A few weeks ago I posed a series of questions to Smart Ready® founder Giovanni Laporta to get his take on himself, the industry, the past and the future. This is the first part of a two-part interview which I think gives an insight into his thought process, his opinions on the industry, as well as a bit of backstory and where the future may lie for our sector.
1. How did you find your way into the fenestration industry?
By mistake. I walked past a sign in a window advertising for a double-glazing salesperson and that was thirty-something years ago!
2. What has been your biggest mistake?
I suppose I could say trying to achieve perfection and deliver too much in one go … but whether or not that actually proves to be a mistake in the end … I’m not sure. The jury’s still out.
3. What has been your biggest success?
I haven’t seen it yet!
4. Why did you start Smart Ready®?
To give the industry an easy, cost-effective (if not free) way into the smart world which removes any technical responsibility from the fabricator and installer, and to future-proof every single window and door in the market which allows consumers to upgrade at their leisure.
5. Has your personal approach to work and business ever caused you any problems?
I don’t think we should even go there. Just look out for the biography!
6. Does the industry need more people like Gio in order to try and generate more innovation?
Now there’s a double-edged sword. Yes, in terms of generating and pushing innovation, but also no, because I don’t think the world would be ready for more than one Gio.
7. Are you willing to collaborate with other tech companies in fenestration?
Absolutely, yes of course we’re willing to collaborate. That’s the whole point of Smart Ready! Part of the beauty of the collaboration that Smart Ready is doing ensures that the highest standards are met. That means that consumers actually get what they think they’ve been promised.
8. Who do you look up to in the fenestration sector?
It’s fabricators and installers that are willing to embrace innovation and don’t see it as a dirty word. So often, when push comes to shove, companies that have touted ‘innovation’ as a slogan, are frequently unwilling to put their money where their mouth is in investment. It takes bravery to do that and it’s those companies who are moving this industry forward. True innovators, those who embrace innovation, and those who embrace moving forward are who I look up to.
(And those who are flying a false flag won’t are certainly not on my Christmas card list)
9. What motivates you?
To change the world by delivering future-proofed windows and doors to every house in the UK, and once that’s done, then on to the rest of the world.
10. If you had the chance, what would you do differently during your time in fenestration?
Hindsight is always an interesting lens to look through because had I done things differently, would I have ended up where I am now? But if I had to choose something, it would be starting the development of smart solutions for the industry five years before I did, when I initially had the idea.
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