Rick Belluzzo was president and Chief Operating Officer at Microsoft and now serves as Chief Strategy Officer and investor in the Italian marketing and shipping automation platform isendu
"Make the product your priority, think overseas right away, and launch in the market only after studying it thoroughly"
MILAN, June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Richard "Rick" Belluzzo has held many top roles in renowned American corporations, which has allowed him to become an expert in building new companies through innovation. Yet Rick's story isn't limited to America. He was determined to spread his knowledge and experience globally. And with Italy in his blood, he knew the best place to start was Italy. Italy is saturated with untapped potential, as a country with an impeccable hunger for perfection, quality, creativity, and success.
Between Silicon Valley and Italy: a career devoted to technological transformation and scouting for Made in Italy excellence
Rick Belluzzo was born in San Francisco in 1953, as son of an Italian immigrant, and his resume boasts a career devoted to innovation, which includes international companies that have made history in technological transformation, such as Microsoft. Rick's career began at Hewlett Packard (HP) as a financial analyst. Thereafter, he was promoted to general manager and ultimately executive vice president. Leaving HP, Rick moved to Silicon Graphics, as chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Then in 1999, came his time at Microsoft when Rick was hired as head of the MSN division. Later, he became president and chief operating officer. Rick was also responsible for the launch of the first Xbox console. After Microsoft, he became CEO of Quantum Corp, until he left his role in the company and became an investor in Italian startups, including isendu. He is now isendu's Chief Strategy Officer.
Rick was introduced to Lando Barbagli—a Silicon Valley veteran with many years of experience in the tech and financial sectors, now isendu's CEO—in 2018 through a mutual friend. The choice of isendu, Rick explains, is dictated by multiple factors, first among them, the determination of this company, coupled with an Italian heart and an objective that spans across borders. Inside isendu, Rick plays an active role and not one of mere representation. Rick's natural obsession with software perfection motivates the development team to pay close attention to detail and to leave no stone unturned. Consequently, he ensures that the software is built as a true SaaS with modern, secure, and scalable technologies. He is also facilitating the company's fundraising and assisting Lando in attracting top international venture capitalists; they are currently working together to close a large A round.
"In isendu, I found a very unique company. I saw a team driven to achieve success, and a Silicon Valley style of building a company. Italy, which has great potential, however, also has several problems: in the IT sector Italy is behind," comments Rick Belluzzo. "The Italian market is difficult, the priority of customers to spend on software is reduced, and the economic fabric lacks the appetite for risk that is a requirement for success."
The isendu product: globally scaling a unique Software as a Service
The focus, Rick explains, is to build a company with a global perspective, planning for internationalization from the first months of the company's life. This is what isendu did. Its platform went live in 2020, and already crossed borders, landing in Spain the first quarter of 2021. Isendu now has its eyes on England, Ireland, France, Germany, and the rest of Western Europe.
"To those who ask me what the secret of success is, I answer that, first of all, you have to be passionate about the product and the alignment with customers' needs.Then you should launch the product only when it is ready. At this point the emphasis can shift to customer acquisition and where "fine tuning" from customer feedback becomes the driving force. Second, it is imperative that people think analytically, making their decisions based on proven data and information. Finally, you need to have a clear understanding of the business model and the pricing dynamics associated with it in order to be properly evaluated and scale quickly," Rick concludes.
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