-Good evening, everyone! -I’m about to get a microphone on. Great. I’m learning Romanian now, but not enough to make a presentation in it, but I’ll try to understand you. If not, don’t mind me, I’ll answer you in Russian. I want to thank you for your patience, it’s been a bit long. I want to make today’s last presentation more relaxed, more light, so that you could have a rest and get ready for going to sleep. So today I’m not going to do the classic on-screen presentation. Today I will make an offline presentation, I will show you how you can tell the story of the company in a different way.
I want to thank Roman, the previous speaker, who said great things about no clichés for successful people. I was listening to him and I thought, it’s definitely not about me too. And I will bring the presentation, it’s not with me, it’s too heavy.
I want to ask somebody from my team to come over and help me get it up. I’m a runner, not a weightlifter.
Okay. The lid’s not holding. We’re gonna make it hold.
It’s a briefcase that contains things I associate with success, with success in my life.
I will tell you a few stories, stories from my life, my company, which may give you an idea of how things developed and how they turned out.
Story 1. It’s called a coat. Here I have here is a coat. I will put it on now so that it would be more natural, this is the year 96 in Kishinev. Cold November. I got a coat from Floresti, but it was very thin and cold, but I couldn’t afford anything else. In this coat, I walked around town and looked for my first client. I may have chosen the wrong format. I made a commercial for some abstract product. “You can’t look inside, there’s a lot of interesting stuff. Come on, think about it, we never give up.” I made a tape of it, I put it in my pocket and I went around town looking for clients. I was doing 3D graphics at the time, I studied 3D graphics, I made the reel. It was back then in ’97 and not many people understood what it is. And to talk about himself, you had to go to all the business centers, to get the tape and say, look what I am a talented young man. I can make you inexpensive, almost for the food to make commercials. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy in this coat and tape, which usually you could not even shove anywhere. And they gave me the back-and-forth. Days, weeks, months went by like that; I changed districts and got the same answer everywhere. Until one morning in February I was walking along the TV Center and saw a big building in the park where I was walking. With the tape, shaking with cold, I said: “Guys, you are not interested in computer graphics?
They said: “And we’re looking for a contractor who would have made us a computer screen saver. We’re working with pnp, but they are so expensive, so we’re looking for some young novice 3D-ca, which can make us something inexpensive.
I said, “Hallelujah.”
It was a Sun-TV company. That’s how I got my first job, which I actually did for food. And from then on, my career as a computer artist began. We do commercials of a different quality now. Back then it was a masterpiece. And I used that money to buy myself a new coat, and that’s the story. Since then I no longer froze, which is not unimportant.
Next, moving on with the story.
The next story is called the light bulb.
Here’s a great light bulb that was screwed in my apartment. It was 2003 when Simpals company was created and it was working with great pauses, our it department was engaged in 999, there were web-sites, forum.md was already. But it didn’t bring in money unfortunately, it was a know-how. Moldova did not understand why they needed sites, why pay for banners that not everyone sees yet. Thus, Simpals lived on the money of the video studio that was making commercials. By that time we were already known and had done a lot of commercials. But this one The period was difficult because it was a quiet period, January-February, when no one ordered commercials, we had prasad in the budget, the Internet did not bring money and we began to have very serious financial problems. Our programmers started to leave us, because they could not live on our promises, our promises that we would have a bright future. They wanted to eat, we could not give them anything to eat, so they quit. And so one such day when they came out and announced to me and Roma, my partner, that we would no longer work and that we were leaving tomorrow and the whole code and the economy remains on you, do what you want. We went home with my wife Vika and there was another surprise waiting for us. You know, like in good movies, it turned out that we cut off the light for non-payment and as if came and found only a can of beans in the fridge with the absence of light and debts with the payment of wages, we thought that this is the lowest point and it will not get worse. I am sitting sad, and Vika says, well, as if there is no light, what will we lose time. And thus, here you laugh, and nine months later, I was born daughter. Thank you Vikul. It is very important to have a woman who turns a minus into a plus.
And that’s what my next story is about.
The year 2008. For many people it is associated with not the most pleasant memories because there was a crisis, there were a lot of problems, businesses were failing, people lost money and we suffered the same fate. 999 was a famous site by then. We had several big advertisers: orange was paying us money and we were increasing our advertising budget so we were growing and gaining staff and employees. But in 2008 we were invited to orange and said that they were cutting the budget by 4 times for the next year. And I told them that I had planned the growth of the staff, bonuses, what to do?
They said, we don’t know, there is a crisis, we reduce the budget and do what you want. And then. The story about the lemons, I forgot to tell you. The story about lemons-here they are. At that time Roman Fedorovich and I got very sad, because we understood that this was a dead-end development, that nobody would give us more money for advertising, and we could not survive. That’s when the new idea of monetizing 999 was born – the idea to take 1 leu per ads from 999 users. Only thanks to orange, who refused to work with us.
It’s a bottle of lemonade. The point of this story is that if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade out of them. And thanks to this lei for 999, we can do everything else. Thank you, orange, cheers!
Okay, next thing. The old sneaker. You’ve probably seen or heard this story somewhere. Four years ago, I got into running. I became interested in what it is, I found out what is a triathlon, an iron man and began to run actively. I trained, went to his first marathon, second, third. And I saw what a holiday in other cities, just the bomb. People are waiting all year to come out with flags and cheer for the people, for their own. And it’s a real holiday. In Chisinau, we had 10-15 people running on Komsomolsk Lake. There were only rumors about marathons, they wanted to organize them 30 years ago, but it was difficult. I decided that a marathon should be organized in Chisinau, just like in Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, etc. Why not? And then we encountered great difficulties when I told my team about it. Of course no one took me seriously. So I decided to go under the radar. At first they resisted, but after half a year there were about 10 people in the company, so I got a company of like-minded people, who also believed that a marathon in Chisinau was possible. We decided in 2014 to do the first marathon. We spent three months preparing, negotiating with the mayor’s office, thinking about how to do it, but we couldn’t do it, because we weren’t ready. Because a marathon is a very complicated thing and we moved it to 2015 and faced a lot of problems. First of all, the mayor’s office was categorically against it, not that categorically, but they didn’t want to help us actively, they didn’t want to get involved, they didn’t want to help us with the police, with medical assistance, with the course. I explained to them that it was a national marathon, the face of the capital, that people from around the world would come to see us, look, it’s cool, let’s run in the center. – “Let’s run in the muncheon, do it. 2 km lap, run 21 laps.” We had to show a lot of videos, explain and after 3 months we managed to beat the overlap of the central part, but it was not all. Because it turned out that our staff was 350 people, including volunteers who participate in the organization of the marathon and make them work in sync – it’s just impossible. And to teach how to make 350 people to do a lot of work during the day, like robots, each of them have their own program. But there was no one to teach. So we ourselves had to develop a system of checklists. Check-list is a thing that was given to each of the 350 people, which is written on the minute that he must do, starting at 7 am and ending at 7 pm. So people wouldn’t get creative, but would do everything according to the program. But volunteers, they are Moldovan volunteers, we just didn’t have a volunteer movement. It turned out that just half of the volunteers did not come. They just didn’t come, everyone had his own reason. They didn’t realize that they could disrupt the event. But nevertheless we succeeded.Even though this year, I want to remember, everything was smooth, the mayor’s office understood, many questions were solved, and it was run down. But on the square we had tents, great tents where there were homeless people who didn’t obey anyone, even when we said that in two weeks we had an international marathon, that people would come to us and that we would move you 20 meters and then put them back. We’ll bear all the costs, we’ll bring the equipment, we’ll carefully move it, we’ll put it back where it belongs. They resisted terribly, beating their fists in their chests, screaming about politics, that it was genocide, we did not care about your marathon. Of course it’s absurd, only in Moldova you have to pay the bums on the central square so that they could free the area for a marathon. Here. Here’s a very funny music track. Nevertheless, we managed to do everything, despite all the difficulties, nobody believed in us, neither the sponsors, nor the partners, nor the mayor’s office. And now, thanks to the club’s three years of work on the creation of the running movement and the work of 300 people we all did a marathon and now the situation in the country where everyone runs and everyone is happy. Thank you!
So, a woman’s shoe, with a long heel.This story is called a shoe. It happened literally recently. This year. We have a girl who used to walk in such heels, she still walks, nothing has changed. She has a certain size skirt, stockings, a beautiful, provocative girl. The attitude to the beautiful and defiant women I have at least indulgent, yes you are beautiful, but that’s it, just walk around the office and smile. So one day this girl came up to me and said: “Dmitry, I have long dreamed of doing an electronic music festival. I think maybe rock or disco from the 80s or something. She said, “No, a festival of electronic music. Let’s do it.” I said, “That’s not our thing, what do we have to do with electronic music? She: “Well, we do sports events. We weren’t, but we are now. Let’s do a festival” I slept with the idea, thought about it and agreed and disagreed, because it required some investment. But we got psyched and decided to give this girl a chance to prove herself and make an electronic music festival. She promised us that there would be a lot of people, it would be a success and it would be cool. And we trusted her. And it turned out we did it for a reason. Of course we invested some money and this money came back to us with more than just money, if not financially, then with a good reputation and gratitude of those people who came to this festival. The festival was very successful, 10,000 people came, admission was free, we repeated this success after 3 months in Transnistria. What I am saying is that you need to trust the team you are working with, and the people who are there, you need to trust them. I want to thank Lucy once again for what she did, and we trusted her. Thank you!
And I also have one last thing here. The last story, we’re just finishing up. This weird thing. I wonder if anyone can guess what it is. What it looks like. It’s something heavy and very strange. I’ll tell you in a nutshell what it is. This is one of the newer areas of Simpals. I do free diving, which is a sport where you dive underwater. Whoever can swim the longest underwater meters, that’s the best. And I started going to competitions, including the world championships in freediving and I noticed that in order not to float, a man hangs this clamp around his neck, fastens it on the back and just floats. Really tire stuffed with lead balls. The world champion, who earns several thousand euros, swims with this. I thought it was strange, it can’t be. The thing is that this market is very small and narrow – 50 thousand people go in for freediving. And I decided to develop my own solution. How to do it professionally and make people like it. We spent probably a year to do all the experiments, to figure out what alloys, to find out what hardness rubber is, to develop mounts and created a thing called a lobster. In general, it is red, there is black and white. This thing is very comfortable to put on the back and you can adjust the weight, to adjust the dive. This is basically technical details, but the fact is that when we put this product on the market, made a web site and told about it, we got orders from all over the world. There are so many that we can’t implement all of them.
We can’t make as many as people want. From Japan, from America, from Italy. Why am I telling this story, because anyone in Moldova, if he is passionate about something, he can create a product, which will be used by the whole world, it’s absolutely true, and you should not hope for the Moldovan market.
But the most important thing for me is to succeed, what was actually talked about today – is the opportunity to do what you love with those people who are as motivated as you are to reach your goal. So, just a second, in this suitcase is exactly what brings people joy. Help me like me Mechin, get up. I want to share this joy with you, to share this happiness. And here we have – these are oranges – tangerines. I want to give you some tangerines, we’ll take them out and give them to you. Thank you very much for your attention!
If you have any questions, I’m listening.
-Do you have plans for the future?
-I do, I have plans. There are plans for tonight to go to a restaurant with my beloved. Because if a month I do not think up anything, I do not remember such month. So what will happen in the next year, I do not know.
-How do you fight the competition.
-Why do we fight them? We love them. You know who our favorite company in Moldova is the broker. If we didn’t have a broker, we wouldn’t have the motivation to develop, the motivation to move forward and come up with new services, to become better, more reliable, more. And competitors always help you to keep up. So we are very grateful to the brokerage that they are there and don’t let us relax.
-Have you patented our invention?
-We are working on it now. You can talk to our lawyer Dorin about it. But the Chinese won’t do it, because the market is very small and they are not interested.
-My favorite question. There are several options. Which one do you want, I’ll start with the official, because the site started in 1999. Unofficial is such a stain on my past. I used to steal. It was ’97. There was a base called 999, the telephone base. You call 999, say your phone number and they gave you the address. It was very convenient or they gave you the phone number by name. Then there was a disk on a bird, and my classmates and I decided what kind of disk, an ancient technology. Let’s create a site where you write your surname and they give you your phone number. We did so and all three days worked very well, very productively. But then they called us three days later and told us what they thought about us and what they would do to us if we didn’t close the website. And we closed the site.But since we invested a lot of money in the domain – it was $50, that’s two scholarships. We decided that the domain must be kept and the domain remained. When a site such as a bird, which sold various accessories, we decided we did not have another domain, we could not afford to buy 2. And which remained, that’s what we used. This is the original version. So there were some dark spots.
-You collected a lot of short film awards, what kind of awards in Moldova?
-We collected about 80 prizes at various festivals, there are a huge number of them, but for some reason nobody offers any money. They offer diplomas, cups, even these, I was fooled. You know, there is a company, you see an Oscar, this is the Oscar of Oscar, and they made a prize, a gold statue, it is gold-plated, so heavy, and they send us a letter: “Congratulations! Your cartoon won first place in that category. Who applied? – No one did. Oh, man, okay, thanks. It’s on the website. I said, let’s send the prize, and they said $400, it costs $400. And it’s so shiny. We could not resist and bought it, and then I realized that this is just a business and they sell figurines. But it’s absolutely not a business cartoons, it’s for the soul. Although I think when I finish working on the script, I’ll just convince some American producer to turn the script into a cartoon, into reality, based on those short films that we have, based on the script that we have. Here. Thank you very much!