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This week, we had the chance to meet the founder of the NewBlack products: Federico Tognetti. This italien serial entrepreneur, biker and musicien, managed to transform his various passions into smooth innovations.

Hey Federico! Nice to meet an entrepreneur from Italy! So let’s talk a bit about you, who are you actually?

I’m actually a senior manager with more than 15 years of experience in business strategy and management so lucky to find fantastic business partners to start an amazing adventure through innovation and product development.

Looks amazing dude, I am sure we all want to know what is this project that makes you so happy!

They are more than one, our company (NETGRID) run consultancy into business strategy and digital services with currently 20 clients in which we have very different projects from online brand re-positioning to process re-engineering

Plus, under our brand: NEWBLACK we’re going to launch a new amazing audio-system product to merge once again fine design with invisible technology

To finish, we’ve another product: WOOLF, a wearable tech device able to detect speed traps and alert you through vibration on your wrist, it’s live on the famous crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

Wow wow wow! We have a serial entrepreneur here! So many question comes to me, but first one, how the hell are you able to manage so many projects in the same time?

Eheheh, good question Elisa, I would like to say my business partner and myself have super power…but it’s not the case. We have spent two years in defining and implementing an innovation process flow into our company that counts on the most effective approaches and techniques: as process Kanban, Agile approach, Scrum methodology, Validated Learning, Customer Validation and many others.

Now we are able to innovate with a rate of three months per new product.

Have you ever stopped and said to yourself “Shit… I’m not doing things the right way”? With your experience, have you ever realised that you had to change your way to handle a project?

That happened many times. It is very important to have a mentality that is open to change. It is better to have the courage to question yourself and to change the way you are doing things rather than be stubborn, because you risk wasting time and energy for a project that could have been corrected from the start.

As a reminder, “new black” allows one to reproduce “retro” music. Would you define yourself as somebody nostalgic?

A bit, yes. I am now 38 and I remember the records from my childhood, which many young people have probably never seen or heard. We wanted to create an object that could reproduce the memory of those sounds.

Awww so cute! So “new black” represents your past and your present at the same time. It seems to be totally different from the Woolf that seems to be more formal. How come you took such a different path for this new innovation?

Let’s say both these objects are part of my identity, as well as my companies’ identity. We usually are fond of stylish objects and ‘nice curves’, but we are also passionate about music and motorbikes.

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We found our inspiration in things we liked to develop objects, which, I hope, will be appreciated by everyone and will be considered useful.

Are you already working on new products?

In November we will launch a new dispositive for “new black”: a ceramic horn including a sound amplifying technology. The sound will be amplified using the shape of the object and connecting to the phone via Bluetooth.

Sounds great! Can’t wait to listen to music out loud. What are your favourite singers or songwriters, and what type of music do you listen to?

I mostly like rock music, I actually played the guitar in a band for 11 years, but I like all types of music.

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When you say, “I played”, does this mean that you are very busy? Does your position take all of your time or can you still allow yourself some free time?

I do have less free time, also because I have a 3 year-old daughter. But I still try to find time to play the guitar and ride my motorbike.

So you have a pretty busy life. Thank you for your precious advice and for letting us have a glimpse inside your entrepreneur life. Any end words?

Thanks to you for the interview. The idea that I would like to share is that it is never too late to get a grip on your life and write your own destiny: each of us can have an idea, a dream, all it takes is a bit of courage and confidence, and you will go further than you can expect.

Thanks to you, and good luck for all your other projects!

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Elisa Busseau

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