Be creative (and passionate), my friend

I had a blast in the recent weeks, sometimes things just happen in random places but other times it is as if everything was already written and following a kind of a script. I will write about a story, a man, a dream (and a beloved country).

The story is about Rockin’1000, yes you probably heard of it already but I wanted to let the hype pass and cool down a bit before putting words in black and white. It is basically a very simple idea, getting the attention of a rock group (in this case the Foo Fighters, created by Nirvana’s former drummer Dave Grohl) by grouping 1000 (yes, one thousand!) rockers to play all together one of their songs, synchronised.

The man behind this is Fabio Zaffagnini, probably very few people knew him before this project (I was among those ones) even though I found out the guy co-founded an already interesting company some years ago (

The dream was about getting the attention of the rock band of course but also the media towards Fabio’s home country, Italy, and specifically the region of Emilia-Romagna (even though this story refers to just the southern part of that region, the Romagna side).

I think in the end Fabio and all the people involved in the Rockin’1000 project did a lot more than this. This is the story that made me think I was ready to write on Medium:

Don’t worry I will not write a long essay and I will try to be brief as much as possible, in the end I’m on vacation and I need to deliver quality time to my wife and kids and you probably have a lot of more interesting things to do besides reading this. Anyway, I will point out a couple of things, very different from one another but connected somehow, to collect the picture that got me so stocked on the very first moment I saw that video (yes, one thousand happy rockers playing together!).

  1. Music Industry: So, basically the Rockin’1000 team decided to make a call for one of their favourite bands and bang…they delivered! The rock band replied they will come to play for them in their own little town (Cesena). OK then, in the world of crowd-everything, couldn’t be this a part of the process on making live concerts for rock bands? Deliver their performances where the people are most interested to have them? I’d love to see some bottom-up processes in the music industry for once and this is the proof it could work even in the other way around.
  2. Viral Marketing: Viral could be anything but when it comes to quality, some times all the pieces don’t come together. This of course is not the case since everything was very well prepared and planned: from the website, to the video making. Message here could be that if you want to get viral, you need to prepare and plan your road to glory carefully — very carefully.
  3. Passion: Fabio’s words at the end of the video were brilliant. He touched very few points that are so true in Italy’s culture that really made me think this was probably one of the best speeches I heard in this country since a long time (I’m also involving our government and politicians of course, people that should be able to drive such a passionate country). I’m and Italian/American and in the end I decided to stay in this country with my family, for some reason. Passion and Italy really comes along, this has been seen throughout the history of this country and it still is the main propeller of Italians, from north to south.
  4. Emilia-Romagna and Italy: I recently read on Italy’s finance newspaper firm, Il sole 24 ore, that this region is nowadays pushing a lot the economy of this southern Europe country. Now, for a moment, imagine Italy just after World War II: this part of the country was probably one of the poorest in the whole country and grandparent’s stories are generally based upon the fact that they literally had no food to eat in this area. After that, we all know the “miracle” of Italy’s economy during the 60s and Emilia-Romagna was again enforcing that. They managed to create also an economy impulse from leveraging tourism by making the Rimini area one of the most desired one (not only for Italians). And they made all this counting on well below average (for Italian standards of course) of natural resources, so don’t expect to find the best sea and crystalline water on this part of the Adriatic coast. But once again I was struck by the genuineness and genius of this people when following their dogma: be creative, make the best of what you got and make it world wide known.
  5. Creativeness: And here comes the creative side, which is another part of Italy’s culture. The last three points are all well connected, just think about sports car brands, fashion brands and many other type of markets in which Italy showed a lot of potential. In the end, you don’t need to invent something new all the times but, as the word suggests, find a new process and create new ways of doing things. Being creative is a precious resource we should enforce, a way of generating original mainstreams.

Once again well done Fabio and Rockin’1000, Italy (and Emilia-Romagna) needs great and simple ideas like yours.

Be creative (and passionate), my friend.

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