Antonio has been an advisor to Twitter, one of the first product managers on Facebook’s ad team, and the CEO & Founder of AdGrok (a venture-backed AdTech startup that participated in Y Combinator and was later acquired by Twitter). He started his career when leaving his PhD in Physics program at UC Berkeley to join Goldman Sachs as a strategist until the financial crisis hit and his rollercoaster career in the startup world began that he describes himself to be ‘completely typical’ for the Silicon Valley.
In this interview, Antonio covers a lot of ground on ‘everything startup’. He makes a deep dive and talks about what the culture in Silicon Valley’s is actually like, what makes Facebook special as a company, the reality of breakthrough ideas, and why he thinks the increasing automatization that gets accelerated by tech startups is a major threat to society. Lastly, he also gives advice on how European startup founders can increase their chances to make it into the famous Y Combinator accelerator program.