Il blog di Antonio Tombolini

Simplicissimus Book Farm has its first institutional investor: Principia


Now it’s official: Principia SGR, with its Principia II fund, has acquired a stake in Simplicissimus Book Farm by investing 2 million euros. This investment will mainly be directed towards the internationalization of our services portfolio. [Press Release – PDF]
Quite some time has passed since our business, which has now become a true company, was founded back on 1 June 2006.
I have many memories of all the things done up until now, at the closure of this deal which is so important for the future of Simplicissimus and all those who work here (thirteen employees for now, soon to become 18). I’m proud of some of those memories, while others might even embarrass me, if I weren’t such a believer in having a healthy disregard for the ridiculous. Now I’m certain, experience has reaffirmed it just too many times already: clear and distinct ideas are not a virtue, at least with regard to startups. There are four things of primary importance:

  1. The vision of a market with such a high potential for growth that it may even be unheard of. That’s what I experienced with the ecommerce of what then became “the slow food” in 1997, and what I experienced this time with ebooks and digital publishing in 2006.
  2. Swiftness in the execution of ideas, even the most bizarre (they all seem great and reasonable when you get them!), so that the worst ideas can be seen for what they are as soon as possible.
  3. The professional and, even more importantly, human excellence of the team that we form around ourselves: both as partners and coworkers.
  4. That the turnover is growing. It doesn’t matter if the absolute value is low at first, even really low, or if the financial statements don’t show any short-term profits: if the market is on the upswing, and sales grow at least as much as the market, success is certain.

There you go, up until now these four key conditions have been met for Simplicissimus Book Farm. The hardest thing now is to remain concentrated on these parameters even while growing in size and structure. This is why we’ve taken out a unique insurance policy: concurrently with the Principia deal, all SBF workers have also underwritten company shares, thus becoming full-fledged partners. There you have it: for me, someone who hates the word dipendente (as in “depending“, the horrible Italian word for “employee“), this is what I’m most proud of: being partners with all our coworkers.

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Il blog di Antonio Tombolini