Two friends, an irresistible shared passion for electronics linking them from adolescence, their dream of creating a company capable of planning and making innovative products: that's how SECO began, in a garage in an Italian province.
Initiative, creativity and determination were characteristics that Luciano Secciani and Daniele Conti – the company's two founders – shared as teenagers, and went on to play an important part in their entrepreneurial success story.
I remember, with a touch of nostalgia – Daniele Conti comment in an interview - the period when we were high school students, and were desperate to make a little extra money on the side. We invented all kinds of jobs and things, like when we assembled an electronic kit for starting cars, which we sold to a mechanic in our city.
Inventiveness and a sharp eye for market demand, plus the desire to continue collaborating with each other: from the first experimental electronic systems of their teens to the foundation of SECO, it was a short step indeed.
We didn't have a very clear idea of exactly what we wanted to do at the beginning – remembers Conti – but in the end we decided to open an electronics workshop. We were still incredibly young, and we didn't have any savings... so we were only able to make our dream come true thanks to our parents' help. With a tiny initial capital, a boundless enthusiasm and pinch of recklessness typical of that age, we set off, from that little provincial garage, on our grand adventure, founding SECO s.n.c, a co-partnership company.
Initial worries, doubts and perplexities failed to discourage Luciano and Daniele, and drawing on all their grit, passion and willpower they began getting work on subcontracted orders from companies making machinery for goldsmiths in the Arezzo area.
We began designing some little systems for use in equipment for goldsmiths, and from there we went on to designing and building generators for galvanic baths and piece counters for machines that assembled gold and silver chains. Before long we managed to also become specialists in producing other kinds of systems and broadened our know-how to take in the fields of gaming and transport.
But although reasonably profitable, subcontracted activities were not exactly what the two young men had dreamed of, especially at a time when the fashion for personal computers was exploding: they realized that demand and success were going to come from a very different direction:
we got the crazy idea of producing our very own PC. We decided to present it at SMAU, the most important Italian trade show for new technologies, and we won second prize for the year's most innovative product.
But the history of SECO took another crucial turn when we decided to transfer the technology of the PC x86 to the field of designing machinery for industrial use: this led to the world's first industrial PC in Euro card format (IPC), and this was soon followed by cards and other components.
It was half way through the 1980s, and SECO was preparing itself to become one of the world's benchmark companies for the design and production of embedded systems.
From the creation of that first PC until today, the history of SECO is made up of a series of important achievements connected with the market launches of particularly innovative products and solutions.
Before the 1990s had even begun, for example, SECO launched its first personal computers, immediately attracting praise and prizes, including the SMAU "Best Design" award in 1989. This success was followed in 1999 by the first all-in-one PC, Ellipse, and then by a whole sequence of others.
Over thirty years have passed since Daniele and Luciano's beginnings in that provincial garage. In that time, their dream of creating something of their own which would give rein to their creativity has turned into a major dynamically innovative company which, thanks to its growth and development, is an ideal partner for all companies with a high-tech core-business.