A few weeks ago, a new cookie policy has been introduced in Italy. Panic spread on the Internet. Italian web designers have been driven crazy to understand how to comply with the new law. For weeks and weeks, the debate went on and many different interpretations of the law were discussed publicly on Facebook groups, Twitter chats, forums and so on.

In this jungle, a startup arose: Iubenda.

Iubenda offers a service that consists in a lawyer-crafted, self-updating and international privacy policy generator for websites. When the new cookie law has been introduced, Iubenda participated to a inter-association committee that was nominated as a technical advisor by the Government. That’s why the Internet community took Iubenda as a light in the dark.

Of course, this situation created a partly unexpected new peak of workload for the startup. Iubenda’s team seems to have handled it well. So here is a small interview with Andrea Giannangelo, Chairman of the startup, to understand how they made it survive this high and new peak of workload. We hope you will find in it useful advice for your startup too.

Q. What happened on the “Cookie Day”?
A. We knew we were about to have a high peak of workload. But we didn’t quantify it well. We had to deal with a workload equal to 10 times the normal quantity. Consider that we have a great backlog of work that has still to be done..

Q. How did you redefine the team?
A. With hindsight, we would have hired 10 new people in April. Of course, we couldn’t afford it both in terms of money and time. When you hire a new person, you have to allocate time for the training. We didn’t have so much time. So we decided to hire full time all our collaborators. It was the easiest solution.

Q. What’s your advice for all the startups that might find themselves in the same situation?
A. I have two. First: try to quantify the workload in advance. If you can quantify it, you can plan how to execute it. Second: be prepared to accept defeats. You have to be able to define priorities and be ready to accept not to achieve perfection always. We would have loved to activate the live chat for customer care one month before the introduction of the cookie law. But we had to give up. We couldn’t afford it. We didn’t have enough people to provide real time answers on the chat. That’s why we decided to suspend it and think about something else to assist our customers…

Q. How did you solve this problem?
A. We decided to use a tool we’ve never used before: webinars. With webinars we have been able to reach hundreds of people allocating just a few hours of work. First, we explained the law and how our solution works. Then, we left half an hour for questions and answers. It was a success. We run webinars with more than 800 people together connected.

 

photo credit: Workload via photopin (license)