Interview with Pablo Laurino

By the editorial board

We talk to Pablo Laurino from publica.la, who gives us an insight into the benefits of this platform for publishing. q

How long has been publica.la active?

publica.la has been doing business for almost 2 years, right now more than 300 libraries have been created with more than 5.000 publications that have been read by more than 80.000 users.

How did the SaaS world catch your attention?

I believe Software as a Service (SaaS) is the best model, not only because of its ease of use, anyone can have access to amazing technology without worrying about infrastructure, installations, etc.

But also because through SaaS you can deliver the best experience on a daily basis, we at publica.la are always rolling out new cool features to help our customers and their users to succeed. The only way we can do that is through a SaaS model where we focus on scalability to offer an affordable and sustainable solution for publishers.

I come from the Publishing Industry, but I also come from the Digital / Internet world, so I know the quality, the ease of use and the availability of SaaS products can’t be beaten. So, having developed a SaaS solution it’s natural for us.

How did you come up with this idea?

I personally faced the problem that publica.la is solving: How to make Digital Publishing sustainable and profitable for Publishers? If you think about the current model, where third party platforms act as the middleman between Content Creators and Content Consumers and where those platforms take around 40 to 60% of each Publisher’s revenue, and even worse they keep the user for themselves, you can realize how hard it is for any Publisher to actually make money and grow their readership with Digital Publishing.

I faced that same problem when I was exploring how to reach a wider audience for one of the biggest indie magazines in Argentina, and it was there when I thought the only real solution would be something we can completely control and something that at the same time was flexible enough to let us build the relationship with our customers and offer different sales modes as we please. That’s when I found out there was no solution available in the market so I decided to create the first early version of what a year later became publica.la, a solution created by the industry and now available worldwide in 4 languages.

What did you work as previously?

Before creating publica.la, I worked for many years in the Publishing Industry in marketing positions. I’ve worked in different companies like Grupo Clarín, book Publishers from Spain like Grupo SM or smaller publishers from Argentina.

After working in the Publishing Industry I started to work as an Online Marketing Manager in software startups from Argentina and the United States.

Having experience in both worlds allows me to deeply understand the Publishing Industry, its desires and needs, and at the same time to offer an innovative solution 100% based on technology that can help Publishers to take that so-needed step forward.

What has been your major learning or challenge as entrepreneur?

I heard once Sam Altman (President @ Y Combinator) saying that “the hardest part of starting a company is the amount and the frequency of bad thing that happen to you”. I found that particularly accurate with the begging of publica.la, as a complete new solution it was hard to go out and talk with Publishers and tell them “you know what? You’ve done this for many years, but here’s this new and amazing opportunity where you can sell your content directly and make more money!” you’d be surprised by the amount of Publishers that didn’t thought they “can sell their content directly” , so it took us time to talk with them and walk with them on some ways they can actually improve their online sales.