Searching for Made in Italy Pioneers: Slide and its HT Furniture

Slide is today's company Andrea and Alberto cover in "Open for Innovation"



The association RENA has started his program “Pionieri”, aimed at seeking for examples of pioneering positive examples, who can guide Italy towards new endless frontier.

The logo of the "Hunt for Pioneers" initiative started by RENA

One of the leaders of the association, and President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of CNA, Andrea di Benedetto claims in a recent interview for La Stampa that pioneers are “the only hope” that will guide Italy out of decline.

Let me say that I agree only in part with Andrea, and that SCIENCE remains my favorite endless frontier, as Vannevar Bush (Director of the NSF), suggested in one of my all-times-favorite speeches (1) back in  1945. Scientists are my favorite pioneers.

Still, today in La Repubblica  we feature the story of Giuseppe and Marco Colonna Romano, from Slide, pioneering their own way through the traditional industry of furniture.

Giuseppe and Marco Colonna Romano: father and son running Slide

In our article, we suggest that pioneers can be extremely relevant even in low tech industries, as they can introduce incremental but rather disruptive innovations. If they are able to modify their business models accordingly, they are likely to have a deep impact in their industry… even low-tech sectors: actually especially in these sectors, as a research by Rajshree Agarwal and  David Audretsch (2) tended to suggest.

The Globo lamp, one of the most successful products by Slide




(1) Bush, Vannevar. “Science: The endless frontier.” Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science (1903) (1945): 231-264.

(2) Agarwal, Rajshree, and David B. Audretsch. “Does entry size matter? The impact of the life cycle and technology on firm survival.” The Journal of Industrial Economics 49.1 (2003): 21-43.