Shared Breakfast.Tekwill

How to save millions of knees in the world, why do people pay to solve problems rather than prevent them, and what is the lifetime of a hypothesis?

-Before we started, the question was, “Dima, what about Aheel? Is your Aheel dead?”. For those who don’t know, the Aheel is a device for runners that attaches to their shoelaces and allows them to monitor how correctly or incorrectly a runner places their foot, whether they cripple their knees, if they step on their heel, kick, break all their joints, so many times – and disabled. It monitors how a person puts their foot correctly – this way, that way, that way – and sends a signal if the person is running traumatically.

I had this idea. I came in and said, “Guys, you have to do it. It’s going to save millions of knees around the world.” We started doing it. We ran the show. Maybe you saw how we worked on the project. The project lasted about five months.

We built a device. At first it was a smart insole. Then we abandoned the insole and made a small device. The price was ridiculous – $29. But nobody bought it. Everyone was like, “Wow, cool.” Runners said, “Great, cool invention.” But we couldn’t sell it. And so, and so, and such a branding tried, and such an audience, and such messages, and whatever – it does not sell. We tried, we tried, we tried, we could not find a paying segment. What should we do? So the project didn’t go anywhere. We put it in a long box; maybe we will come back to it one day, because the project is a pity, it is a great project.

We’re faced with the fact that preventive medicine doesn’t work. People are not willing to pay for their problems in the future. They want to pay here now to solve current problems, not those that will come later. That’s probably why they weren’t buying.

Just two weeks ago, as part of the startup factory, we re-launched this project, we’re looking for a pivot, we’re looking for opportunities for Aheel, in order to find a new audience, a new segment, to present in a new way, to make a new U-turn.

One of the insights we got last week was very strange. Our team found that a lot of people aren’t buying this device because it’s cheap, saying that for $29 there can’t be anything good inside there, some bullshit.

We’re checking out a version now, we’re creating two one-to-one listings for $29 and a second, exact same listings for $59. We start to promote them and see. If it turns out to be more successful for 59, there’s more sales and interest there, then it was a strategic mistake to make the low price.

But we’re pretty much screwed. We have a $7 unit cost, so to sell it for $60 would be some kind of a holiday. I can’t say anything yet about what Aheel will be, what will happen to it. But, on the other hand, it’s about time we had a couple of failed startups, because if all the startups are successful, it’s starting to look weird. Either the guys aren’t saying something, or they’re crazy.

When I was in America, investors asked how many startups there were, and how many of them were unsuccessful. They rate the unsuccessful ones exactly the same as the successful ones. It’s cool that you had an unsuccessful project, because you won’t make a lot of mistakes, because you’ve already made mistakes, and you won’t make them again.

The worst thing you can tell an investor is that this is my first startup. You don’t have any experience. That’s a lot of risk. So it’s better to fail than to do nothing. I’ve given you some ground now. There must have been some questions. You can just raise your hand and bomb.

-Let’s welcome those who are online.

-Hello, online. Good morning. Eat your cheesecakes this morning. It’s cheesecake morning.

-You guys who are online, ask questions right in the chat room. We see them and we’ll be sure to answer them. We have people here in the audience as well.

-Good morning. Question about the competition. Have you analyzed the competition?

-When entrepreneurs come to us at Shortcut, some have ideas. They say, “I came up with this cool thing.” When I ask, “Have you looked at the competition?” He says, “Yes, I have. There’s no competition. Cool.”

I say, “If you haven’t found any competition, there are three options. One. You are the most genius person on earth. Option two, nobody wants this shit.” Who’s to say option three?

– You didn’t look hard enough.

-Yeah. -You didn’t look hard enough. There are no other options, so you have to be clear about that. Fortunately, we have competitors. There are devices that do something similar, but in a different way. We wanted to make as simple a device as possible that didn’t need a smartphone. There was a hypothesis that people don’t like running around with a smartphone. They want to completely break away from their mobile addiction and run for their own pleasure in the park. So it doesn’t transmit any information, headphones, smartphone.

It’s a self-contained device that just beeps or vibrates when you step on it wrong. There are no such devices, but there are others that tell you to run properly. The biggest competitor is the fitness watch. There are quite a few of them. The only thing is, they can’t track exactly how you kick. That’s theoretically impossible because they’re kept on your arm. But they can detect the cadence of your stride, your speed, the frequency at which you step over your feet. But that or the watch can’t determine that.

That’s why we put the device down on your foot. There are no such devices yet. Maybe there won’t be. Maybe we don’t need them. Charging your right one, charging your left one, charging your fitness bracelet, charging your smartphone, charging your headphones – it’s kind of a dick move. People get tired of charging.

-You’ve already invested a lot in this idea, in this startup, you’ve done a lot of research specifically with runners from Moldova, you put them on devices, as far as I saw from your stories. Can you tell me how much you’ve already invested in them?

-We are fools, because we invested 50,000 in this project, but that’s absolute stupidity. That was a year ago. Now we’re working in a completely different way. Now it takes us anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 and no more than a month and a half to test a hypothesis.

Our main activity, what we do now, is we test business hypotheses. We have a lot of them, about 30. Our task is to test as quickly and as cheaply as possible whether this hypothesis can become a business. If so, we do business, and if not, we throw it away and take the next one. Now, thanks to our trained team and people who constantly come to us (in two months the team has already joined about five people), plus there is a Russian and Belarusian team to help us, we have a month and a half to 5 thousand dollars to test each hypothesis.

Right now we tested one hypothesis of mine and it failed. It was carbon dioxide sensors for baths. Especially in Russia, in Finland, in Germany, this culture is very developed. I myself like baths very much. There are often a lot of people in the steam rooms. Without controlling the carbon dioxide level, people start to feel bad and the next day they don’t enjoy themselves, they only get a headache.

We made such a device and called it a “canary,” which signals that the carbon dioxide level is high. We conducted reserches, castdevs around Russia, where the bathhouse theme is very popular, and it turned out that there is no such pain among bathhouse attendants, bathhouse owners, or people who take a steam bath, no one. So it was a hypothesis that didn’t work.

But the Avrora hypothesis did work. This is our device, the tube music visualizer. It’s true, it is very expensive. It cost about $400 to $500 to put it together. We wondered how much we could sell it for. We started selling it, and it turned out that we were able to sell it for 1,200 euros. That means that theoretically to squeeze production down to 400, to raise three X’s, this business could theoretically exist. So we did a lot of work on it, we made a website, and we are starting to drive traffic there to see what kind of conversions we have, to understand what the margin of this business may be, to launch it or not. Avrora passed the first step.

-Thank you. Any questions in the audience?

-About MVPs. My personal understanding up until now was that MVP is a Minimal Viable Product, some device that can do something minimally, and you can show, sell, and test on it. But other startups understand MVP as just a landing page with a “Buy” button, the main thing is to get it into the customer funnel and bring it to sale, and then it will be clear. I hear a lot of people do that. Have you had any projects where you’ve just tested just a landing page at the idea level and didn’t make any physical products?

– Sure. That’s what we’ve been doing lately. That’s how we got Squid, the same Avrora.

Squid is our new solution, which is an interesting story. Have you heard about the Lobster, our freediver device that helps you swim the longest distance in the pool? And then there’s depth freediving, where people dive into the depths. We came up with a cool collar for them that looks like octopus tentacles, with these rivets, customizable weight too, very cool.

We decided to go with the new product approach of checking as quickly and inexpensively as possible to see if anyone needed it. We did a cool rendering. We put them in Photoshop on people? wrote feedback from freedivers, put together a fully lending rendering. When a freediver comes in, knowing us, knowing Lobster, knowing our name and seeing that it’s from us, it doesn’t even occur to him that such a product doesn’t exist. He looks – the price is normal.

We launched and sold 10 pieces in three days without any advertising. The conversion rate was just crazy. We – fine, we closed the website, we called everybody who had paid us and asked for a refund, thank you for your help. 90% said no refund, we’ll wait. Do your Squid.

This is where the epic began, which we called the Squid effect. We got a new formulation at the factory. The funny thing is, when we tried to make it, we couldn’t make it. We drew it and put a price on it, and when we tried to make what we drew for that money, we ran into the fact that it was impossible trivial because we needed a metal heavier than lead, because you can’t put that kind of weight into such a thin shape. You had to use tungsten for that. And even though tungsten is one and a half times heavier than lead, it is much more expensive, and it does not pour, it is very refractory, a very complex product.

We realized that we had screwed up, because we tested the product, but we cannot repeat it. So now we have a new strategy. Before we do a landing page, we do an engineering research, whether this thing can be done for about this amount of money. If the engineers tell us within a week, “Yes, we’ll do it give or take for that price,” then we do the publication, it will work.

But that’s normal and natural. MVP is not about making the iron itself, because it can take six months and a lot of money, and MVP is about making sure that people buy the idea, pay the money. They don’t just say, “I’ll buy it,” and he clicked, entered his card information, sent the money, we got it. That counts as a sale, not just interest in the product.

-Thank you. Any other questions? Can you introduce yourself, please, so we can get to know each other? It’s very rare that we all see each other offline.

-Thank you very much. Hello, my name is Alexei. Me and my team came here for the first time. We are newbies. I would like to know more about the steps you use to vet businesses. Are they different for investors and startups? How do you vet your business?

– Let me switch to startup mode first, then switch to investor mode. I’m a start-up guy. I’m a guy who lives in Durlesti. I don’t have my own business. I graduated from college and I want to be an entrepreneur. I scraped together a couple thousand dollars, borrowed from friends and my mom, saved up, and decided – I have some idea I want to check out. I propose that we generate some idea right now, and I will tell you the approximate steps that you need to do in order to verify that it works or not. Who has any thoughts?

-Who wants to pitch their idea?

-Any idea, the most absurd. It doesn’t matter.

-Cheesecake sales.

-We’re about to do a foodtech. We’re checking out fried dumplings. We’ve done our own dark kitchen and chorbaria, two products. We’re trying to see if they’re going to buy now.

Same thing – we did a photo shoot of chorbas, we launched a Facebook page, we got an audience there, and we realized that chorbas are coming, people are interested in chorbas. Delivery only of chorbas, different ones – soups like this, pietas, tenths. It went well. We’re opening a chorbary now, the soups will be sold. And fried dumplings are still a big question, not going.

If we talk about cheesecakes, it’s the same way. What do you do? You ask your mom to bake cheesecakes, you take beautiful pictures of them, you create a Facebook page with these cheesecakes, you come up with some brand, you throw $100-200 in Facebook ads and say “Order cheesecakes, come hot,” and you watch how many people order these cheesecakes from you.

If your conversion rate is more than 30%, you look at how much it costs to attract one customer for cheesecakes. If it’s lower than your margin of two or three times, then it makes sense to make a dark kitchen and sell cheesecakes. If not, then it doesn’t. But you don’t need a few thousand dollars to do that. $500 is enough to see if it works or not.

If you take some complicated business, like mercury tanks for alien aliens, maybe someone will buy it. Maybe there’s such an audience. What needs to be done in that case?

The first thing to do is to talk a lot, communicate a lot, what’s called castomer development, castdevs. You need to talk to potential consumers, potential sellers, potential dealers – anyone in the market who might be interested in such an aquarium.

There are entire books written about how to do this. There’s a book called “Ask Mama. There are four types: in-depth, expert interviews, there are decision interviews. You talk to experts who understand aquariums and aliens, who say it may or may not go. You talk to people who can buy.

There’s an interview where you offer to buy this aquarium at the end. If he buys it for the money, you say you have a big success. There has to be a 70% success rate in interviews. It’s a complicated technique, but it’s there. You just talk the talk.

If all the interviews tell you that yes, there’s interest in the market, and you see by certain metrics that there is, then the next step is you create a landing page. There you draw in 3dsMax an aquarium, let the aliens in, take comments from the aliens, how they like it there, how comfortable they are there.

Then you take $300-$400-$500 and start experimenting with the audience. You don’t just throw $500 into one ad campaign, you create 20 ad campaigns, the so-called AKM audience (channel-message). You throw them at different audiences: children, old people, women, aliens from Mars, aliens from Venus, aquarium salesmen.

How you want to reach them is the channel. It can be through Facebook, through social networks, billboards on the street, television ads, SMS-mailing. The message-what message you go with: “Feel comfortable in this aquarium,” “Don’t die on Earth,” “Drink Mercury,” different messages. You create a lot of these different campaigns and you fan them all over the place, and you put $50 into each one. Then you analyze each one and see that this channel brought in the most people and this message brought in the most people, you connect, and into that audience with that channel and message you bang $500 into the ad campaign.

If a lot of people come from there wanting this tank, you look – if it’s profitable for you to pay that much for each client, then you launch the business. Then you go to the investor and say, “Dear investor, I did this kind of work. Here’s my listing. Here are my numbers. Here’s my traction. I already have 20 customers waiting, but I can’t produce. I don’t have the money. I need pre-sale money – $100,000 to get the first batch up and running. If okay, we’re willing to consider that I’ll need half a million to scale.” And on and on it went.

An investor needs traction; he has to show some kind of movement, not just a bare presentation, but that work has been done and there are figures to prove that someone on the market needs this product, not just “I think so”. It doesn’t work.

-Can another team, outside of the team working on the idea, do it?

-No, it can’t. A startup Factory or a startup studio or an incubator that has a lot of them, that has experience already, that has money, that scales. And if you’re a guy from Durlescht, where are you going to get $5,000 to pay a Russian team to check it out? You just don’t have that option.

-I ask investors.

-You go to an investor to check out your idea for his money?


-He’ll tell you to go fuck yourself. That’s your job, man. If you can’t find the money, why’d you come to me? You’re not an entrepreneur.

-Thank you for your answer.

-Anna Kiritsa. Dima, I have a question. You talk about aliens, about MVPs, about the fact that you need a lot of castoffs. Where do you get your ideas? Tell us a little bit, how do you find that idea and from how many? How does your team work internally? I’ve participated in some of the sessions you have. It’s very interesting. Maybe tell the guys that you don’t necessarily wake up with an idea, sometimes you wake up or run around, you have ideas floating around, and in general there’s probably a lot of work.

-Don’t talk about me, because I really don’t have any problems with that. I have more than I need. But it’s really a problem of where to get ideas. There’s a lot of them. There’s a lot of technology on how to get ideas out of people.

Every Wednesday we have brainstorming sessions, new ideas. We put our team together Startup Factory, and sometimes we invite guests who want to get involved. How does this usually work? People go around the circle voicing the pains they’ve encountered this week. They are warned beforehand – for the next week, you’re not just living your life, but paying attention to all the discomforts going on around you in your life. I’m having a tea burp. I wrote it down. I don’t like having burps after tea. They brought me cold cheesecakes.

Let’s brainstorm right now. What are we going to play? We go around in a circle and everyone says very quickly one pain they’ve encountered this week. If not, say “pass” so it happens quickly. Just very briefly.

-Fast. Pain.

-On the second lap. Say “pass.”

-Wine spoiling in the fridge is the second or third day.

-Bad roads in Chisinau.

-Social life in Moldova.

-Let’s do something about the products.

-Very general.

-Crowded trolleybuses.

-Traffic jams in Chisinau.

-Finished with the roads. Let’s move on.

-Tickville’s traffic jams.


-Every morning to feed the dog.

– We have a house and repairs and everything gets covered in dust very quickly, even though we have everything covered. How do you make sure there’s no dust anywhere?

-No place to eat breakfast at seven in the morning in Chisinau.

-It’s a pain.


-It’s a pain. -Covid.


– Clearly. The man has obvious pain. He came with it.

-How to make the Moldovan national team win at least once in a while.

– What pain.

-Rubber change on the car.

-The wire from the charger bends on the phone, on the laptop, on everything. It breaks and needs to be replaced.

-The lights in the coffee shop are very low, you’re always hitting them.

– When I went out today, I forgot my glasses. I had to go back for it. It was very frustrating to waste time on it.

-We as a legal entity lose a lot of time because of the incompetence of the bank employees.

-Good. Now we ran through some ideas. They were 20-30 in a couple of minutes. Of these 10 can immediately screen out – social life or forgot my glasses at home, because this is not about business, c’est la vie.

What do we do next with the remaining ten? These are hypotheticals. What are the options for solving this problem? For example, there is the pain of overcrowded trolleybuses in Chisinau. Many people have this kind of pain. How do you solve it? You can do carsharing, you can make a cheap cab service, you can run trains. Ideas are thrown around.

After the ideas are tossed around, the hypotheses are prioritized. What is prioritization? We have 20 ideas, and we need to figure out which one to take on and which one not to do. There are different methods – prioritization by RICE, by ICE. What’s the main point? How hard and expensive to do it is a number in one column, and in the second column is how much money it could potentially bring, how big the market is.

Everything is rated on a 10-point system. There’s a difficulty of “nine” and a profit of “one,” naturally that hypothesis falls at the very bottom. A lot of effort for the sake of pennies. No one wants to do that. And if there is little effort, easy to do, and the payoff will be huge, then it falls right into first place by the numbers.

When they are sorted, you see – the coolest hypotheses and ideas go to the top, the poopiest ones are at the bottom. You see where you should start checking. You take the very first one, go and check it out with about the technique I told you about. The second one, the third one, the fourth one. Below the fifth you say, “We’re not going to do that, we don’t have time, because there are new ones. This is roughly the technology.

-Is it all possible to check one person, or initially you need to look for a team of specialists, with whom to do it all?

-I don’t believe in one person at all. There has to be at least two. People often come to us at Shortcut are loners – either a cool engineer who says, “I know how to build a production. I know how to make a table like this with this carving, with these things. I can do everything. But I can’t stand selling. I don’t like it, I don’t understand it, I don’t need it. Or vice versa, an entrepreneur comes in and says, “I don’t care what the product is. I can sell anything. I don’t have a product.” the minimal pair is he and she, the CTO and the CEO, the person who can sell and the person who can create. Those are the two minimal units that have a chance. One doesn’t have a chance. The first step for a single person is to find a couple. That’s the first task.

-And do we have to split the money right away?

-What money? We have to come to an agreement. I’m against splitting fifty-fifty. I believe that the one who sells must have more, otherwise quarrels begin. There are unpleasant stories. It’s better to come to an agreement right on the shore.

I had a story like that myself. I had fifty-fifty at Simpals, too. My partner didn’t believe in the business and demanded money to get out of the business. But I didn’t have that kind of money. It took me a year to collect $3,000 to settle for half-fifty with Simpals. It paid off.

– Thank you. There are 74 people watching us online. We’re waiting for your questions. Who else has questions?

Alyona: My name is Alyona. The question is this. At the moment when a startup has done its work and comes to an investor, the investor sees the numbers, but there are still some selection criteria. You don’t check and work your way through all your ideas. What are these criteria?

-You may have already heard that an investor invests not in a startup, but in a team. What also matters to me is not what the guys bring in, but who these guys are, how they think, how they reason, and how they react to provocation, because I like to do provocations at these meetings, and I either start to be blunt or pushy.I try to shake things up in order to understand how a person would behave in an emergency situation.

Sometimes guys come in with a pretty good idea and a good track record, but they start acting this way, asking such unpleasant questions, starting to get into such secret unpleasant places, immediately destroying the chemistry. I understand that I can’t work with them.

I don’t invest in teams just because I need the money. If anyone needs money, guys, there’s almost a 100% way to make money – send it to the US exchange and 20-25% a year is guaranteed to drip. If you create a business with less than 20% profit a year, it’s just a head-scratcher if you’re still doing it without having any fun. Business is first and foremost about having fun.

I invest in order to get high, in order to make this project big, necessary, and in the third place already profitable. If a person is unpleasant, I will not work with him. That does not mean that he is bad. We are all different people. Some people’s chemistry connects, some people’s chemistry doesn’t. It doesn’t mean someone is bad. It’s just not the right fit. It’s like marriage. You’re building a relationship for yat years, at least if the business is successful, and maybe more. You need to be very clear that you’re comfortable with this person to go to the bathhouse and bathe naked, that you won’t feel uncomfortable bending over for soap.

-Lately there is a trend that there are a lot of funds on the markets, a lot of money (I’m not talking about Moldova), and not enough ideas. What to do?

-I would specify. Indeed, there is a lot of money and a lot of people who want to do things. There is no one to do. There are no teams. There are quite a lot of ideas, but there are no hands, because they are all taken apart. There are few people who can take an idea and make a business out of it. Those are really the few. The battle is going on for them for teams.

There’s this stereotype that I have a valuable idea, a person carries it around, doesn’t tell anyone, so no one knows. Here we have an idea, but sign an NDA. We immediately open our bank of ideas, there are 30 ideas. I can show it to anybody. Take it, look at it, do it, no problem at all. The winner is not the one with the idea, but the one with the balls. This is the problem with it.

It will get worse, because there will be more and more people who want to do business and invest in startups, and there are not many smart people fast enough. We need to learn now. I believe Moldova has great potential. If Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, those people who wanted to go into startups, have already gone, plus or minus, and we can roughly see the statistics, then our field is unploughed.

We have a lot of people, but no one knows anything. Now in 2-3-4 years, these people will learn, try, knock themselves out, and then we will see in five years what will happen to Moldova. I think everything will be very good. Maybe the first Moldovan unicorn will appear. I would like to believe it, or at least some startup’s ambition to become a unicorn.

-You say that people need to learn somewhere. Where can this be done?

-You know, all the startups that are just getting into this water need courses. I don’t know about Moldovan food courses. There aren’t many of them in Romania. There are some great ones in Russia. We will be launching them next year, along with the Russians. It would be cool to translate them into Romanian, adapt them, and launch them in Romania.

The best food courses can now be found in Russia, although there are American and European ones. But the Russians suit us better mentally. It is easier for us to go with technology, because those in general look very strange. We don’t even quite understand some things. That doesn’t mean that they are bad. They’re different. So if you want to enter this field, try a couple of Russian courses. There are ten-month courses, there are one-month courses.

If there is interest, I can skim to the group. You can ask Roman. He can do a separate meeting about where to study, how to study, what to study. Roma is my partner. His credit right now is that he got our whole team on grocery rails in a year and a half or two years, so that we did things the human way, not the way I did before. I’d come in and open the door with my foot and say, ‘That’s it, we’re doing Aheel now, guys. ” What’s that?” “It’s this kind of device for runners.” “Tell me how it’s supposed to be.” No questions about why, and who needs it, doesn’t need it, maybe it won’t sell. Nobody cared. Dima said, we do. In my zoo of projects, 80% of the dead people are dead, precisely because I thought I had to, but I really don’t. That’s a mistake.

-Is the strength in a team about listening to the boss, or is it about doubting?

-Of course you have to doubt. The boss is not for listening to him. The boss is for other things. A boss is a motivator, a flag bearer who can say, “Guys, I had the last insight.

Let’s take a couple of steps back and tell you what the mission of the boss is. Wednesdays are family day in our family. That means we put all our business aside and go out in the evening to hang out as a family. At first we invited friends over. Then the kids said, “What’s family day if you’re talking to your friends? What’s that got to do with us?” and said no friends, just the four of us. Either a restaurant, or a movie, or some event, but always the four of us, and always on a Wednesday.

This Wednesday my son writes in our group, “Daddy, I found a VR room in Chisinau. Let’s go to the VR room.” Great, let’s go. He’s made the arrangements, he’s all set. We have one VR room in Buicani, we went there.

I have VR experience. We did a VR cartoon. I know a little bit about it. We went there. They put four helmets on our heads. The helmets were mobile, with no wires. The room is as big as this one, 47. They give you a joystick, it’s your gun. You put the helmet on and you see the gun. You see all the other players.

The task is just to run around this area, move around in virtual elevators, go into virtual teleporters. There are several rooms. You run around and shoot each other with a gun. It seems like nonsense. The graphics are nothing at all. The computer handles six helmets in a row, and it’s really hard to load cool graphics in there.

But it’s mesmerizing, and an hour later you’re already sweaty, happy, shooting, “And I you, you remember.” It’s very cool.

I come to us with this thing, excited, saying, “Guys, the VR cartoons that we’ve been doing, that’s good, but those are big minuses. Here’s to getting into the VR space.” There’s a new direction DeepTech is developing, which is all about the meta universe, about VR, about AR. Saying, “We’re digging there. We’re moving towards VR.” Or rather, we have already shoved ourselves in there a little bit with the cartoon. Now we have to go in more actively.

I tell my team as the boss: “Guys, we’re going there. And where, let’s all decide together. I don’t know where.” I have a gut feeling that that’s where the future is, and that’s where we have to dig. That’s what a visionary has to do. He says the future is in that direction, and how to get there, how to get there, that is decided together with the team.

If I come in and say, “Guys, we’re making a glove with haptic sensitivity for people who will be in VR, it will be like a smartphone, a must-have thing for every person in VR,” they won’t say, “Yeah, let’s do it.” They will say, “Dima, do you want us to check it out? We’ll spend a month and your $5,000, but we’re not doing it yet, because maybe the technology doesn’t exist yet. Maybe the market is oversaturated. It might be very expensive.” There’s a lot of “maybe.” They are willing to check, but I forbid them to do it blindly. I no longer insist, I say, “Guys, let’s check it out.

-How hard was it to change the team’s vision from doing and accepting the task to critical thinking, to asking questions, to asking yourself, to asking you?

– It’s very difficult. What’s going on with product managers right now? We say, “Dude, we’re digging into VR, come on.” He says, “Let’s what?” We say, “Let’s dig into VR.” He says, “Let’s do what?” I say, “Think about it.” ‘ I don’t know what to do.”

A lot of people are used to taking commands. They came in and said, ‘Do one, two, three, four.’ We had project managers. We had a project team, and now it’s becoming a product team. It’s taken the last year to shift those layers of the brain to, “Wait, I have to make my own decisions.” It’s very difficult. If you don’t know what to do, get a team together and voice it: “I don’t know what to do. Let’s think together.” Do some brainstorming, throw out some hypotheses, test, prioritize, propose, start testing, because there are no new technologies here. All the technologies are there, they are prescribed. You can follow them.

It took a long time to do that. You’re right, it’s not such an easy project. If it’s obvious to me, because I’m an entrepreneur myself, when I saw the look in my eyes, the emptiness, it made me feel cold. I was working with these people. I was actually the engine of the business. Now I want to cut the umbilical cord and step back and watch and say, “Beautiful people. That’s my challenge.

– Are you hiring more on critical thinking or those who can execute?

– What is critical thinking?

-Those who can take more responsibility, make decisions, develop some solutions, or those who execute?

-We need both of these people. We are now launching a new project. True, it’s social, and not about money. We want to reconstruct Chisinau as it was 100-200 years ago in VR, in virtual reality, in 3D.

The manager who will manage this project must be a person who makes decisions, who sees where the project will go. He understands what it’s for. But there are copywriters, designers, and 3D people out there. What does a 3D artist need critical thinking for? He’s given 20 pictures, he has to make a cool piece of shit out of it, to say “I as a specialist, as a professional made this object.” He has a caption that says, “Vasya did it. He doesn’t need that. He must have other skills: a sense of beauty, knowledge of 3D packages, responsibility for his bit of work. Everyone needs responsibility.

Not everyone has to be an entrepreneur. It’s not good, it’s not bad. It’s like a profession. It’s not entrepreneurs who have the most money in our country; it’s programmers. If you take the average income of an entrepreneur, it is less than the average salary of a programmer.

-Thank you. I monopolized a little bit. Let’s have more questions from the audience.

-What then is the motivation to become an entrepreneur if programmers make more money?

– People do not become entrepreneurs in order to make money. People become entrepreneurs because they have to. They feel they can’t do it any other way. They want to create new products; they want to change this world.

It’s in their DNA. It’s the only way to make money. And just becoming an entrepreneur to make money doesn’t work. Buy crypto, you’ll be fine with money, you’ll get 10 x a year.

-any more questions?

– The CTO and CEO have a common idea, but different vision of how to execute it. How do they find common ground?

-Different visions of what? How to make the project successful?

-Yes. What should be done first – start testing communication channels or find investments?

-CTO this thing doesn’t apply. So they made a glove. Two guys got together and said, “Let’s make a cool tactile glove, you can feel in virtual space. It will give feedback. We’ll sell it to the world. I know how to sell.” The second one says, “And I know how to make such a glove.”

Then the first task of the CTO is not to first make the glove, but to generally make sure that you can definitely make it. He does it himself; you don’t need a CEO to do it. After he says, “Yes, I can do it,” he says, “You rest. Now I’ll do the work.” He does the castoffs, does the research. Then they work with the CTO to create the lending. They can’t have any stumbling blocks here.

Then the CEO has to come in and say, “Yes, we can run this business,” or “No, we can’t.” The CTO is hardly helpful here. What could Steve Wozniak have told Jobs other than how to put which microcontroller.

It’s a clear distinction. But a salesman can’t make that gauntlet himself. That’s not his superpower. When he says, “Yes, these gloves work,” then the CTO takes off his jacket, rolls up his sleeves, and says to the CEO, “Now find me the investment to hire 20 engineers, and we make this glove in six months or a year.” The guy runs to find the money.

-Thank you. More questions.

-About the sensors. How did you choose the market, where to sell?

-We did the first study in Moldova, because it was the closest. It was not relevant. Then we started looking for Americans. It’s a big problem with Americans; finding them for an interview is a big problem. They are very unresponsive. Maybe this is because they have a lot of information spam, garbage, noise, and they just don’t respond to anything.

Europeans are more active; it’s easier to work with them. They get feedback. You can talk to them, you can motivate them. We prefer to work with the European market. Russia suits us, because it’s even easier to do research there.

But we are not interested in the Russian market because it is a very specific market. It’s small. We just start there and then we go into a spiral: Russia, Europe, China, and America. Then everything closes up. We do not even try Moldova, because we have very different mentalities. You can’t test it in Moldova and then try it in America. This kind of thing doesn’t work. If you want to launch in America, you have to test Americans.

-What was the target audience?

-Let me talk about the target audience using Sonr as an example. This is our other project. It’s an underwater walkie-talkie for swimmers. I had an insight. When I swam across Gibraltar, a rubber boat was sailing with us. There to swim 17 km, more than 4 hours, with big waves, with a very strong discomfort. The boat was floating about 100 meters away from me. You swim alone in that ocean. Huge ships, dry cargo ships are sailing by there and you think they are going to run you over.

I didn’t understand why they couldn’t put something to talk to me. I need feedback, feedback. There were no such devices. I thought it was cool to make one so that when a swimmer’s ears were underwater, they wouldn’t yell, “Swim to the boat, eat,” or during training, so the coach wouldn’t yell at him or hit him with a stick, so he could talk to him calmly.

We made a walkie talkie. We made it the old way, spent a year, $100,000, and then we tried to sell it. Thank God we were lucky that we needed it, and not right away.

We started selling it and it turned out that the swimmers didn’t need it at all. I was like, “Oh, man. What the [bleep]? It’s a cool thing.” But by then we’d gotten into the grocery knowledge and realized we had to keep digging.

A hypothesis emerged. The swimmers said, “Why do we need some device that can teach me to swim quickly if I have a coach? It’s his headache. I pay him money.” We’re not interested in the Moldovan market, where people train themselves, but the big American market of swimmers, or Australia. They say, “I have a coach that I pay money to teach me to swim. It’s his headache. I’m not spending money on that.”

We’re going to the coaches, that’s right. We’re gonna sell to them. We go to the coaches, we say, “Look what we got here. With this thing you can teach a man to swim faster, more people will come to you.” He says, “Why do I need this thing? It’s not my problem. It’s the problem of the health club where I work. What am I going to pay money to train? They’re making dough off of it. Go to them.”

We’re like, man. Okay, fine. Let’s go to the fitness clubs and say, “You have trainers, you have swimmers. Buy these things from us. They say, ‘Who are you? We say, ‘We’re from the Maldives.’ They say, “Maldives is a little island in the Indian Ocean?” I say, “No, Moldova.” They say, “It’s B2B.” Can you imagine, an American company and an unknown Moldovan company. They say, “You want to sell us 500 grand from Moldova? Really?”

We’re all shaved and again we don’t know who to sell to. Everybody wants it and everybody says, “Yeah, it’s cool stuff, but we won’t buy it.” After three months, we came to the point where our customer was a dealer who sells swimming devices. Then we made 100 samples and started sending them around the world to dealers, people who represent swimming brands. After that, we started getting orders. They were giving coaches, their swimmers. They gave good feedback, said they were cool stuff. Based on that, they placed orders. Who ordered 100 grand, who ordered 500 grand.

And the Sonr is still in production. There are only a few prototypes that are rolling around the world, and no production yet. I’m on Facebook sometimes dropping off production. Right now the PCBs are being produced. The first bag of Sonr will be ready in a week or two. We already have over 3,000 pre-orders for the device, and the device itself isn’t there yet, because it’s rolling around the world and performing well. That’s how hard we’ve found an audience that will buy.

What’s the plan after that? After the dealers show the device to the whole world, everyone will try it and say “Okay,” then there will be a reverse wave through fitness clubs to trainers, and then to swimmers, who will already know that the brand is proven, that it works, that friends use it. Then sales could grow exponentially.

-Thank you very much, Dmitry. The next question from Natalia.

-Dmitry, how do you find, interest and retain people on your team? You say that you are a visionary, that is important. So your team is also very important.

-Assembling a team is an entrepreneur’s main job. Basically, he doesn’t have to do anything else at all. If you gather the right people around you and show them where to dig, give them all the resources they need, then you can go to the same Maldives and relax, just watch them from the sidelines.

But as the business is constantly growing, you need more and more people, more ideas, so your main function is this. Not to control what each person has done and when, but to bring people together around some idea, around some mission and give them a way.

We do that all the time. I do it all the time. What is the purpose of our Shortcut? Every Tuesday from 10 to 12:30 I meet with five entrepreneurs, people who want to be entrepreneurs to offer them a partnership.

Our startup factory is set up in such a way that we’re not looking for people to hire. We’re looking for partners, people who maybe don’t even have ideas but want to try to be an entrepreneur. You can give your bank of ideas that people can check out and find their own, and make it with us. That’s the most important value of finding entrepreneurs.

But we are now faced with the fact that we need a business analyst or CPO (Chief Product Officer), the person in charge of product managers on our projects at Simpals, someone who will tell us. So that we’re not just poking around like blind kittens trying everything, but that someone from Sberbank or Yandex comes along and says, “Guys, let’s go one, two, three. Get up and do push-ups. Well done. We made a billion dollars. That’s it. Thank you.”

You would not believe it, we have been looking for people like that for a year, and we cannot find them. We now have a price of $10,000 a month, which is a salary for a Russian specialist from a large corporation. They are not coming. What does this have to do with?

With the fact that they don’t want to work for a Moldovan company. It’s a step back for them. It’s not about the money. He understands that he grew up, now works for Yandex as a product, and then bam – and left for Moldovan Simpals, which no one in Russia knows. They’ll ask him: “Where have you been? What hole were you in?” When he comes back, his career will probably be somewhere down the line.

We looked that way until we realized that people didn’t go to work for Moldovan companies. Now we’ve changed our positioning. We are not a Moldovan company. We are an international company which creates national products, which has a business in America, which has an office in America, which has world wide ambitions.

Now we are launching an advertising campaign, that we are looking for sellers on this. We were told by people from Moscow that it was wow. A lot of Russians, especially the tops, dream of breaking out of the Russian market and starting to make a big product. If it is obvious for us that there is nothing to catch in the Moldovan market, many Russians work for the Russian market and suffer because of this, because by our standards, the market is huge – 150 million, but they want freedom. It is difficult for them to get out, but many want to.

– Instead of being Moldovan, are you becoming European?

-European company.

– Have you already come across any interesting ideas, or are you just starting out?

-What is an interesting idea?

– With potential.

– You can now with the other one, what is a startup. How many versions and what is a startup have you heard in your experience?

-Remember I told you what the difference between a startup and a business is? First of all, a startup is something unpredictable, and something that can very much scale alimentarum is not a startup.

-It’s all over Moldova.

-But it’s not a startup. It’s a regular classic business. Or a car wash. It’s something that everybody does. There’s a clear business model. A startup is an area of unknowns. There are no guides on how to make this particular product. You can easily find out on the Internet how to make alimentary products, or you can open your own pool. But how to make a tactile glove, no one knows. That’s why it’s very hard to make. That’s the first thing.

Second. It should have ambitions not for a small market, but for the world market, then it’s interesting. People don’t come to Shortcut with ideas. And if they come up with ideas, they are of this kind, local – let’s make windows in Moldova or something like that. This is certainly not interesting. We’re not looking for people with ideas. We are looking for people who are open minded, who are willing to develop and learn.

-Are you specifically targeting the Moldovan market?

-I, as a resident of this country, first of all, want to give every Moldovan a chance to take part in this game. When all those who want it run out here, when we look through everything that is available here, then we will already collect from Russia and Ukraine. It will be strange if the company is Moldovan, and only Russians or only Romanians work. It’s like Sheriff, not a single white player there. I don’t like it that way.

– We have very different people here. There are directors of gas pedals where Traian, there’s Tekville, there’s us. What can we do together to let people learn that mindset and open up their vision to be visionaries? Is there some kind of project we can do? What can we bring to Moldova so that these people can grow here with us, so that you pay 10k to our people?

-It doesn’t have to be done together. Everyone can go their own way, but shoulder to shoulder. The biggest pain is ignorance. It’s not that we’re stupid or that we don’t have entrepreneurial flair. Many have it, many just don’t know how. That’s why now we have to invest a lot of money in education, in training. We need to bring people in from abroad to tell them how to do it. You have to give people the opportunity to try, to test projects on live, because it’s one thing to read textbooks and watch YouTube videos, but it’s another thing to take a product and test it on its basis. So more practice and more learning.

-Where do people learn this?

– GeekBrains.

-Where can you try it in Moldova? Gas pedals, hackathons, incubators.

-We can only learn by doing. And so that there were some courses that I checked off – these are great Moldovan courses, there are no such courses yet. I think they will appear next year.

You see, why not? We don’t have a community formed yet. We do not have people with successful startup experience who can teach there. Just taking the videos doesn’t work. There should be people teaching, mentors who have experience behind them, who you can drag out for coffee and ask.

-Can we have coffee? You’re busy people.

-I’m available. Five people a week, I meet, please. Anybody can sign up. I’ll meet with anybody and talk to anybody, no problem. If everybody would do that, that would be great.

-One more question Do you have to know English to develop your idea?

– Yes. Although I don’t know English perfectly, unfortunately. But for a startup with ambitions and an idea, go straight to English courses if you don’t know English. Otherwise the market for you will be very narrowed: Romania, Russia, Ukraine. There are no people here who don’t know a thing in English. Everyone knows English, just in different degrees – from A2 to C1, about this range. In a year you can improve your English and get up to the level you need to communicate with the Americans and Europeans because you cannot build a business without communication. An entrepreneur has to be able to talk and has to be able to convince. These are his skills. Otherwise he won’t get a team together. They simply won’t believe in him.

-Can a PR manager do this job? -No.

-No. A PR manager doesn’t do it. They also say to me, “I have an idea. I want to hire some team to vet it.” That’s your product. What do you need you for then? They can do it without you.

If you’re the face of the project, if you’re the engine, you have to take on the main work, at least at first, until you’re sure that someone needs the project, that the first investments have come in. Then you can replace yourself with someone else, and at the initial stage it’s impossible to delegate that to anyone. Unfortunately, you have to drag everything yourself. Unreal.

-Thank you very much. More questions.

-What do you think about Meta?

-Dmitry already said, that’s where we should dig.

-That’s where you have to dig. If you do a little futurology, how do we see our humanity in 20 years? Twenty years ago, nobody could have imagined what would happen to us, that we would be plugged into smartphones, that we would be ordering food on the phone, on television, that VR would appear.

There were no cell phones 20 years ago. No, there already were. There was no Internet. Nobody knew what it was. And now there is no life without the Internet. Video calls seemed like they were not from the distant future, but five years ago they were already relevant.

It is impossible to predict what will be in 20 years. Everything is developing exponentially. So your vision of 40 years from now, which you think will be 20 years from now. We will catch it, we will be in it. In my vision, we’re going to dive deeper and deeper into the digital universe. We’re already there now. You think we’re outside, we’re not really outside.

Now take away our smartphones, email, and the Internet, and we’ll feel like naked people in the middle of the desert. Very creepy to me, like you, it’s easier to leave your money, your jacket, your clothes, than a smartphone.

Every year we will become more and more immersed in this digital environment and not only outwardly, but also inwardly. Devices will appear that will allow you to be there as both eyes and ears. A new market is forming. It’s the nadinternet. When the Internet appeared, it was the same kind of space that was incomprehensible and unknown to many. Now the Internet is becoming as commonplace as air. VR is emerging, which, sooner or later, we will all get into and live in meta universes. It’s only a matter of time. Just like Makler fucked up the Internet, I don’t want to fuck up VR either.

-Is this project with Chisinau in that direction now?

-Thank you. I was going to say that, but you already said it.

-We had a guest back in the summer of 2019. He was telling us that they had this project to sell buildings, everything that is, but in virtual reality.

– Already now real estate is being sold in meta-universes, and it costs crazy money. I don’t understand it yet either. I guess I’m too old to understand it. But people pay a lot of money. They build there, they live there.

– He then explained that they would then want to put advertising on an important building, and it would cost money. Whoever owns that building will collect.

-Monopoly. It probably won’t be so primitive. People won’t be walking down the street looking at billboards. You could probably move anywhere in any space. Maybe there will be some bannoro place in your field of vision where there will be constant glimpses of advertisements. No matter where you look, it will always hang in front of you. But that’s a question of technology.

-It’s from the same format that the movie industry is now preparing for the fact that after a while you can change the banners or ads that appear in the film so that they are adapted to the new reality and to that time.

-There will be product placement.

-With such successes will robots enslave the world?

-Yesterday my son came up to me, eyes crying. I said, “What’s wrong, Misha?” He says, “Daddy, I thought you were lucky to be alive now. And in my world, robots will take over, and there won’t be a life like the one we have now. Life will be bad. I won’t have time to live it properly. Tell me, is that true?”

I told him it’s not true, but it’s close to it. I said, “Mishania, you won’t suffer from it. There will be robots, but they will be helpers. They won’t take over the world. They will help you with everything from a vacuum cleaner to a housekeeper to a car without a steering wheel that will take you where you need to go. You’ll be comfortable. You won’t feel uncomfortable.” He says, “What if they get out of control later?” I say, “That’s already, man, the digital singularity we’re all flying toward. How long humanity has left to live, I don’t know. Judging by how fast progress is going, about 50-60 more years, and then everything will collapse. The next step after VR will be a clap, and that’s it.”

-What is the singularity?

-Do you not know what the digital singularity is?

-No. -Let’s tell them. Let’s scare them even more.

– I’ll try to explain. Everyone has a poor understanding of what the digital singularity is, even those who talk about it. But what is the point? Technology does not evolve linearly. Everyone has noticed that technology is advancing faster and faster. If it used to take mankind 200 years to invent the steam engine, then another 100 years for electricity, 50 years for airplanes, each time that time decreases, and the technological curve moves in a parabola. At some point it will begin to move vertically and fly off into infinity. At that point, humanity becomes, because humanity is a puff, and there is no humanity. It will happen fastest when we all go into VR through neuralinks or through VR glasses. Then we’ll just stop being in this reality and get into another one. It will be a sort of matrix.

I don’t know where new people will come from. Maybe we will become immortal. But humanity as we know it will cease to exist.

-Why are you contributing to this, then?

– You want me to become a Luddite and break out the VR glasses? I’ll explain why. This path is the natural progression of humanity. Whether you like it, dislike it, accept it or not, it will be, from my perspective. So it’s better to be there than to be just an observer from the sidelines. I’m always for always being part of the game rather than watching it.

– It’s inevitable, and it’s better to be part of it than to be missing out.

-I don’t believe it can be stopped. It’s not a bad thing. Why do you perceive it to be a bad thing? You’ll live forever and be high forever. What more do you need? All people live to get the maximum amount of happiness and do whatever it takes to be as happy as possible.

– That’s if all market players operate in good faith. And if someone is going to be unscrupulous, collecting huge amounts of data?

-We Moldovans complain about the government. We have the government we deserve. That’s how humanity will deserve what it gets, sorry.

– I’m preparing in parallel for the summit, where we’ll just be discussing the topic of startups, ecosystems and the tools that are out there. What other questions are there?

– Do you only invest in startups?

-No. To successful, promising businesses, even in Moldova, which have more or less human margins, and an interesting team, I also gladly invest, because I have free money. But as a passive partner – just give money and forget about it. And getting involved in window production I certainly won’t. There is silly money and there is smart money. The stupid money we give to businesses, and the smart money to startups why.

– Why don’t you spend it? Why do you invest it?

– What do you mean, “spend it”?

-You have money. Why give it to someone else?

-What do you mean, “spend it”? What do you do with it? I’ve got it in my account. I got a million dollars. What do you do with it?

-Go as a team to Bali, Silicon Valley, give everyone on the team a bigger salary. Why not?

-It’s a gamble.

-It’s not gambling.

– The room will tell you.

– What’s sustainable? We’re still being watched from the regions. I want to explain what we know here in simpler words to all of Moldova.

-What are the conditions?

– This is discussed individually. For me, business is a game. I’ll either just give the money away, but I’m not going to have any fun with it. I want to buy a new board game and play more board games with my team than just giving them away. To buy beer and pizza? I don’t know, not interested.

We have some money that we can’t invest. There’s a million dollars. We have a portion registered for our needs, just in case, just in case, there’s a chest lying around, an untouchable reserve. We send some of the money to America, and we buy stocks there. Growth is constant there. This is our fallback, but it works. Money does not just lie there and rot away. It works. A third part of that is that we actively invest in developing new businesses. Here’s the plan.

-If you have an idea, how can I come to you and discuss it, get your feedback?

– You apply. You get a call, we make an appointment. You come, eat cheesecakes and chat.

-What else can we help you with? What do you need? Maybe you can find the right person here, or after the fifth handshake, in Moldova after the first.

-If you know entrepreneurs, people who want to move, are looking for a strong partner, just tell them that there is such a place. Let them come in, send an application. I’d be happy to meet with any of you, too.

-Would you invest in energy-related startups?

– Yes, I probably would, if it’s passive income. Let’s put in a wind turbine. Let’s put in a wind turbine. There’s a business scheme, it’s been tried and tested. It takes $200,000. We put it up, and in six years the investment will pay for itself. Okay. If it’s clear and straightforward, why not? Let it be.

-Prepare a pitch deck, send it to Simpals Factory and get involved.

– If it’s no secret, how do you manage to combine professional sports, high performance, and high performance in management?

-That’s a great question. Thank you. The answer is, no. It’s impossible to do both. When I was doing high performance sports, when I was setting world records and doing incredible things, I practically did not do business. I’m in my third year of not playing sports. I don’t consider running three times a week for five kilometers a sport. The sports that I used to do, I don’t do. When I came to the company after Oymyakon, after all these adventures, I saw that there was such a curve when I came, it was like this. Another year or two, and that was it. I said, “Okay, stop. Everybody froze. Hands off the keyboard! Stop! Everybody come over here! I stopped exercising, and it went up again.

Combining is a bad idea. You have to put the business on such a track that you’re sure it’s going to grow up. That’s why I’m looking for a lot of partners, to create a lot of businesses where I won’t be running them. I want to cut off that umbilical cord after all, and then you can do whatever you want. I can’t afford that yet. But that’s what I’m striving for.

-How did you get into sports? You didn’t start at a very young age.

– By that time I already had this comfortable nest in my brain where they put this egg. When I saw who the Ironman’s were, I had a puzzle in my head, there was some kind of flash, and everything came together. I realized what I wanted. It wasn’t conscious. It wasn’t because it’s the right thing to do or it’s good for health or image. I just got short-circuited, and it went. It’s unconscious. I don’t know if I was lucky or unlucky. It’s a complicated question. But I don’t regret it one bit. It was wow.

-Do potential partners, businessmen, recognize you as a runner?

– I’m only known for that. “Ah, the runner! Come here. Come here, handsome.” Especially in Russia, abroad, I’m only known as an athlete. “You also have a business?” – That’s what they say.

In Moldova many people also know me as someone who runs or who walks barefoot. And when they find out that I also run a business, they are surprised. It’s strange. If you want to become famous, you’d better go running somewhere.

– After you, an Italian tried to break your record.

– No one remembers the second one.

-It turns out that you got what you wanted, that you are a fighter.

-It does.

-It’s a good card to wear out.

-It’s a good one. But I didn’t do it consciously, it just happened.

– Share your information bubble. What do you read? What do you watch? What do you recommend?

– That’s an interesting formulation, like the digital singularity. I watch movies. I like watching movies. I listen to a lot of books while jogging, while walking. I stopped reading business books. As recently as a year, two years ago, I read a lot. Probably listened to all the most famous ones.

Now I realized that I formed the foundation that I need, and I need to build my personal tower on this foundation, which suits me personally with this knowledge. Other people’s experiences will only hurt me. It won’t turn out to be a tower, but some bullshit. So I cut off that information for myself.

Like everyone else, the tapes on the internet. Everyone has a different set of tapes. I have more of a technological one. I’m an engineer. I am first of all an inventor, and second of all an entrepreneur. I enjoy inventing new things, inventing gadgets. That’s my thing. I hang out there more.

Another very important thing for an entrepreneur is to have a vision. If you want to generate a lot of ideas, you have to be in many areas, be interested in very different things in order to be able to take from here, combine them, you get something third. The more area of interest you have, the more different ideas you get, because you can start mixing it up. So try to be interested in completely different things. That will help.

-Last question.

– Do you continue to write software?

– I’m not a programmer at all, but I was a programmer. It was 1989 and the first Moldovan computer Vector-06C had just appeared. I bought it and wrote programs. I have a few programs. I will publish them in a few days. They were written in Basic. They are games that I sold in Chisinau from Floresta. I recorded them on cassettes. There was a Vector Center here, they were selling them. I made 25 rubles or something, I was very proud of myself. Now I look at it – how people paid for it, I don’t understand. Since then I have not programmed, so I have no idea.

-What qualities does a person need to be successful?


-The first is discipline. The second is determination. The third is charisma. This will help convince people to follow you. But it has to be proven by deeds, not words, so discipline is very important. I would put it first.

-Thank you very much.

-Thank you all. I want to give you a round of applause. Thank you.

Mentioned projects:
Shortcut Lobster Sonr
Female Hands

Female Hands

Why Her hands are special, how is Dmitri different from Mitya, when you can get a slap, why I am afraid to sleep alone, and what is the most important thing for a real man to find in life.

The tale of the magic galoshes

The tale of the magic galoshes

Sometimes stories happen to people that turn into parables and tales. Some stories turn into legends. And in Moldova we had a story that turned out to be like a fairy tale.