Wherever you are on your life journey, in highs or lows, take a moment to pause and feel.
Technically, any scientist could easily prove to us that we are insignificant in this universe. So why not try? Why not dare going beyond our limits?
It all started when...
I hope one day I will be able to explain what Nunc really means to me. But one night I took the time to pause and feel. And it hit me: it became a beautifully complicated, incredibly simple painting where every dot in my life was connected.
And it all made sense. I mean: perfect sense.
- The circle
- The absurd
- The paradox
- The black and the white
- The infinite, from small to big and then to small again
- Time. And life
It was all there, on a piece of paper, all those dots reconnecting. It was beautiful, although no somber mind would be able to make any sense out of it. But to me it represented the whole universe.
Johanna called it Nunc.
And it made so perfect sense, again.
Was it random?
I don’t think so. It is all perfectly assembled.
Some people will call it fashion. You can call it what you want, but it’s all in there. It has so much behind it. It’s the whole universe. Me right now while I write, what I see and what I feel. The minute is the hour. The night. The day. The minute is life. It’s the ability to dilate time, to be so incredibly here and now. Hic et nunc. And Johanna had it all figured out that afternoon when she proposed the name!
The first reaction?
Of course, most people would have thought that name was crazy. Nunc. It doesn’t make sense from any marketing point of view. People will mispronounce it, it’s difficult to remember. It even sounds ugly. But that's where the genius is, she gave the best answer of all (of course) when she explained what it meant, the Swedish and Italic association, the Nordic sound, the Latin name. She even said it could sound like a new mantra. She didn’t even know about Horace, but it all made sense. Then I connected my own dots, it was a beautiful and fantastic feeling.
We did not know of each other’s journeys and we met there, between her beautiful explanation and my feeling of missing Horace in my life, the stoics and philosophy. And boom! I fell in love with it, and who cares if people won’t be able to pronounce it! It’s beautiful, it has meaning, it is when we connect our dots.
And there I am talking about connecting the dots.
Yes. Another dot on the journey, Andrea. Genius Andrea.
I ask him one night, out of the blue, can you help me out with this new idea? He says of course, I can help you to draw your ‘NOWatch’. And what does he do? He draws it, and it’s beautiful. But what's really important is: he stays up all night the night of Valentine’s, not only drawing the product I asked him to draw, but he goes way beyond, and he suggests these three symbols.
Well, they felt right straight away. Yes! Yes, of course! But there is something missing, the names should be slightly different! We change them slightly, and there you go again. The dots. We managed to connect the dots!
Those three symbols go back to Taoism, my other big passion in high school! I look it up. It is called Neidan, or Inner Alchemy. He came up with that…randomly! And there were 3,000 years of wisdom represented in those 3 symbols. It is physical, mental, and spiritual energy! Focus, Relax, Connect! Again without knowing it, he just felt it. He invented them. And my god it made sense!
That's it, that's what will resolve the biggest disease in the world, ‘the i-Disease’, the need to self-rediscovery and self-empowerment: but we come back to this later.
Meanwhile, Emmet and I put all the pieces together.
For months, we keep a dialogue open on Whatsapp coming up with what we think are "great ideas all the time". It was such a stimulating journey. The best of my life.
So that was it.
The genius of Johanna, the Genius of Andrea - and then me and Emmet putting the pieces together. I put the crazy mind, he puts the awesome brain. And there it is. Nunc. It is perfect. It could have never made more sense, all the way back to the night in Berlin, and before that, the night in Amsterdam - but we will get back to that later: that's where it all (re)started - the black and the white, the past and the future, the present, the circle, the Tao.
So back to the story (because we always have to close the circles that we open).
I make the first call. And I make it to the guy that “I know he knows”. Riccardo.
He is the best. The most genuine person I know: humble, smart and just great. I tell him about this crazy idea of mine. And (wait for it) he gets it! He gets it! And trust me: I am really bad at selling myself. But his brain also goes well beyond my words and sees meaning in blankness. Just like the first other four people on board, he has both a brilliant brain and, what is even more important, he has depth of thought. So he is on-board, before I even realized we needed someone new just like him!
Boom! This incredible, insane, crazy, great team was born. And it is a lot of love. So much love. Different journeys brought us here, some I know since I was born (Andrea), some I met the same day the idea was born (Johanna). Soon Matteo, Alberto, Roberto will jump on board as well, all driven by something bigger, deep and personal.
But isn't this as incredible as it can be on its own? Bringing this fantastic people together in creating something so much bigger than ourselves? Let me tell you what I think: it is. It is incredible, so powerful and inspiring. Everyone is so incredibly special. And that's why, when I really take the time, when I am present and think about it, there is no way in the universe why Nunc should fail.
It has to work. Because this is not work for us. This is love, and passion, and purpose.
We are creating something bigger than ourselves for ourselves (we all need to be the best version of ourselves), but what's more important, we are doing it to change the world. We have to change the world. It's not a question. We could have not been brought together so randomly if not to create something that will make this planet a better place to be. Even if just a tiny bit.
It's all about purpose and meaning
We need to help ourselves first, find ourselves, to then be able to help others.
Let's make this very concrete and let's sell this fantastic product called Nunc that means the universe. We might even make money out of it, and make the superficial world proud of us for that. But who cares about money? I don’t. And I know you don’t either. We care about making something meaningful, bringing something to life that has to survive time, and go beyond. It’s not a product, Nunc is a philosophy. The same philosophy that brought us together. Let's use this fantastic power to make a lasting impact on others.
Some months ago Andrea and I were playing around, trying to define what success would mean. I had my excel file open, and I started to throw numbers: 2,000 pieces sold the first year would be successful. No, 3,000!
Then Andrea stopped me and said. That’s not it. We can’t define success like this.
How about this: success is, if anyone of us will meet a stranger wearing a Nunc, on a street, randomly. We will ask him or her why she is wearing it. If she will get it, if Nunc will have an impact on even just one person, if it will trigger some random person’s own journey. That will be success.
That was it. Again. Wow, I thought. That taught me a lesson.
Don’t think about the numbers, numbers will come if you don’t think about them.
Let's soon start a foundation, I say. Don't worry, numbers will come. But let's use the excessive money to help others: my god some people could make use of our talents. Let's start this foundation, let's go around the world helping people live their now! Not just our now, not just the now of the people able to afford a Nunc. But let’s also and first of all help others, no matter what’s their life situation.
Ok, I think I have been writing maybe too much, but god if I could only express what I feel.
(Which by the way goes back to how I started, which again, proves the point that we always have to close our circles, which brings back to how Nunc was created, the circle, which by the way brings me back to remembering how everything is relative, which by the way bring me back to the idea of the universe, which by the way brings me back to the idea of the dots on the painting, which was a parenthesis that I opened and I will need now to close.)
That table on the paper is like a painting, to me, that I have perfectly clear in my head. It's like an amazing painting that has so much behind it that I could write for another 4 hours straight, but I think at this point you are too tired of reading this, so I may not do it.
Ok. I will do it anyways. I can't resist.
Because to me that’s art and art needs to be shared, even if it seems crazy.
Especially if it seems crazy. It's a painting that I have drawn, and it contains the infinite, the concept of infinite: a drawing in a drawing in a drawing (and the first drawing is a drawing in itself and it is the 'i' painting, to represent the 'i-disease’). So this painting depicts the universe in a very unusual way (unusual for the vast majority of the poeple, because to the somber mind it doesn't make any sense in the world, I have to admit, but to me - it does).
It does make sense.
If anything, it makes too much sense to be true, it's the moment when I managed to represent how the universe works for me (well, only according to me, everyone has its own understanding). But to me, it makes the most sense in the universe. Well, it is the universe. Which, by the way, if you notice in the picture, it all leads back to… yes, to Nunc. The whole description of the universe goes back to Nunc (which is all I have been talking about). It means that Nunc, to me, is a way to explain the universe.
Well, to me Nunc is the meaning of universe in itself.
Yes. You noticed it. Then you have the Mountain. Yes, the symbol. On which we have discussed quite a bit. I cannot really explain it. I am not good with words. But inside of me, phuuuf - it makes me feel something. Just like when Johanna came up with the name for Nunc, that Mountain! It made perfect sense again. Like: perfect! But how can I explain it so that it makes sense? Well. It's a mountain to start with. It’s ascension, it’s the earth and the sky. It’s spirituality. It is open for interpretations. And yes, Johanna failed us again just like she did when she came up with Nunc: from a marketing perspective, it doesn't make any sense. Too complex. But you know what? Who cares about marketing! Who cares?!
With both Nunc and the Mountain she was up to something bigger.
Johanna is not bringing up marketing. She is bringing up Art. And meaning. And those two things had all of the things I am writing now - behind it. I could feel it. But I couldn't explain it. Johanna brought back from deep beneath Art, she represented all that I was also feeling, and she gave them shapes. And letters. And sounds.
Wow. That is Nunc. That is our journey.
Yes, on the product’s booklet we can only say something like "the journey that brought to the creation of Nunc was extraordinary" but then again: how can we all explain how deep, really, that journey was? I can't! Oh well, I am sort of trying now. To explain my own journey before you explain your own. But the journey is deep. Challenge is? How to bring it up to surface so that people can grasp it? How can we sell Nunc so that we can really achieve our mission!? Hard to say. I don't have an answer.
Somehow, we need to be able to bring all of our journey to life for everyone to see!
Everyone has to see, because if they get what that really means...Nunc can change the world!
Let’s not care about what some people will say. This is Nunc. It is working for me, it is working for us. I am having an extremely deep experience, and I feel so good, so present. And this is because of Nunc. So people must know!
Anyways, I really think I am starting to sound repetitive, but I hope you can get at least a part of what is happening inside my brain right now.
It all goes back to the high school years.
Yes, so here it comes some more. Sorry, but I need to get this out. I haven't been writing in years!
Yes, let's go back to high school. That's when it all sort of started. I was lame, let's face it.
All I did, literally, was to talk about politics and read literature & philosophy. That was it. I was trying to find an explanation for the world, the universe, where I was and why, why all this? I was going crazy, my brain made me suffer. It was tough. But at the same time it was so beautiful, I could go through spaces that wow, I could not explain.
It made me suffer though. I suffered a lot. Not being able to answer the big ‘why’ questions of life for a person like me that always wanted to know, and know, and know!?
It was killing me, there was no way out. And then it came.
When I was younger I wanted to become a war journalist, or maybe work in the UN and have an impact on the world. Definitely I wanted to write books, no matter what. So that year it came. I knew I had to be fluent in English in order to become a war journalist (Guido told me that a few years back in Eritrea). And one day I saw it, hanging on the wall. “Spend a high school year in the USA”. Wow, I said. That's what I need to do in order to really learn English and become a war journalist.
But how can I ask my parents? It is a lot of money to ask for.
Well, I mention it one day, softly. And all I hear is yes! Absolutely, go! That’s my father, who was still a factory worker, telling me to go, money would not be a problem. Wow. What parents can do. So I go, I go to the States. And something happens. I stop wandering with my head in the universe and I am brought back to earth: I don’t ask myself “why do I live in this universe?”, but rather I start thinking about concrete things: "I miss my family, I miss my friends!" Somehow, that Michael (the one that lived the "black" life, in shade) becomes very concrete. Feet back on the earth. And there it starts the new phase, somehow, the "white" phase. I learn English, and I want to nourish it. I take the only university course I know in Italy that teaches in English. It’s a private business school in Milan. It costs a lot of money. Too much to ask my parents. My dad, again, says: Yes, of course! We will manage. Wow. So I go. And I buy my first white shirt (since I was 12, when I read No Logo, I decided not to even wear Nike).
So the first white shirt comes in. And it hits me. God it hit me.
I become normal. I start to be different. White shirts. Milan. Parties. Good grades. So I start to dream of the big life: owning an expensive car, a house. In reality, all I really want is to show to the world that I made it. I made it according to their standards. My parents worked so hard for me to make it. I will make it and shut up everybody in the superficial world. But honestly, it was fun. I liked it. It was all a game, and I was good at it. I started to drink, to go out. Yes. I loved it. And then it goes on and on: me traveling the world, my parents paying for it. My mom even starts to work as a factory worker. She looked terrible that day when I went to visit her in the factory. I was coming back from Milan, I was wearing my white shirt and then I see her.
She is wearing blue factory clothes, and she is full of oil.
Her beautiful blonde hair also with black spots of oil. And god it felt bad. She is the most amazing person in the whole universe and she was dirty, working to make sure I would chase bigger opportunities. My parents. My god I love them so much.
So I had to make it.
I had to make them proud! And how do you show that? Well, with money my friend. Get rich. Get a well paid job. The neighbors will envy you. People will praise your accomplishments. So I go on. I get into BCG, an incredibly good day. That was the first day I knew I could make my parents proud. It is not that everybody makes it in BCG. I did it, dad! I did it, mom! And there it goes again, life gets miserable. I work way too hard. Work and success becomes everything. Many things I had lived in that light age after the US, all of a sudden so shallow. I was living the white part of my life, with a great job, and I realized I was missing the black, I was missing that crazy 16 year old that read philosophy and wanted to change the world.
He wasn't an ugly nerd! He was cool. I want him back. And that is what happened in Berlin. I brought back the two aspects of my past (the black and the white), and realized what my future was supposed to be (the union of the black and the white)! That night I found my purpose.
That's when Nunc was born, to me. I had no idea it would be called Nunc.
I didn’t even know it would be a timepiece. I got to know the reason why I was born: it was to go through these two phases of my life, live both of them to the fullest. All black or all white. Until at some point, and Berlin was that point, I would be able to bring them together in a cohesive manner. Bring back the love for arts and philosophy while keeping up the comforts of the light world – which, don’t get me wrong, I also like. That night I called it art. I knew the solution was in Arts. I wanted to write a book, maybe a painting. And then it stroke me: I had the perfect painting in my head, it was perfect, I saw it all so clearly. Then I started talking about a book. Anyways, the present moment faded away. That night I found myself, but the days after I had to make all that easy to communicate to others (words, my biggest problem).
Something I would not be able to do. Until that point. In Denmark.
And here you all know the story, of the key to the hotel room that looks like a watch, but it's blank. And while talking to some colleagues, boom: it happened! I started to shiver, I had it. I had to go back to my room for how excited I was. That was it. It's a watch that doesn't tell the time (I know I shouldn't call it that). It helped me, just there and now – it made me realize I am not present, I am living someone else’s life. I realized it when I looked at that blank face of that 'watch', and it helped me in the weeks after: but how can it now help many other people like me? Of course it could: I just had to do a good marketing. Again, communication. My biggest problem.
Yes, the “white” marketing would help the “black” philosophy come back to life...
...in a beautiful product, representation of that journey - my own philosophy, everyone's journey. It was all there. It could not make more sense. Wow. And of course what happens?
When you open yourself up for opportunities, opportunities come to you!
So for the first time in a long time I go out for dinner with friends. Yes, I mention it slightly, almost embarrassed to talk about such a non-sense idea. And: Boom! Emmet gets it! "Hello, my name is Johanna"... We never met before, but just a few minutes and: she also gets it! Wow. This is something. The whole night we don't speak about anything else, the days after? The Whatsapp chat with Emmet goes crazy in ideas! "Hey Johanna? This is Michael from the dinner the other night...if we actually do this, would you be on board?" "Of course I would" she wrote.
Wow. This can really happen. This has to happen! This will happen.
Phone Andrea. Photoshop some pictures. "I got so excited about this that I started to think beyond what you asked me, and I thought of these three symbols". Yes, the rest becomes repetitive, but here it was.
Yes, this is a way to explain to you what Nunc means to me.
As I hope you were able to realize, it means a lot. As a matter of fact, it literally means my whole life. Everything is behind it. When on the booklet we say that behind every single detail lies something deeper and symbolic, this is what that means to me.
It's not a lie! There is no other brand I can think of that can be more authentic than us.
Let's not forget that in our everyday work for Nunc, we are up to something bigger and we have the moral duty to make this happen and to make this big. For ourselves and for those people that still need to connect their own dots. It will be big, I know it will, but let's not compromise. In everything we do, let's go bold knowing that what drives us is much more than marketing, it’s much more than a product: it is meaning and purpose. When people will really get it, then numbers are not going to be a problem. Let's be bold and let's dare.
Let's go out there and do those things that other people teach us we shouldn't do.
It will make us bold. It will make us brave. Authentic. And that's who we are, authentic. As authentic as a brand can be. Let's do something good for this world! And I don’t talk about nature, that's much bigger than ourselves. Let's do something for the people, people like us, and people very different from us. So much is the power we can generate. If we believe in it. I have so many ideas right now that I would just like to paint, or take notes, or at least I wish that my hand could write nearly half as fast as my brain is spinning right now.
Yes, by the way. There’s another thing I mentioned in the beginning.
We need a cure to the world's biggest disease, the 'i-Disease' as Miche called it. The ‘I’ stands both for industrial and for I /ai/ the singular person in English (what we used to refer to as Ego). It is a disease that makes us all run towards something we don't truly care about. The industrial revolution started it. The current ‘connected’ society is spreading it.
In this crazy rat race, taking the time to sit back and be, realize all that it is, becomes a challenge. People are missing purpose. I myself have this disease. And Nunc is helping me. This very text is the proof. Expand the moment. Carpe diem! Carpe Diem.
I think I might have spent enough words trying to explain how much all this means to me. Yes, some self-irony never hurts. You guys, and Nunc. As Emmet and I were joking earlier: we really are defining a new industry. Is it called Fashion? Well, partly. But I think our industry is really that of "Fashion & Philosophy". We define new boundaries, we play with the limits.
Because we don't care about limits.
Or better, we know that limits don't matter in the bigger picture of things.
I mean, think about it: extract yourself for a second from your mind and body, zoom out 1,000,000,000 km. Do you see that? Well, no, you don't. That's the earth, that you should see. Yes, you live on that tiny spot. Yes, the one you can't see, it's too distant. But yes, somewhere there is your little person and your big mind. And now ask yourself: does it really matter if you fail at something? If you decide to go bold with Nunc and fail? Will it? No. You will die one day, remember (Memento Mori, said the Stoics). And one thing I am sure of, you don't want to live with regrets once you get to that point.
Is it really worth saying: I should have pushed more?
It would have been so great if? No, it isn’t. So let's not forget about the perspective of things (our tiny lives on this universe of space and time).
Technically, any scientist could easily prove to us that we are insignificant.
So why not try?
Why not go big on this one and say, for god’s sake: yes! I will flirt with the concept of limit and will go so much bigger, bigger than I ever thought I would be capable of? One day I will be dead! So yes, do it for god’s sake. Take the risk and roll that ball. It will expand our life to the infinity and back if we do. And if we fail, our scientifically proven insignificant life will perish anyways, blown in the wind of ashes, or reconnecting with the ground.
So let's live and so let's do this to the fullest.
Nunc, for god’s sake! It's so beautiful. Nunc.
Take your time. And listen.