Nicola Croella and Massimiliano Testa, founders of SOVEGA, have been working together for more than 20 years in banking information systems. Two different personalities who have been able to exploit their differences gaining empathy and a common way of seeing the business.
In early 2005, they decided that something in their professional careers had to change. The meeting was in a typical roman trattoria in Trastevere (Rome). Maybe they ate coratella, perhaps amatriciana or cacio e pepe. The only certainty was that this would not be a simple former co-workers lunch, but the beginning of a new professional adventure.
Massimiliano drew a star on a piece of paper. “You know that Vega, for many years, has been defined by astronomers as the most important star after the sun? And it was even used as a parameter for measuring the other stars.” He paused and looked at his drawing. Then he went on. “The star Vega is an important reference point for modern astronomy. Here, I wish our company had the same importance in the Information Systems world.”
Nicola nodded with a look of complicity: a simple metaphor was clearly designing the first objective of a new company that could only be called SOVEGA.
Nicola took a paper placemat and, forgetting the dish on the table, he began to draw a diagram a bit confused, a draft business model, forecasting graphics and many messy notes. The enthusiasm presaged the great expectations in which they were investing all their resources. Only the clients were missing, but there was still an offer to define on what would have become one of the company’s leading products.
Lunch ended late and it was tasty, although the dishes, by then, had become a little cold.
That evening Massimiliano received an unexpected phone call from a former colleague.
Few words to say that SOVEGA had already its first customer. Fortune? Reputation?
Massimiliano called immediately Nicola. There was no time to lose. They had to establish the company immediately. Nicola got back to the placemat that had brought with him and continued to write his messy notes.
Today, after more than 10 years, that placemat is well preserved in corporate documents.