Lessons from Angry Birds

The story of Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, is impressive (here on Wired.co.uk).

It provides at least one strong lesson to startups in the wild: Angry Birds was the 52nd computer game by Rovio.

Before Angry Birds the company went through ups and downs, but never had a hit. The company started with 1 M$ of angel investing in 2003, and mostly developed games for larger companies, those with a distribution channel. It went from 2 to 50 and then to 12 employees. With the company almost bankrupt, in 2009 they had their hit on the Appstore with Angry Birds.

Then, they worked like hell to exploit that success through multiple sales channels.

Now, Rovio’s turnover is estimated around 50 M$, 20 M$ coming from sales and licensing deals not directly related to video games, and 30 M$ from video games, roughly half from the iOS platform, half from Android ad-supported sales. They have received a 42 M$ series A funding in 2011 and turned down an acquisition offer of 2.25 B$ from Zynga.

It is another good story that tells that 1. the initial idea has no value, 2. it is important to keep pushing, tweaking, building expertise, and trying again.

– Versione in Italiano qui

Smart City Bubble?

It really seems that Google searches on “smart cities” are taking off this year. Probably we have the confluence of increased marketing spending by big ICT players and the start of several initiatives and funding programs at the European and national level. Could this be a smart city bubble?


This is the online home of Giuseppe Iannaccone.

Here you can find information about my research activity, my classes at the University of Pisa, my scientific articles, available student projects, and some blog posts.

You can also find my coordinates and social media handles, and some information about me.

If you are a student, please subscribe to this mailing list dedicated with information about classes, exams, internships.


Measure Everything: my numbers for 2011

Good :)

  • 129 lectures in video of 160+ lecture hours given at Univ. Pisa [here]
  • 12 nice scientific papers in journals, 2/3 of which really great [here]
  • 12 books read (promise kept): 10 great books, 2 terrible ones. 10 non fiction, 2 fiction.
  • 1000+ photos with my new (entry level) digital reflex camera (started shooting pics again)

Not bad  :|

  • 2141 (total) citations as from Google scholar (but decreased rate wrt 2010). [here]
  • 1342 (total) citations as from ISI WoS (but almost zero increase wrt 2010) [here]
  • Marginally fit again: 65 kg on bench press, 60 Kg squat, following this recipe in only 20 workouts between july and september (1-2 per week).
  • Marginally fit again: 1 year of (cheating) paleo diet, 3 Kg weight loss, 30W-32L again!
  • Quantavis closes its fifth year and enters year 6.
  • 4 outreach talks

Bad :(

  • >10 project proposals submitted in 2011, too small success rate.
  • only ~ 200 Km total run in the whole year (20 with these shoes, to remember our ancestors)
  • Zero articles sent to newspapers
  • Zero Quantavis products on sale
  • Only 1 blog post
  • Too few family hours and weekends
  • (Much) less than the promised 1 movie per month for Cristiana (some good surprises, some less)
  • Zero hours playing the piano

RFID and the Internet of Things – Slides

Rfid slides 1Here you can find the slides of the course “RFID and the Internet of Things” I gave on October 21-23, 2009, for the Ph.D. curriculum in Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy.

Slides Day 1

Slides Day 2

Slides Day 3