Time for a change

Exactly ten years ago, on Valentine's Day 1998, I moved to Milan from a small town on the Ligurian seaside. I was busy setting up my own house, struggling with a new stove and generally scared at the idea of having just turned a milestone in my career and my lifetime. While having my first dinner in Milan with my soon to be wife, I couldn't help but thinking about what I left behind on one hand, and the vast opportunity and thrill on what was ahead of me.

Ten years have passed: I enjoyed every minute of them. If I look back, it has been a bumpy yet fantastic ride: I met (and married) the best person ever, I had lots of fun at various places of work, I co-founded my own company, I did my share of Open Source software, I traveled the world speaking about IT, Open Source and business, I hanged out with old and new friends. It's been a blast, but all the good things have to come to an end.

In a few weeks we will be moving to London, where I will be heading Sourcesense operations from the other side of the Channel, while boosting our UK presence to cater for the impressive business demand we are getting from there. As I'm writing this, I'm pestering my UK connections for housing hints and frantically browsing the web to get myself organized: I'm also overly excited by this opportunity, and I have my share of shivers when I think that I will be once again leaving a lot behind while opening up new and powerful scenarios.

If you live in London, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a mail, catch me on your choice of IM, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, or just drop me a call. I'm eager to join the London scene, meet with old friends and make new ones, and of course build business connections. As you might expect, I have lots of questions (and beers to share). Also, consider yourself invited for the house crash party, whenever it will be: I promise my best performance ever in Italian food.

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14 thoughts on “Time for a change”

  1. Congrats. I’ve just made the move over to London myself and *think* I’ve got things sorted out now. Sadly in a few weeks I’ll be ducking back to Australia for a while so will probably miss the welcoming party but will be lining up for the lasagne asap. :)

    We found a fantastic apartment in Maidenhead through a surprisingly very helpful lettings agent. If you want to be out of London a bit where traffic actually moves and you can find a park anytime let me know and I’ll put you in touch with them. Of course, coming from Europe, central London probably won’t be as big a shock as it is for an Aussie coming over.

  2. Yoav, thanks a lot. As I’m now 4 hours closer to Boston, maybe meeting up will be easier!

    ArjΓ©: yeah, now it’s just a matter of finding the right swimming suit to crawl
    the Channel. Easier than crossing the Alps, I guess.

    Fanta, thanks. Don’t forget I’m looking forward to more Ethiopian food as well!

    Adrian, good to see we’ll have a chance to meet. Please don’t be shy and let me know about your agent: Maidenhead is definitely an option!

  3. We worked with Pike, Smith and Kemp on Queens Rd in Maidenhead I believe: http://www.pskweb.co.uk/ In fact, there’s a nice place just down the road (Shoppenhangers Rd, Maindenhead – SL62PZ) that will be available either end of this month or end of next. They recommended it for us originally until they realized when it became available. I’m sure there’s plenty else around too. :) We used rightmove.co.uk to track down decent agencies to work with – there doesn’t seem to be one comprehensive site with all available places for London and places are often rented out before they even make it to the websites. The best plan is to identify the agents you want to work with and then get in touch with them directly. It seems to take about a week minimum to go from finding a place to actually being able to move in as they need to do credit checks and a checkin process.

    Also while I think of it – make sure you’re in touch with SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency (http://www.seeda.co.uk/). They’re offering a lot of support to Ephox as we set up in Europe – not sure how much they’ll be able to help in your specific case but they’ve certainly been keen to help us. All my contacts there are through the Australian branch so aren’t the right folk for you but I know they work all around the world so it should be easy enough to get in touch with the right people there.

    Pretty much everything here seems to have a 12 month contract attached – including a standard phone line from BT which is annoying. Set aside a decent budget for getting things connected as it’s pretty expensive.

    I’m not sure how credit agencies work within the EU so you might find it easier but setting up in a new country generally causes a few problems with passing credit checks because you basically don’t exist on any of their systems. Set up a bank account as soon as you possibly can and immediately ask them to send you a statement so you can use it as proof of address – even if you’re staying in a hotel to start with they can send it there. You can generally get past any credit check problems by providing a deposit which they give back after 3 months or so. The best trick I’ve found is to search around for a highly motivated sales person – they can push pretty much anything though. :)

    That’s pretty much a complete, unfiltered brain dump of the stuff I’ve learnt. We’ve been very lucky and things have gone quite smoothly. The biggest frustration has been a lack of internet access and phone capable of calling internationally – we’ve been very cut off from friends and family until the phone came on this week. Getting a calling card (or just not being scared of the costs of calling from our Australian mobiles) would have been a good idea.

    Anyway, I hope that all made sense and is useful. If you need help with anything just give me a yell and I’ll be happy to help.

  4. Cool!

    I moved about a year ago to Oxford, about an hour from London. I guess I’ll be seeing you soonish.

  5. Lux: sure. And it’s “centre”, not “center”. I will also make sure to pick up some cockney.

    Ross: yup, indeed. Will be great to catch up over a beer or two!

  6. Now I have another excuse to go to London. Is sourcesense living Italy? Good luck, I’m still waiting for you in Genova with as much “focaccia” as you can eat. πŸ˜‰

  7. Stefano, you are welcome to join me in London anytime! And no, we aren’t leaving Italy, it’s quite the opposite. Italy is a grown-up company, with great people at the helm and no need for my support. We have extensive growth plans for the future, even as we are going to get a lot of project work from places like the UK. Albion is our newborn child, and I just love startups too much to miss the chance to follow its first steps, so off I go.

    See you there!

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