A Talk With Marco Montemagno, a Youtuber / Entrepreneur

Youtuber, entrepreneur, digital expert, communicator, journalist, host and writer. Marco Montemagno was, and is, a mix of all these professions. But don’t tell him, because he doesn’t like to close himself within the circle of a profession, on the contrary, as he declares to Forbes Italy, he completely identifies with his motto: entrepreneur of yourself. Which does not mean, as he points out, being the founder of a startup or a company, but being enterprising and able to reinvent yourself day after day, experience after experience. It is, in fact, around these two words that the “montemagnaro” thought revolves, which unites the maieutics of Socrates and the panta rei of Heraclitus, which never more than now reflects in the best way the continuous social and working transformation of today.

What does your motto “become an entrepreneur of yourself” really mean?

Becoming an entrepreneur of yourself is an obligatory concept. In the sense that it is no longer an option, but a necessary choice dictated by the current working context which is constantly changing. Becoming an entrepreneur of yourself does not mean starting a startup or setting up your own business, but being enterprising and knowing how to reinvent yourself. In fact, in recent years, the possibility of losing one’s job for various reasons is increasingly growing. Among these, the most common are: either that the company you work for has closed or has decided to change or innovate that type of work activity. Consequently, only if you are enterprising and therefore entrepreneur of yourself, can you reinvent yourself and resell yourself in the world of work.

The coronavirus has turned the spotlight on smart working and on the companies that have used it. But what are the pros and cons?

I have been working in pure smart working, from home or anywhere else in the world, for the past seven years. Surely, among the pros there is the possibility to work wherever you want and to manage the day as you please. Among the negative aspects, however, there is a factor that many underestimate: smart working is a solitary activity. Precisely for this reason, if on the one hand I have noticed that many of my collaborators, who have a very independent character, love it, on the other hand many do not tolerate it and are unable to organize their day or stay focused. In these cases, in fact, it is important to have contact points, such as whatsapp, to feel part of that project.

In this context of continuous transformation and uncertainty, what role should the school play?

Assuming that mine is an analogical vision, I believe – as Umberto Galimberti has repeatedly stated – that school should not be designed with a view to a future profession, but with the aim of providing the student with education and training. Consequently, in a rapidly changing working context, the school must have the very specific task of training people who have a critical sense, great capacity for resourcefulness and resilience. Only in this way, in fact, will they be able to adapt to changes and reinvent themselves. Then, in addition to preserving the teaching of current subjects, I believe that the school must focus on new skills, such as digital ones.

In recent months we have seen a new social network explode: TikTok. What are its potential?

Huge. And this is demonstrated by the fact that it now has a dominant role within the social media landscape. Even if the contents are still very playful and unprofessional, it is becoming indispensable for those who want to do business. Many social networks travel in parallel because they partly have different functions, but it is now evident that people are running away from Facebook and Instagram. And this is also happening for a very specific reason: if on Instagram I already know what content I will find, on TikTok no, because its algorithm works like a real Russian roulette. It is surprising.

There is talk of a possible involvement of Mark Zuckerberg. It’s true?

Obviously he is trying, as he himself stated. However, there is one aspect that considerably complicates things: TikTok is a Chinese company. This is a fundamental factor, because I doubt that the Chinese government will miss a social media of such importance to sell it to Zuckerberg, or to the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. There is another question: many are trying to clone some of its features, but being completely different from other social networks, Zuckerberg should totally rethink Instagram: from its interface to its algorithm. This operation, of course, if on the one hand it could attract TikTok fans, on the other, it would almost certainly make Instagram lose its current audience. For this reason, Zuckerberg is trying on the one hand to launch new apps similar to TikTok, such as Lasso or Reels, on the market, and on the other hand to acquire some apps similar to the Chinese social, such as Byte.

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