Luca Sartoni

2014 – new year, new life, new job: growth engineer at Automattic

2013 was a blast. So many things happened during the summer and even before! Professionally it was the busiest year ever and I had so many gigs I cannot even remember all of them.

At the end of 2012 I started Heisenberg Media together with Dan Taylor. We spent the past year kicking really hard to take the photographic experience of tech events to the next level and so we did. Check out the wrap up post by Dan to see how many world-class events we covered in just 12 months. I put a lot of effort into this adventure but Dan was the real key to success. His dedicated passion allowed HBM to grow significantly and I’m so happy to step back now and leave the entire project in Dan’s hands. After more than 10 years of photography and a year of semi/pro activity I decided that photography has a very relevant importance to me and it deserves the right spot in my life: a hobby.

As a trainer I had wonderful clients and events in 2013. I was in many different cities, helping out accelerators, incubators and private companies improving their presentation skills. I helped people overcoming the fear of being on stage, getting investments being more confident. I also had the opportunity to meet amazing people in the industry and contribute value to their projects. Last month in Paris I also spent a few days with my role model and great friend Carmine Gallo. If you want to learn how to present and how to stand out in the tech industry when on stage, Carmine is the master.

As a marketing manager I spent large part of the year at kompany, which absorbed more than 18 months of my time since we started it in february 2012. I contributed to build the team and establish the good practices in terms of marketing and growth. I had wonderful business partners, colleagues and more than that friends. I loved every single minute there, even during the lows, because we knew that the ups were going to come soon. And so they did. Back in September I had to take a painful decision and leave the team, wishing them all the best. It was very difficult but I felt it was time to move on.

So I got at the end of the year 2013 with a ridiculous amount of adventures, travels, pictures, contacts, dreams, hopes and with a little more maturity regarding my future and what I actually want to do.

I spent the first part of my career jumping from one project to the other, looking for the excitement of the moment but already distracted by the new gig coming up. I also travelled a lot and every time I was landing I was already getting ready to take off again. Being stuck at the same place for too long was just not part of the lifestyle I wanted to have. I also enjoy working with small teams on ambitious projects. I love diversity and global ventures.

Today it starts the second part of my career with more focus on a single project and less distractions. It happens at the right time and at the right place, in a way I could not believe even though I saw all the pieces of the puzzle falling together in place before my very eyes. Maturity also taught me that there are things I cannot change and honestly I cannot see myself working on a 9 to 5 office job at all.

A couple of months ago I decided to take a challenge and apply at Automattic, the company behind and many other mind blowing products. I had a few chats, I went through a trial period, completing an amazing project and finally after this “try before you buy” round I’m very proud to announce that of today I’m a Growth Engineer at Automattic.

I want to thank all the people I met in the last few years who contributed to make me grow professionally, all the friends and family who supported me and the people who I know are always there for me as much I will always be there for them. I don’t need to say names, you perfectly know who you are.

So, with no more further ado, let’s welcome this 2014 and let’s get started!

Street Photography with my new-old Nikon FM2

My new toy - Nikon FM2
I recently managed to get a hold on a Nikon FM2 after weeks of chasing it on ebay. I found it in a shop in Vienna for a few bucks and I was so excited to try it out with my Nikkor Lenses.

Here the result with my AF Nikkor 20mm 1:2.8 D. Pretty sweet!


Springfield Staff - Nikon FM2 + Kodak400 + AF Nikkor 20mm 1:2.8 D


Shoes - Nikon FM2 + Kodak400 + AF Nikkor 20mm 1:2.8 D


Army Shop - Nikon FM2 + Kodak BW400c + AF Nikkor 20mm 1:2.8 D

Getting closer

With a 20mm lens on a fullframe camera, I really need to push myself to get close to my subjects. It’s amazing to see what happens when I take this pictures in the street, smiling and saying thank you. The people actually smile back all the time and they enjoy to be in the pics. It’s really fun to get closer.

Un rientro difficile

Questa volta ho sofferto il colpo. Devo ammetterlo. Non che in passato fosse facile rientrare dai lunghi viaggi, ma forse le condizioni erano diverse e sicuramente ero diverso io.

L’entusiasmo prepartenza si trasformava, con il trascorrere del viaggio, in entusiasmo prerientro e l’ultima settimana fuori veniva dedicata al pensiero delle cose da fare appena tornato. Prova ne è il fatto che ho regolarmente smesso di fare foto e quindi non esistono ricordi visibili delle mie ultime settimane in Nuova Zelanda nel 2005.

Questa volta è diverso e nonostante mi faccia piacere tornare a Vienna, non mi é piaciuto per niente lasciare gli Stati Uniti. Avevo appena scoperto NY, dopo due giorni di puro disprezzo per una cittá chiassosa e poco accogliente, fatta di insegne e turisti, mi é bastato un club con la musica sbagliata con Leah nel Village e una passeggiata notturna con Marco e Letizia nell’east Village per ricredermi; non era la cittá ad essere sbagliata, ma sbagliato era il quartiere in cui avevo prenotato l’alloggio. Mai piú a Times Square, mai piú.

Non so se scriverò molto o poco delle settimane precedenti NYC, ma alcune riflessioni sicuramente emergeranno nei prossimi post. Non credo di aver capito tutto degli USA ma aver visto le distese di mais e girasoli per giorni e giorni, gli enormi WalMart e il modo di vivevere fuori dalle grandi cittá mi ha offerto una visione privilegiata di una cultura vicina quando siamo online, lontana per quasi tutto il resto.

Questa volta sono anche riuscito a staccare la spina, adesso si tratta di riuscire a riattaccarla. Ma questo volo da Milano per Vienna sta per partire e di questo ne parliamo alla prossima.

Intervista a Clara Shih, autrice di “The Facebook Era”

Questa mattina ho intervistato Clara Shih, autrice di “The Facebook Era” per il blog di 123people. Il suo keynote era molto interessante ma purtroppo fermo al 2007, cioè a quando è uscito il suo libro. Dato che Clara Shih ha in programma un aggiornamento che uscirà il prossimo agosto, sono impaziente di leggerlo colmare il gap tra il mondo attuale e quello dipinto tre anni fa nel suo libro (e nel suo keynote di oggi).

In chiusura dell’intervista ho chiesto brevemente il suo parere riguardo la scelta di Ducati di chiudere il DesmoBlog. Ovviamente la risposta ve la lascio scoprire da soli. Buona Visione.