Today I'm leaving Google. Brave or stupid?

  I never thought I could write a post like this. Today it’s my last day of a 3-month “sabbatical” (fancy for “unpaid leave”) from Google and I have decided it’s time for me to move on.

It’s always sweet to have a break.
In my case, I wouldn’t exactly call it a relaxing time. Here are some of the things that kept me busy in the last 3 months:
for starters, I trained for and completed my first triathlon (that I finished in less than 3 hours, should I add?? :-)).
I traveled to Europe 3 times, spent time in Madrid, London, Rome,  Milan and the Alps (in addition to a sweet family vacation…).

As far as meeting with “policy makers”, I had a memorable handshake with the Prince of Spain (and man, what a grip!), met the Italian minister of development (twice), the former head of the European Central Bank, the mayor of Rome and a bunch of unnamed but very relevant people (including my folks…).

I mentored 8 startups at SeedCamp Week in London, helped organize the first Techcrunch Italy, with the Techcrunch folks in Rome (+1200 other people), discussed term sheets with 15 startups and invested in 3.  I set up a seed venture capital fund, which has had 2 closings of funding.  And I joined the international board of a top EU business school fund.

Crazy fun, although not exactly a time of reflection.

Today, I wrote my resignation letter from Google. I’ll be managing full time the MTS fund to invest in early stage startups.
7 years, 3 months and 27 days, to be exact.
During my time at Google, I had 2 children, traveled the entire Latin American continent multiple times,  purchased my first house, built a home in this new country, and enjoyed a sense of belonging as I never experienced before.

They say a Googler is for life. In my case, I mean it. I owe everything to this company: my credibility, my professional development, an healthy disregard for the impossible.
The conviction that a business can be at the same time highly profitable, fun and based on strong ethical grounds.
Working at Google is like a drug. It open doors, attracts interest, curiosity, often envy.
When, at passport control, I say the magic word, no other questions are asked. The hundreds stamps on my passport make total sense.

I believe I’m no fetishist. However, in the last few days I can’t stop thinking of Google as a woman: a beautiful, crazy attractive, smart,  open minded woman. And in this intricate relationship, I feel like back in the teen-age years, confronted with the terrible option of having to drop that voluptuous woman. You like her, but you feel like you’ll drown in this relationship, with you … and 40 thousand other people.

However, the reason why I’ve decided to cut the confortable umbilical cord lies in the very lesson I’ve learned there. Make a difference, be true to yourself, and try to have fun.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a difference… but jumping with no parachute definitely feels freaking breathless.



  • Linus

    have a great new adventure… just pick strong companions with you 😉

  • Max


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    Dear Marco, you rock: no questions! #respect

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    Daje 🙂

  • Linus

    wait, I just realized there’s an open position at big G 😉

  • Maria Claudia

    Thanks for this beautiful story and for the inspiration, Maria Claudia

  • hubert

    I miei migliori auguri per il tuo “lancio”, sono sicuro che hai in mente progetti grandiosi per il tuo futuro, per te e per la tua famiglia. Bello il paragone con Google e un donna. Probabilmente ti sei innamorato ancora…… Un abbraccio grande, i miei migliori sentimenti per i tuoi desideri.

  • domenico

    “ben fatto” , non ci si poteva aspettare niente di diverso da chi da anni esorta gli altri a “rischiare” 😉 in bocca al lupo

  • Alessio Artuffo

    Marco – that was quite a great post. I originally thought that skydiving was gonna be flippin scary, but this sounds even much better with no parachute 😉 As you know well, what’s really dangerous is not to evolve and stay stuck in a moment, reason why I wish the best for you in the next moves you’ll take – A.

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    In bocca al lupo Marco!

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    I appreciated this post. Good luck Marco. I’d like to know the companies you invested in…;-)

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    Definitely inspiring…thank you so much!

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    How cool is that? Ottavia

  • christian

    Grande Marco. I love the drug analogy and it is true, Google is highly addictive. We are Googler for life and that’s why we cannot stop. We have to move forward to breathe. No parachute? I said “parachute on my back … not opened yet… but you know you have a parachute on your back too!”

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    Siempre adelante Marco! Vamos!!! Super!! … cada segundo de experiencia en nuestras vidas, sobretodo de tanta vida real, nos permiten de apreciar nuestro pasado para crearnos los proximos anos! Un abrazo

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