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“We live in an amazing Era of exponential growth. The technology for all of this exists already, it’s not fantasy. I cannot wait to make it part of my life and being able to contribute to it.” A statement given by Stefano Cutello to summarize what he experienced at “Mobile Photo Connect” in San Francisco end of October 2016. — That’s smart. Because Stefano already contributes a lot. — The conference attendees liked his approach: “Send your pictures on FB Messenger at PastBot, and you’ll get a beautiful PastBook photo book automagically created for you! Meet our PastBot: http://past.io/2ePYg8g

Great timing to be able to run a ValueDialog to get the full story of PastBook. And it’s a real success story!

By Şükran Ceren Salali and Andreas Weber, Head of Value



INTRO

We have thousands of photos online. We might even forget some of those exist since they are all scattered around different social media. In order to collect and relive our precious moments with our loved ones, photo books are unique and personal. Founded in 2012, PastBook specializes in turning social media memories into high-quality, hassle-free photo books. PastBook developed Photo Book and PastBook for Instagram Photo Book apps in 2016; apps geared specifically for mobile users, that collect Facebook or Instagram photos and create high-quality digital or printed photo books in less than 60 seconds. Also, you can upload photos from Dropbox, Picasa, Google Photos and Flickr.

Short after its foundation, PastBook has been nominated for various awards. In 2015, PastBook named the 3rd fastest growing tech company in the Netherlands. Later in May 2016, the company was featured by Facebook as a business success story. Also, in September 2016, PastBook has been nominated for the prestigious Rising Star Award 2016 which is part of the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. 

That’s why we decided to learn the story behind a fast growing company with easy-to-do tools and cool features that will make you relive your moments in a beautiful way!


INTERVIEW: Let’s hear the company’s success story from the founder and CEO of PastBook, Stefano Cutello!

Turning social media memories into high-quality, hassle-free photo books: How did you come up with the idea for PastBook?

Stefano: One day my father was showing me his photo album of him in his younger days and then I asked myself that “will I ever be able to provide that same emotional experience to my children?” The answer was of course “no”, because despite I have plenty of more photos than my father – all of them are scattered everywhere on different social media and devices. I was using Facebook, from the days it has launched, and I realized almost a big part of my life is there. That’s was the problem I wanted to solve for myself and it turned out to be a problem that many other people have. So PastBook was born with the mission “to help people to relive their memories”. At that time it was all still just an extra time project for fun; the first product we made was a huge poster that users were able to create in 1 click: you select a year and you get 12 columns with everything you posted that year; so, it was in the same way we create the book of one year that you can relive your Facebook and Instagram moments of a selected year, by that we provide you a unique place where you can easily rediscover them online and offline.

We asked a few friends to try it out and it all became viral in 24 hours, we received many e-mails from journalists and it ended up at, for instance, Wired and Corriere della Sera. That was the moment I felt that this was my next train, and I jumped on it.


How did you end up in Amsterdam?

Stefano: When I decided to jump on that train I had to make the tough decision to quit eBay.

Rationally, there was no reason to do that: I had my nice long term job, and high salary – and just a few months before I just moved to live together with my girlfriend to a new house.

Still – I didn’t want to live with the regret to do not have tried. So went all in with PastBook: worst case, I would have learned plenty of new things.

So I started to apply for any kind of accelerator and incubator around the world, I didn’t care that much where to go: I was not looking for the money, I was more looking for getting in an environment that would have supported me to build my company. My plan B was to move directly to US and find my way there. 

In March 2012 I got into Rockstart Accelerator that was based in Amsterdam and within one month from my resignation – everything started.




What kind of challenges you faced during this process?

Stefano: Almost everything. (laughs). — Before my decision, all my friends were telling me “don’t do it”. But, I prefer to try and see than to regret not trying. 

I had this big mission: I wanted to grow bigger and bigger but not much was concrete. Then I said, well, a powerful way that I can make my big vision happening is that I have to make it clear for my customer what the product is and what we expect from them. We shifted by making a super clear proposition; “making beautiful photo books less than 60 seconds”. That’s when we actually started selling and growing.

I think, in 10-15 years, people will ask “if something happens to me, what will happen to my memories on Facebook?, “Will I ever be able to allow my kids one day to go back to the memories of me online which even I don’t remember where I have all of them that right now?”. That’s why my goal now is to build up a big, solid and sustainable company that can be there and this is why we have this motto: “Relive Your Memories with PastBook”.

Even though I faced big challenges, my passion and hard work enabled me to handle it in the best way, and it works well right now. It’s still the same challenge, even though you grow, you still embrace the challenge. There is always bigger goals that inspires me to work more and more. One thing is to go from 1 to 10 customers, when you get there then you have to go from 10 to 1000, and then 100K and so on: you never stop and the challenges are always there at any stage – you just keep raising the bar. 


What advice would you give to people looking to start a company?

Stefano: I don’t like to give advice but one thing is for sure; you can’t start a company if you are not passionate about what you do. 

I would have had thousands of reasons to give up. It would have been easier if I’d stayed in eBay rather than working 14 hours a day. But I have a passion that drives me. We set this vision, worked hard and we think big now, but compared to where we want to go, we are still at the beginning. I’d say keep pushing, never give up. Always think big, but move a small step at the time – fast.


PastBook has a culturally diverse team. How important is this that your customer profile and workforce mirrors this diversity?

Stefano: The diversity we have now was not my intention in the beginning, that somehow happened during the way but I really liked it. I was working with an international team in eBay as well. It is nice because if you want to build an international company, it’s core to have different point of views and culture. That’s also why I keep asking people to talk in person rather than using our chatting system at the office, the personality of each of us should interact. I don’t really care where somebody is from, male or female, and younger or older. I just tried to get the best people that I can get. I want to make this company bigger and I cannot make it happen if everything has to depend on. I only have 24 hours a day and I cannot be the expert of every single area. So I need the best people around me for each of those areas to complement me. If you want to build a top class company, you need to have top class people who work for you.


What are the future plans for PastBook?

Stefano: Our long term vision is providing a place where all your memories are, and you can relive them in every way that you can think of, now is a photo book, but soon might be something else, even not printed. 


About the interviewee




Can we learn who is Stefano Cutello?

Stefano: I’m a product guy and an engineer inside. I opened my first company – a web agency specialized in web site design and IT consultancy – when I was only 18, in Italy, but I started working in IT way before since my first years at high school. My education background is in computer science, but I dropped the university because I was learning way more in the real world working for big IT companies than studying theory – that I knew already – on books. 

Almost all the companies I worked for were offering me to join them as an employee, but I was always refusing because I liked switching from project to project, making my own career and learning new things every time. 

One of the companies in my client portfolio was eBay. After just a few months of consultancy, eBay also offered me the opportunity to become an employee and that was the only time I said yes: the team in eBay Italy was still small, international it was a kind of a dream job for me, and a new experience. So, I sold my previous company and started to work for eBay only. Moving from having your own company with a lot of different clients, working for 24/7 weekend and night to satisfy each customer – to becoming an employee, I ended up having a lot more free time than before. 

As a techie, I like to spend my free time building things, just for fun. I had no intention of building a start-up. Problem is that when you have plenty of ideas and you are able to make them, you keep moving from one project to the other, ending nowhere. One day, with a colleague of mine who has a similar background, we said: let’s share our ideas and pick one to work on, promising each other that we’ll stick to it until we make it done. That idea was PastBook. 



About the company

PastBook collects all your memories in one –safe– place, detached from each social network, providing you with a unique experience to easily relive and share, either on-line, through a tablet or offline through a pdf or even in a tangible way, a printed book. PastBook’s algorithm automatically highlights your memories based on their vibrancy, keeping them chronologically organized. PastBook will let you easily rediscover and customize your past in an easy, fast and time saving way. You can create photo books in different styles for weddings, memorials, graduation and so on. PastBook’s new PastBot feature is very cool: You can send your pictures on Facebook Messenger at PastBot, and you will get a beautiful photo book automagically created for you! 

Read PastBook’s blog, follow PastBook on Twitter  and Facebook, or learn more at https://www.pastbook.com. Also here you can find one of the videos of the series of Ceren’s Tips on PastBook’s YouTube channel.

For more information about the company, please contact: Stefano Cutello, CEO and founder of PastBook, +316 38123898 or stefano@pastbook.com





OUTRO

Stefano’s analysis of “Mobile Photo Connect” conference is worth to get added. 

One of my favorite quotes by Robert Scoble: “Mind blowing shit is coming. It’s here” 

Tonight [25 Oct. 2016] I had the luck to assist to the Tech in Motion fireside chat between Robert Scoble “Scobleizer” and Myriam Joire and I saw how the future is gonna look like. Sooner than you imagine. 

  • Mixed reality experience that will make impossible to your mind to understand what’s real and what’s not – you’ll have to remove your glass to get back to earth.
  • Space sensors that will be able to feel the pressure of your hands on the floor from 50cm distance or that will be able to detect the heartbeat of the person you are looking at.
  • Eye sensors that will look at your eyes instead of looking at what you’re looking at to enhance the experience of what you are focusing on
  • Drones that are able to map a 3D model of a room in a matter of seconds and be smart enough to do any action in that room recognizing not just walls, but any objects in the room and be autonomous in handling them
  • Ecommerce experiences where the moment you “walk” to a shop, you’ll not find any shelf; you’ll just ask for a pair of Levi’s and a any possible model will appear in front of you already fitted by your size and preferences; or where you walk into a supermarket, you watch a tomato and you’ll see the supply chain of that tomato, letting you make a more wise choice on the most healthy one, also better understanding the difference in prices
  • Brands that will embed VR experiences in each of their product, so that the next time you’ll watch at your Nike you’ll see some special things coming out of your shoes
  • TVs that will mainly have the function of getting a 3D sensor in your home so that your living room can be mapped
  • Entertainment will be watching abut of your windows and see a “live” show happening in your garden
  • Driving will be sitting on the main seat in a Tesla (that you don’t necessary have to own) that will bring you wherever you want. Uber, Lyft, taxi and truck drivers will lose their job, but with the right regulations they’ll be able to have enough time to learn new things and get back to market: AI will destroy plenty of jobs but AI and VR will also create plenty of opportunities, unlocking learning experiences never possible before (think about Matrix)
  • You will not need a monitor anymore, you’ll have as many as you want, virtually
  • Market insights: It will be a war between Apple and Google, maybe Microsoft too. Facebook with its Oculus has to catch-up. Apple new upcoming Siri will make “virtual assistant” finally an everyday thing. The new iPhone will not be a phone anymore and most probably will be a glass that will interact with whatever you’ll point it to.
  • Memories will always be available for you to literally relive them like the first time and be part of them, interact with them, change them.

Last but not least: We live in an amazing Era of exponential growth. The technology for all of this exists already, it’s not fantasy. I cannot wait to make it part of my life and being able to contribute to it.




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Consumers associate printed newspapers with waste, but correcting this impression doesn’t seem to be a priority for the newspaper industry.

 

Graphic Repro On-line News Review to Friday 07 October 2016

Welcome to another roundup with 28 news articles posted during the past week, plus Laurel Brunner’s latest Verdigris Blog added on Friday, entitled Newspapers and Change. In her opening paragraph Laurel states: ‘Newspaper publishers should be doing much more to counter perception that print is bad for the environment. Consumers associate printed newspapers with waste, but correcting this impression doesn’t seem to be a priority for the newspaper industry. This has to change, even though publishers may have other things on their minds like the precipitous decline in print sales.’ You can read the rest of the article by using the link in the Verdigris section below.

The latest and No 10 in the series of Wild Format Technology Guides by Sonja Angerer was added this week. Entitled The Art and Science of Very Fine Drops, it explains why Inkjet is unique amongst printing technologies, where there is no other option to print on such a wide varieties of substrates with such efficiency and ease. Enjoy it. You can download an illustrated PDF from the link in the article below.

Upcoming events that feature prominently this week include The Print Show 2016, which opens its doors at the NEC in Birmingham tomorrow. You’ll find news from several exhibitors, including Sawgrass on Tuesday, and Intec on both Thursday and Friday, with the lead article on Friday taken from Gareth Ward at the Print Business, devoted to his take on the show, now in its second year and with an increase in demand for space this time around. It’s on until Thursday 13 October and has some nice offerings.

Domino Digital Printing Solutions will showcase a range of technologies at All4pack 2016 in Paris from 14 to 17 November. The show was previously known as Emballage. On Tuesday, Martin Bailey at Global Graphics led the news, as Global announced it is to chair a new ISO task force for a new PDF production workflow standard that will make it possible to describe what a final printed piece is supposed to look like. Leading the news on Thursday: KBA Report 49 is now available either as a printed version or to download online in multiple languages from KBA using the link in the article. The theme is ‘Print is on the up once more’, as this latest issue takes a closer look at some of innovations unveiled at drupa 2016.

There’s so much more for you is you scroll down, including some nice orders and installations including Ricoh in multiple European countries including France, The Netherlands and Finland; Muller Martini in Ghana; Highcon in Germany; Heidelberg UK, Xeikon with ThermoFlexX also in the UK; IFS with Foliant in the UK, Heidelberg USA, Taopix in Germany for an online platform; and MPS in The Netherlands.

As my tailender this week is Wednesday’s lead article as UPM Raflatac partners on the reforestation project of Jaguari River in Brazil to help protect this vital ecosystem; with a stunning pic to go with it.

My main MacBook’s screen decided to pack up this morning which is rather hampering the way I usually work, so that’s all until next time. Until then. My best regards,

Mike Hilton


the-print-show-2016

Our e-News comprises:  Headline News – Online Feature Articles – the Verdigris initiative and Wild Format Technology Guides from Digital Dots, as well as our Drupa and FESPA Newsrooms which can be accessed from the Index on our Home Page. We also have News in Review, which provides a weekly overview and listing of all news added to the site. 

Headline News
Over 28,000 news items have now gone online since we launched our Website in September 2001. News for the past 24 months can still be accessed via the Home Page and its continuation news page

Mon 03 October…   
Sun Chemical in Flint Group European Ink acquisition
Sun Chemical has announced its intention to acquire Flint Group’s European Publication Gravure Ink Business…

Author Mural runs through Hachette’s Carmelite House
The new mural is a bold ‘river of authors’ representation of the River Thames that runs by
Hachette UK’s new home…

Ricoh’s continuous feed VC60000 makes its mark with IDC
High-end digital press helps Ricoh secure second spot for worldwide unit shipments in IDC’s Tracker…

MCTdigital and Blackman & White awarded at SGIA
New VersaTech2 ‘All in One’ digital cutter wins SGIA Product of the Year Award for finishing-routers/cutters…

Domino awarded in PPMA Group Industry Awards 2016
Domino’s SerialTrac named ‘Most Innovative Processing or Packaging Machine’ at the PPMA 2016 Awards…

WAEC Ghana boosts in-house finishing with Muller Martini
The West African Examinations Council invests in its first Muller Martini Primera saddle stitcher for its plant in Ghana…

Tue 04 October…   
Global Graphics chairs new ISO task force for PDF workflow
New PDF production workflow standard will make it possible to describe what a final printed piece is supposed to look like…

Xeikon X-800 5.0 with enhanced production capabilities
Xeikon has unveiled X-800 5.0 software to support faster, more effective production and colour reproduction…

Sawgrass set for a colourful Print Show UK 2016
Sawgrass to show the possibilities bright and vibrant 8-colour inks can offer at the NEC, 11 – 13 October…

Sun Chemical to debut SunTex Encore at Heimtextil 2017
Sun Chemical to present its portfolio of SunTex textile inkjet inks at Heimtextil in Frankfurt, 10 – 13 January 2017…

Sign & Digital UK from 28 – 30 March 2017
Sign & Digital UK to celebrate 30th anniversary with brand new Website and show focus for 2017 event…

Wed 05 October…   
UPM Raflatac supports Brazil Reforestation Project
UPM Raflatac partners on the reforestation project of Jaguari River in Brazil to help protect this vital ecosystem…

Gelato leads with print on location model
Print on demand is about to be joined by print on location as new businesses emerge to exploit these possibilities…

The Inkjet Revolution
This article relating to continuous feed inkjet is by Benoit Chatelard, vice president, Production Printing, Ricoh Europe…

Digital technology turns Label’Or into a winner
The Xeikon CX3 is the third Xeikon press in operation at Belgium-based label manufacturer Label’Or…

Highcon digital cutting and creasing for Colordruck
Baiersbronn in Germany says yes to digital cutting and creasing up to B1-size with a Highcon Beam order…

Thu 06 October…  
KBA Report No. 49: drupa review and practice reports
Print is on the up once more. Issue 49 of KBA Report takes a closer look at some of innovations unveiled at drupa 2016…

Domino at All4pack 2016 in Paris (previously Emballage)
Domino Digital Printing Solutions to showcase range of technologies at All4pack 2016 from 14 to 17 November…

Intec adds ‘Flare’ at The Print Show 2016 at the NEC
Intec continues its worldwide launch of finishing equipment to add premium decorative effects to digitally printed media…

Brightsea Print Group breaks through the 10m mark
Brightsea achieves over 10 million impressions in the last three months on the Speedmaster XL 75 installed this year…

Reproflex3 expands with ThermoFlexX 80-D imager
Installation of the UK’s second dual-head ThermoFlexX 80-D digital flexo plate imager expands Reproflex3′ plate services…

Agfa Fortuna 10 at Security Printers Conference in Seville
Agfa Graphics has announced the new version of Fortuna design and assembly software for high-security printing…

Fri 07 October…   
The Print Show 2016 prepares a tasty buffet
The main course may be missing from regional and national shows, says Gareth Ward, but there are plenty of morsels to sharpen any appetite for manageable investment…

Intec to unveil ColorCut 500 at The Print Show
Intec Printing Solutions to debut of the ColorCut digital die-cutter for sheet labels and packaging at the NEC next week…

Heidelberg hosts Open House at SunDance Marketing Orlando
Open House for X-Package and Prinect at SunDance showcased doubled productivity with Heidelberg’s Speedmaster CD 102…

Work win prompts Ruddocks’ Foliant laminator buy
Winning new worked prompted Lincoln, UK printer to invest in an IFS-supplied Foliant Vega 530 SF laminator…

Klartext Göttingen goes online with Taopix platform
German crossmedia directprint24.de brand has invested in a new photo commerce platform from Taopix UK…

Geostick Group adds two MPS EXL-Packaging presses
Two EXL-Packaging presses sold to Geostick B.V. in Uithoorn and Clever Labels & Flexibles in The Hague in The Netherlands…

Lead article from Friday in previous update… 

UPM Paper Asia to be renamed UPM Specialty Papers
New name highlights the business area’s strategic focus on specialty papers and global operations…

GraphicRepro.Net e-News  (ISSN 1814-2923) is sponsored and made possible by:

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG  (Heidelberg), The world’s largest printing press manufacturer for the industry worldwide. Heidelberg customers enjoy the most comprehensive and extensive sales and service network in the industry for JDF compliant workflow, computer-to-plate, sheetfed offset, Web-to-print, digital printing, digital inkjet for labels and packaging, packaging and finishing, all with complementary consumables. Heidelberg has offices in around 170 countries. Visit the Heidelberg Website for more information.

drupa 2020 (drupa), the international flagship fair of the printing and media industry, responds to the challenges of the changing market and provides pioneering solutions for the future. This is highlighted by the new marketing and communication strategy where drupa claims its position as ‘No.1 for Print & Crossmedia Solutions’ with the slogan ‘touch the future’. The issues of ‘package printing’, ‘multichannel’, ‘green printing’, ‘3D printing’, and ‘functional printing’ will become increasingly important to the overall communication strategy. To find out more, visit the drupa 2020 Website.

Online Feature articles 2014 – 2016
Only 35 so far this year, with well over 70 last year, and over 90 in 2013 and in 2014 which can still be accessed via the Index on the Home Page, with prior years in our Archives.

Downloads 2016 Chapter 01

Technology-related Chapter 02

Online Features Sep/Oct Chapter 07

Previous…   
Model Zagreb’s robot-assisted Bobst case maker
Model Zagreb in Croatia has installed a highly automated Bobst FFG 618 – a case maker known for its shelf-ready capabilities…

Verdigris – Environmental Initiative

Laurel Brunner’s weekly Verdigris Blogs 2016

Newspapers and Change
The weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner – Fri 07 Oct

Most recent…   
Data Basis
The weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner – Fri 23 Sep

Technology Guides – from Digital Dots

Technology Guides for Wild Format 2016
This is the brand new series for 2016 – 2017 of new guides. The first ten can now be found in this special section in the Index on the Home Page of our Website. All have illustrated PDFs for downloading.

NEW this week and No 10… The Art and Science of Very Fine Drops
Inkjet is unique amongst printing technologies, there is no other option to print on such a wide varieties of substrates with such efficiency and ease. By Sonja Angerer

9… The basics of printheads
In many respects the printhead is the heart of an inkjet printer, directly responsible for placing each individual drop of ink on the substrate. By Nessan Cleary

FESPA Newsroom
The FESPA Newsroom can be found via the Index on our Home Page.

FESPA Federation News in 2016

Previous…   
10th Anniversary FESPA Mexico in September 2017
Visitors and exhibitors hail FESPA Mexico 2016 as a resounding success, with 10th Anniversary event announced for next year…

FESPA and ARED gearing up for FESPA Eurasia in December
FESPA and its Turkish Member Association ARED show commitment to the Eurasian region through local initiatives…

Drupa Newsroom
Our Drupa Newsroom with news from Messe Düsseldorf and for Drupa 2016 can be found in the Index. It is divided into the following Chapters for your convenience and ease of use… but you must scroll down to view each Chapter when you visit the Newsroom

drupa daily to download as PDFs
These eleven jam-packed drupa daily news issues are ready to read now. They contain hundreds of superb articles, interviews, features and news. You can download each one complete as a PDF…

drupa 2016 Exhibitors’ at show + post-show News
Latest additions of 86 in total are now in alphabetical order can be accessed in our drupa Newsroom.

drupa 2016 News from Exhibitors (now in alphabetical order)
The series of over 240 pre-show articles can be accessed in our drupa Newsroom in alphabetical order.

post-drupa 2016 News from Messe Düsseldorf

Decisive impulses for the global print industry at drupa
drupa 2016 was a resounding success with excellent business deals concluded in an outstanding investment climate…

drupa ante portas Blogs 2016
Includes the tenth and final article in this series from Andreas Weber in Mainz, Germany…

drupa 2016 Expert Articles – and more
Includes the eleventh and final article in this series from Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO and president of Koenig & Bauer (KBA) and drupa president 2016…

The Graphic Repro On-line Website is supported and sponsored by: 

Antalis South Africa, Canon SA, Screen Europe,  Drupa 2020,  Esko,  FESPA.  Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG,  HP Graphic So lutions, Kemtek Imaging Systems,  Krause-Biagosch,  Leonhard Kurz Stiftung,   Manroland Web Systems GmbH, Muller Martini AG,  Ricoh Europe,  Sappi LimitedThunderbolt Solutions, and UPM-Kymmene.

If you would like to send news for consideration for the Graphic Repro On-line Website (ISSN 1814-2915) or to submit comments, please e-mail Mike Hilton at: graphicrepro.za@gmail.com.

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