In this episode, Tommaso Vacarella, the co-founder and general manager of Connected-Stories, talks about his experience in the production company and the challenges of scaling a tech platform. He discusses the innovative product that helps personalize and automate video ads, while also highlighting customer success as the key to growth. Additionally, Vacarella provides insights into finding a platform for entrepreneurship and the challenges of managing people in the advertising technology industry.
Tommaso Vacarella is the GM and Co-Founder of Connected-Stories, the first Creative Management Platform for Advanced Video Formats. With a focus on disruptive innovation in video advertising, Connected-Stories brings together advertisers, creatives, data, and media professionals to develop data-driven strategies for enhanced video asset performance. Prior to that, Tommaso held roles at Frank Inc., Hudson East Capital LLC, and Wrong Way Pictures, showcasing his expertise in growth, finance, and production within the tech and media industries. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Masters in Marketing Agency:
- Vacarella moved to New York City after high school to attend Pace University and pursue his dream of living in the city.
- Co-founded a production company with friends during college, which focused on music videos, short films, and commercials.
- The founder was inspired by his father and the idea of being a tech entrepreneur from a young age
- The first customer is the most important and takes a leap of faith
- Connective Stories is hiring a product manager and a business development lead for all things Europe
- Tommaso recommends “Thinking, Fast and Slow” as a book everyone should read
- Connective Stories’ objective is to make advertising more enjoyable for consumers
Connecting with Tommaso Vaccarella:
Connecting with Josh Hoffman:
- 07:42 – “Inspiring people more so than guiding them towards a certain vision is what probably is the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur. Although also the most fulfilling one, the most exciting ones. Because when you see people, you know, coming together, creating something exciting and really making friends along the way and becoming successful people together. That’s what’s most interesting thing to me.”
- 14:53 – “So the first customer is the one that takes the leap of faith, right? There’s gotta be the innovators, there gotta be the ones that are essentially trusting you as you know, their partners, right? The second customer, we got it through essentially creating an interesting case study around the first customer showcasing that our platform was successful for, again, this first customer to achieve their objectives, creating ROI for their agencies and the brands we’re working with.”
- 04:20 – “I joined a venture capital firm for a real while. And then I joined a tech startup in, in, in FinTech in finance technology focused on borrowing and lending money between friends and family. That was the name of the company was Frank, which really literally stood for Frank, the friends bank, right? So that’s so something that inspired me to really dive in more the tech business and essentially find something that was a little bit more scalable than production, right?”
- 07:07 – Josh: “What happened as you were growing the business that you just didn’t expect, you know, going in, and I know your dad had like a successful exit, and he’s been there and done it, but for you personally, like what ended up happening? Like wow, I didn’t think I’d have to focus that much on this or something like that.” Tommaso: “So many things. Yeah, I would say one in particular that I had sort of like found myself in previous experiences is probably managing people. I knew that it was difficult. I didn’t know that it would’ve been sort of like this challenging.”
- 11:22 – Josh: “So can you talk a little bit more about the product?” Tommaso: “Totally, totally. No, that’s a good point. So we are a creative management platform with certain people not necessarily familiar with the advertising technology industry. We basically have a platform solution that allows to make video ads more interesting, right? And how you do so is through personalization, ensure activity, but at the same time essentially solving for different challenges, right?”