Six things are interesting right now. One. Using social media in the enterprise. Two. Putting technology terms into plain language. Three. Telling stories that differentiate people and companies. Four. Hearing what customers and users think. Five. Analyzing markets to help clients focus on customer and buyer values. Six. Equipping marketing functions to act as the voice of the customer.
For startups, I work as part of the founding team.
I use my experience and “core competencies” to do everything from building the business model to drafting copy. Market analysis, positioning, command of the language, cocktail chatter — they all play a role in giving a core technology the authenticity that appeals to people. Even investors. I always insist on differentiation, too, exposing what makes the new company stand out — from the business model, to the business plan, to the messaging.
For established players, I go where they need me. But I always start from understanding the business strategies and market position — and working the project from there.
Spada Inc began in 1990, in Chicago. I named the practice in honor of Andrea Spada, the youngest sibling of my maternal grandmother, Lucia Spada Bonicelli. Andrea Spada was the highly-regarded editor and publisher of L’ECO DI BERGAMO, a provincial newspaper in Italy, and he was a great writer.
In 1997, I opened an office in Palo Alto, in California’s Silicon Valley. In 2001, I moved my base from Chicago to San Francisco, where I live.
Before establishing my consulting practice, I was with Andersen Worldwide, the global professional services firm that was the parent of Andersen and Accenture. I served as a speechwriter for the managing partners and handled special projects.
When I was inside the company, I worked for leaders who set the standard in thinking, acting, performing and profiting honestly — without sacrificing competitiveness or the occasional yet necessary macho moment. The Andersen philosophy of “think straight, talk straight” lives on, around the world, through the people who still execute, in new jobs and organizations, a most wonderful, distinguished legacy. I strive to be one of them.