Paulo Orione was the co-founder of Decora, a 3D visualization and augmented reality tech startup. In 2018, Decora was acquired by CreativeDrive for more than US$100M. In 2020, CreativeDrive was acquired by Accenture. Now that Paulo has left the company he founded almost 9 years ago, we're going to talk to him about his trajectory so far and his next steps.
In this episode, I asked him:
- When you were a kid, you didn't like school. Yet, your father encouraged you to read, and you became an avid reader ever since. So much so that at college you were kicked out of the classroom because you were reading during the class. How did reading make you embark on your entrepreneurial journey?
- You decided to build a company during college. Back then, you didn't even know which kind of company you wanted to build. Were you ever afraid of embarking on this journey instead of getting a job in a corporation instead, for instance?
- Your father was an important figure you modeled yourself around. How did he help or influence you when you were founding Decora?
- You founded Decora when you were 19, so you never had a formal job. You learned most of what you knew about building a business from books. How was the process of figuring out what to do in your first days?
- The original idea for Decora was to build a B2C marketplace of interior design projects. After trying to validate it, you realized the model wasn't right, so you pivoted to a B2B company that provided 3D modeling for retailers such as Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and Tok&Stok. How did you manage to keep a small ego and avoid getting too attached to the original idea?
- After pivoting Decora, you started to grow fast. And growing brings pain. Which were some of the pains you faced as an entrepreneur during this time?
- You and I are both interested in Stoicism. When did you start to study it?
- In 2017, you realized that remote workers are just as productive as office employees, and you started to hire all around the globe. Fast forward to 2020, everyone realized the same. What are some other truths about life and business that you grasped before most people?
- How was the moment you realized it was time to sell Decora?
- After selling Decora, you became an executive at CreativeDrive. How was the process of transitioning out of the business you founded?
- Did you change something in your personal life after selling Decora? Did you start to work fewer hours, or dedicate more time to hobbies, for instance?
- Which books helped you the most to get where you are?
- What's next for you outside of companies. What are you going to change in your personal life?
- Now that Accenture acquired CreativeDrive and you left it, what are your plans for the future?