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Revolutionizing Backend Development

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Episode Summary

In the latest episode of Behind the Growth, host Mudassar Malik is joined by Luca Maraschi, Co-Founder and CEO of Platformatic. Luca shares his rich career journey, from working in various roles in different industries, including gaming and tech, to founding and exiting various companies.

Luca discusses the importance of different perspectives, emphasizing how working with large customers across various verticals has been a significant source of inspiration for him. He highlights his belief that working with great people and drawing inspiration from them is essential in building successful startups.

The conversation shifts to the inception of Platformatic, inspired by recurring challenges across various contexts. Luca discusses the dual costs of decision-making and building foundational pieces, setting the stage for a deeper dive into back-end development and scalability.

Finally, Luca and Mudassar explore 5G’s role in enabling intelligent components. Luca talks about ‘people scalability’ and network scalability, before discussing AI’s practical applications behind-the-scenes on Platformatic. The episode wraps up with Luca’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, underscoring product evolution, problem empathy, and the value of seeking industry guidance.

Featured Guest

  • Name: Luca Maraschi
  • What he does: Co-Founder and CEO
  • Company: Platformatic
  • Noteworthy: At just six, Luca Maraschi discovered coding through a Commodore 64 game, sparking a lifelong passion for programming. He wrote code in C by age eight, and his love for engineering led him to tech entrepreneurship. Today, he’s the CEO of Platformatic, focusing on simplifying backend development. Prior to this, he founded three companies and held leadership roles at mobileLIVE and Telus Digital. His drive to learn and innovate continuously pushes the boundaries of technology.

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Key Insights

The Lego Analogy: Building with Boundaries
Luca Maraschi introduces the “Lego analogy” to describe the balance between constraints and creativity in software development. Just as the foundational piece of Lego is a simple four-by-two block, software development requires foundational building blocks. These constraints, rather than limiting creativity, actually enable it. The key lies in finding the right minimum common denominator that allows the brain to overcome barriers and innovate.

Advice for Entrepreneurs: Build to Evolve
When asked about advice for budding entrepreneurs and developers, Luca emphasizes the importance of building solutions that evolve rather than just compete. He advises entrepreneurs to focus on either business-to-consumer or business-to-business, as juggling both can be challenging. The most impactful products and solutions stem from personal experiences and a deep connection to the problem. Authenticity and empathy are crucial.

The CEO’s Recipe: Arrogance, Vision, and Humility
Luca shares his recipe for success as a CEO. He believes in a mix of arrogance for determination, vision to see beyond the status quo, and humility to listen and learn from others. Connecting with other CEOs and industry leaders provides invaluable insights and energizes him. Listening to others who have walked the path before can guide one through the challenges and complexities of entrepreneurship.

if you look at the industry as a whole, it always becomes this choice of build versus buy. But you cannot buy a platform

Episode Highlights

Luca’s Diverse Journey in Tech

Luca Maraschi talks about his diverse career journey, starting from his early days of building and selling companies. He navigated different sectors, from the gaming industry to enterprise platform development. Throughout his career, he’s taken on various roles, from software engineering to leading large teams and designing global platforms.

“I started very young, building companies and selling them […] I worked in the gaming industry, then worked mostly in enterprise building platforms […] I worked again in a startup as a leader building platforms.”

The Inspiration Behind Platformatic

Luca shares the inspiration behind co-founding Platformatic. He emphasizes the need for strong foundations in software development and how the sentiment of developers is changing. The mission of Platformatic is to re-enable creativity, especially in backend development.

“The inspiration to build Platformatic, together with Matteo […], was combining all these factors and observing how we are in this digital transformation journey, but especially how the sentiment of developers is changing.”

The Dichotomy of Buying a Product vs. a Platform

Luca discusses the industry’s tendency to commoditize platforms and the ongoing debate of “build versus buy.” He highlights the challenges of buying a product and the misconceptions surrounding it. He’s strongly opinionated about the difference between buying a product and a platform.

“If you look at the industry as a whole […], it always becomes this choice of build versus buy. But unfortunately, it’s the dichotomy of buying a product. You cannot buy a platform.”

Connecting with Industry Leaders for Inspiration

Luca emphasizes the value of connecting with other CEOs and industry leaders. He believes that these interactions energize and inspire him. By listening to others who have walked the path before, one can navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship more effectively.

“I always connect with other CEOs and other industry leaders. And every time I connect with them, I get 10x more energized and inspired. […] There is so much value in listening to other CEOs and entrepreneurs.”

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