There was a precise moment that changed Federico Pistono’s work life forever. After learning of Steve Jobs’ death in 2011, he reflected on the scope of the Apple founder’s impact and asked himself, ‘What is my legacy? What have I achieved and contributed to the planet’.
“So I decided to quit my job and never work for anybody again. That just wasn’t the life I was aiming for, and I hadn’t been satisfied with my job for a long time.”
Initially, Federico was to become a creative filmmaker but got pushed into running the technical team, which was part of his dissatisfaction at work. However, being a young Italian, he knew he was lucky to be employed at all. At that time, youth unemployment in Italy was as high as 50%, which was no wonder his family and friends thought he was insane to quit. Consequently, he made a lot of enemies. Six years later, he now owns two companies and runs a TV show focused on technology’s impact on society. As an entrepreneur, he chooses the work he wants to do, always valuing the need and benefit of the work in which he participates.In his book, Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: How to Survive The Economic Collapse and Be Happy, Federico argues how technology has pushed humanity to the next level.
“To me, technology is a positive thing. It is making things easier, faster, better and has allowed humans to triple our life expectancy. Now, people can generally work less, and because of that, quality of life is — in most parts of the world — better than ever before.”
Still, Federico believes that technology can go both ways, positive or negative, depending on how we use it. At this juncture, he sees an urgent need for a social contract and related political discussions. He is currently working on a so-called ‘ethical manifesto,’ a collection of regulations and rules for a more technologically just world with the corresponding laws that would assure technology’s correct usage. He wants technology to be used rationally and responsibly by every company and individual.Whatever Federico endeavors, he always seems to be a step ahead of everyone else. As he puts it, some are born curious; some aren’t.
“It’s like a fire. If you have the spark, you just need the fuel to get going. If you lack the spark, you won’t be able to get the fire going at all.”