18 Jun History of a Mon-K:
the evolution from employees to future creators
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” Confucius
This is how our story begins.
Once upon a time, there were two smart, young and dynamic men, but they were extremely bored with their careers. Remember that, it is going to be important.
They focused on their beautiful, boot-shaped native country, which had fantastic citizens, good food and beautiful scenery. The country’s name, if you have not already guessed, was Italy, which was suffering; economic crisis was on everyone’s lips.
The other important element of this story is boundaries. Boundaries between people are almost inexistent. People, in fact, live in a virtual world where one of the most important rules is give and show; give all the information, show all the life events and do not ask who has an advantage when using this information. This new way of living is called social networking and the tools of social networking are Facebook, WhatsApp, Cloud, e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The social network has a wide range of members.
Remember the two smart men? One was an entrepreneur named Gianfranco Ilacqua, the other one was an engineer named Paolo Ferrari, both were hard workers, fast thinking and strong willed. They were bored; their jobs were not up to their expectations so, all day, and sometimes all night, their energy was directed at creating something useful to them and others. As curious people, they were part of the social network but cautious. They were well aware of the risks of sharing information without control. Therefore, they developed two products: Secure-K (also pronounced key), the armor against risks, and DigitalArx, the shield. Their mantra was: do not underestimate the risks of social networks.
Secure-K and DigitalArx became great tools to protect privacy and, at the same time, to let people network and act normally.
They realized that security was an important matter to everybody and they found a mission worth working on more that their existing jobs: develop and market Fast Technology for more secure and easier networking.
Therefore, they quit their jobs to invest all their energy and time in this enterprise. They built their idea of business around security, useful to everybody without any particular technology knowledge.
However, their native country was not very ready to receive the idea and that is why they decided to create a startup in London, the land of opportunities and the door to European markets.
The startup’s name is Mon-K (pronounced monkey) Data Protection EU. The reason lies in biology. Mon-k: “just how smart are monkeys? Their innate curiosity leads them to trying new things, but it’s their culture, the passing of information from one generation to the next, that teaches them most of what they know” (Nature PBS – Clever Monkeys).
Monkeys are very similar to humans and much more fascinating.
What challenges face Gianfranco and Paolo developing Mon-K?
The biggest challenges:
1. The team. The most difficult aspect has been to find a talented, passionate and responsible staff. At Mon-K, hiring decisions are made with care and anyone who works at Mon-K is trustworthy, professional, passionate and business-minded. They are people who can take on bigger roles and run the show as the business grows.
2. The product has to meet market demand. The challenge has always been to deliver a product that meets customer needs better that anyone else. For a business to flourish, it is necessary to be recognized by the market and to deliver a well-designed and well-made product.
3. Follow your heart and instincts, remain focused on the mission, be true to it, be disciplined in the execution of it and put all yourself to make it true.
4. Any new venture requires startup funds, we realized we had to have enough confidence in our idea and invest in it because it worth’s it.
Our advice if you are thinking about starting up a business
When starting a company, as starting a new life in a different country, good advice can make the difference between success and failure.
We have learned along the way, so this is our advice.
Most entrepreneurs have a very clear vision about what they want: a new product, a new service application, innovative logistics, etc. However, this is basically the difference between being an entrepreneur and running a startup.
Therefore, our first and most important piece of advice is:
• Clarify your identity in your mind: what the product you want is, who your customers are and how you are going to make money. Take all the time you need to be precise about these three issues; do not be in a hurry.
The second is about raising money:
• Raising funds could be very difficult if you do not know where to look. Choose the right country and develop a good fundraising campaign. Let investors feel valued and important, ask them for advice but always remember who you are and focus on your activities.
You cannot do all by yourself so our third piece of advice is:
• Trust professionals, you do not have all the expertise a startup requires. So be honest with yourself, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and hire a professional that can help you solve problems.
The last piece of advice is:
• Listen to your customers, partners, suppliers and employees. They know what you have to put on the market to survive.
What Mon-K’s mission is and what we see in our future
Mon-K has the mission of making networking easier, more secure, and faster. Mon-K’s team works with you to make your social networking worry free. We take care of your privacy without you having to think about it, just use us.
We want to change the idea of technology and we want to make it available to you. This is because technology is for everybody and it is an ally to help you live better.
In the future Mon-K will be at your side to protect you, to make the needs of security and privacy universally equal. In the future Mon-K will be closer to the technology requests of its customers, professional or not.