language publishing distributor in Europe so we thought it was the right time to bring StreetLib to the US. I moved to New York City to better serve our American community of authors and publishers, and to help them thrive thanks to our revolutionary publishing technology.
With StreetLib’s platform, any author or publisher can create and publish digital and paper books on the most relevant online stores. They can use StreetLib to monitor sales in real time, plan their marketing activities and directly reach a global audience.
Why did you start StreetLib?
The picture I have in mind is this: in 100 years the publishing landscape will be like a software infrastructure where the content will flow from writers to readers, and the other way around, without any middleman. Content always follows the least arduous path, like water, and nothing can stop it.
We, at StreetLib, were always driven by the idea to change the Publishing Industry for the better thanks to the Internet technologies. We want to remove all the significant obstacles from the production, distribution, and sales of digital and paper books. We let content flow in every possible way and connect people minds without any constraints or control.
Big established publishing companies like control and centralization, our wide and open approach goes in the opposite direction. Where in the world should I move to, if not New York City? ;)
What has been your greatest challenge in expanding to the U.S.?
The biggest challenge is to get people’s trust. I moved to the US alone, without any connection with any “publishing people” and without the so-called “social proof”, and sometimes people didn’t and still don’t look at us as a serious service to rely on for the management of their publishing business.
Even if it’s not easy, I have a great team (spread in EU) with an incredible project, and I really believe that we’re bringing a lot of value to the American authors and publishers.
What was one year ago a bunch of customers, has become today a community of American StreetLibers happy to work with us; and it keeps getting bigger. We’re still at the beginning here but it’s going great and I love it.
How do you see (or hope to see) the publishing market changing over the next 10 years?
In my opinion, we’re still at the beginning of the beginning of a new Publishing Era.
Today most of the authors or publishers, especially here in New York City, dream to be published by one of the so-called “Big-5” publishing houses, and this is a good idea only if you are able to fly 20 years back in time!
The ones who think to have a smarter approach feel satisfied with publishing on Amazon, it owns the majority of the US book market and they think it’s enough. What they don’t realize yet is how limited the Amazon’s worldwide distribution is and how many constraints and limitations it puts on their book’s life cycle.
In the next 10 years, I think that most of the authors and independent publishers will be able to reach a global, wide and diverse audience independently, thanks to the Internet (and the blockchain) technologies. They will be able to manage their publishing businesses in a smart way, and they’ll be able to innovate and experiment new solutions without the need to rely on any centralized and limiting platform. I also think AI technologies will be able to suggest to all of us the next book to read so there’ll be no need for any middleman whatsoever.
Since you're currently traveling around Europe, what is your favorite place that you have been to so far?
Europe is full of wonderful places and cities and it’s really difficult to make a choice... but I definitely have a favorite spot, and it is Berlin!
To me, Berlin is not only welcoming, dynamic, stimulating and open to any kind of innovation, but it’s also extremely fascinating and inspiring.
I cannot think of a city more cut to pieces in the last 100 years than Berlin and yet, it was able to be revived in such a great way. In Berlin, you smell the history and the struggle of the last century, but at the same time, you feel the power of the people willing to build a brighter future. Berlin taught me that greatness and comfort rarely coexist.
What do you like about Croissant?
I like the way Croissant helped me to discover marvelous spaces and like-minded people all across the city. I would have never been able to do that without Croissant!
I fell in love with the idea of coworking in 2010, and since then I joined many places for a good amount of time all around Europe, like Sankt Oberholz and Betahaus in Berlin, Transforma in Barcelona, CoworkLisboa in Lisbon, CampusLondon in London, Meet Berlage in Amsterdam and many others. So, when I discovered Croissant I thought “why didn’t I think about this idea myself before?!”.
I’m really happy with my choice to join the Croissant community.
One of the best features of Croissant is for me the possibility to jump from place to place by “holding” my place in real time as my day unfolds: you always have a Croissant place nearby wherever you are in the city!