Thinc Iowa: Robbie Vitrano - ‘it’s possible to have a crazy idea and succeed’
From discussion of how to approach marketing like MacGyver to stories of stripping pizza down to its "naked" essence, Robbie Vitrano of Trumpet Group packed plenty into his time on stage Friday afternoon at Thinc Iowa. Vitrano leads New Orleans-based Trumpet, a venture marketing company with a mission focused on advocacy, optimism and socially responsible capitalism. That work shaped his talk Friday.
1. Crazy works
According to Vitrano, “Entrepreneurs are based on a belief that it’s possible to have a crazy idea and succeed.” I fully agree. Managing a startup incubator, I see tons of crazy ideas from crazy people that turn into legit businesses all the time.
2. Pizza solving problems
Can pizza be part of the solution? Vitrano spent some time looking at obesity and the massive problem it’s becoming. Out of that problem, Naked Pizza was born. Naked Pizza produces healthy, all-natural pizza that it has taken a unique approach to marketing. That's how crazy entrepreneurs make things happen.
3. Crisis as a catalyst
"In the old days, it was simply make money," Vitrano said. "But now we must focus on the social fabric around us.” Vitrano has lived that first hand in New Orleans, but it's applicable anywhere. You don’t have to wait for a hurricane to blow through to realize that you live within a larger ecosystem than your basement. That said, Vitrano emphasized how Hurricane Katrina helped open his eyes to the need to be proactive and address societal problems. “Never let a good crisis go to waste," Vitrano said. "Own the crisis and act on it.”