Giuliano Iacobelli of Stamplay.com
Giuliano Iacobelli is a software engineer and entrepreneur who has lived and worked all across Rome and London. He co-founded Indigeni Digitali, and also runs StamPlay.com along with the Innovation Lab Alumni Station, which gives young people the necessities to create their own boot strap start-up.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself & your background.
I’m a software engineer in love with web products, an entrepreneur oriented guy since I was 17 who just turned 30 (damn I’m getting old! -.-‘). I’m a software engineer constantly looking forward to trying out new technologies and web products to test their potential to change the habits of people. I live and work in Rome and London pursuing the dream of bringing something amazing to the internet , and now I’m having the time of my life by running Stamplay.
I believe in communities and in the power of networking. I think they can enable and bring innovation in a very unique way. This is why I cofounded one of the biggest web communities in Italy called Indigeni Digitali and then left to focus on the entrepreneurial ecosystem by running the Innovaction Lab Alumni Association that aims to help young people to get the necessary basic know-how to bootstrap a startup.
How did you become a digital designer?
It has been a pretty long process started about 2 years ago, while exploring the opportunity of providing a tool to the marketing industry we had this kind of epiphany of building a tool to create web apps in a very efficient way. Software is eating the world, but today creating a web app is still a big pain because it relies on many things like: infrastructure, design and expose API, backend coding, third party services integrations, building a backend and finally designing the UX and UI of your product. Moreover this is probably going to be an ever-changing creature that will evolve continuously!
This turned out to be the perfect solution for all those designers and developers who want to only care about the UX and the UI of their product. We empower them to rule the backend development and by doing so we let them build Rome in a day!
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Well in term of design, is hard to say. I don’t have any specific muse; I let the world, the amazing stuff I discover, and the people I meet day by day inspire me, especially on the web where things are evolving at a blinding pace.
As an entrepreneur I have role models, those who had a huge impact on the daily life of millions of people from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, from Jeff Bezos to Bill Gates. Reading their stories gives you an incredible energy and helps you give 100% of your energy on everything you do.
Do you see the design and development worlds colliding?
Well the world is moving towards a front-end bias but I don’t think that design and UX will collide with development. Mobile clients and browsers are getting more and more capable of great things and functionalities, and you will still need highly skilled developers to get the most out of them. Meanwhile designers will be in charge of creating a compelling and coherent user experience across different devices and mediums for a given product.
What are some industry sites or blogs that you read on a regular basis?
Twitter is my favorite resource. It’s such a strong and connected community of people interested in the same topics, I trust that the good content of the web will sooner or later come to me. Also in the past few weeks I’ve been visiting Product Hunt on a daily basis.
What are a few of your favorite design software tools, and why? (Web frameworks, Adobe software, etc.)
Could you describe what a normal day of work looks like for you?
Well do you know that famous quote from Marc Anthony “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I think that is actually really true. It doesn’t mean that you don’t get tired or upset, but it’s an incredible experience spending every single day with an amazing, committed team. That is already a great achievement. This is one of the things I care most about our startup.
What do you think is the most intimidating thing for first-time developers (or new designers) who want to get started? How do you think they can overcome this?
Well, it’s not the language, the libraries or the complexity of technologies that scare them. Things tend to get confusing and put you in the “I’m never sure I’m doing this well” when it’s about coding conventions, methodologies and tools that you should use. There are so many posts, literature and threads about these topics all over the web that can really intimidate first time developers, and the only way to overcome this is by experimenting, that’s where you’ll find most all the answers. It’s a learning by doing thing, you can’t rely on a book to tell you what will best fit your needs, and it changes from person to person and from project to project.
Do you have any thoughts on what the future of digital design is?
I definitely see software development and design becoming much more visual in the future, just like the desktop publishing revolution decades ago. A lot of “Photoshops for mobile/web interfaces” are rising, and the same thing is happening in the development industry. The way CMS systems such as WordPress reduced the barrier to entry into placing stuff on the web empowering content creators to publish material without much technical work and we believe this is about to happen again in the web development. And this is where we step into the game. It’s an ambitious vision that we are fully committed to.