Interview. Simpals

What does Simpals mean, how do you get resources from the buzz, is it possible to work just “for money”, why do you need to share and what is it like to be a Padre?

-Did you sign the contract?

-With you?

-Yeah. So that if anything… Okay. Hey! What’s it gonna look like, tell me.

-It’ll start with you talking about the company.

-Who’s this for, our people?

-It’s for our use, for the recruiters.

-And keep it short and snot-free….

-There may be snot… but it’s short…

-Let’s do it!


-Hi. (Laughs) Yay! Finally

-Can you tell us what you do for Simpals?

-What do I do? Actually, they call me Padre. It’s a person who doesn’t do anything and makes almost no decisions, but they think he’s some kind of boss and it’s customary to hang all the bad labels on him, say mean things about him. 

-Guess who it’s gonna be?

-Zezik? Maybe the cameraman?


-But then I don’t know. The dick from Moscow? Oh, I know that one.

-Tell us about simpals. Let’s start with where the name came from.

-The word came out of desperation. As usual, on April 1 must go to register a company, and March 31 we do not know the name and we are sitting drunk in a dumbbell two people and thinking: “tomorrow we have to write a name on a piece of paper” We thought, thought a lot, it was a lot of difficult. I tell the guys that we should keep it simple, everything should be simple, everything we do should be simple. “How do you say simple in English?” – “Simple.” Just Simpl, that’s a weird name. And we had the option before that one of our values was that we’re friends buddies. In English, buddy buddies are Pals. We combined Simple and Pals together and we got Simpals. It’s as simple as that.

-How old is Simpals in 2018?

-Is this a test? I don’t know how old my daughter is turning this year, you want to know how old the company is. Let’s do the math: 2002-registration, 2017-2002= 15 years. And 2018 is a year older, 16 years of age, you can already mate. I don’t know with whom.

-Tell me, what were Sympals’ plans when it first came out?

-The company’s plans were to survive at all costs. And what plans could a young, fledgling company have? What we were doing: at that time, our main activity was computer graphics, commercials, we were considered as one of the coolest companies which make 3D graphics and animation and thus made the advertising market modern and fashionable, stylish and young.  And then there was the Internet, websites like 999 if you remember it,, all kinds of crap that took money and time, but did not bring anything. 

-After 15 years and up to now, how has the company changed?

-It has grown, we were 4 people at the time, 50 times, the number of people, the amount of money I do not know, not a question for me, but for the accounting department and the number of projects has increased by a factor of 10. The area that we occupy, our first office was 50-60 m2, and the new one that we are moving to at the beginning of 2018 will be 2500, the office has grown 50 times. But the main thing we haven’t changed is that we have been carrying our values for 16 years.

-Tell us about your values?

-We have seven of them, by the number of letters in the word simples. But we have one person, the custodian of company traditions – Anastasia Berzoy, a girl who can tell you about all the nuances, our values, our philosophy, but I, as the founder of this malthouse, can tell you in two words…

-Tell me in a nutshell…

-The main value is to make faces on camera, to make faces when you’re interviewed and to play dumb. Everyone who’s been here has done that. But seriously, the values are not quite standard, not so corporate values as in microsoft and google, but so a little bit strange that people may think. For example, one of our values, one of the steps of our philosophy, is to remain a child, that is, not to grow up, to try. Children make decisions with their hearts, sincerely, and adults start to analyze and compare and study a lot. It takes a lot of information to make a decision, and usually such decisions,end very badly.  We try to make decisions with our hearts, very emotionally and do everything from the heart. The other value is simplicity.We try to make things as simple as possible, not to overcomplicate, and so our projects are as simple and understandable to people as possible, aimed at making people’s lives as simple as possible. 

-Our company loves challenges. It seems to us that life without challenges is boring and monotonous. So we always need to set seemingly solvable tasks and no one can solve it, all say don’t take it. We are very motivated and energized, we start doing it and we do it. It seems to me that there are no unsolvable problems, the question is how much you believe in them.

-Create an atmosphere, experiment, surprise and enjoy your work. That’s what you didn’t say, everything else you did.

-Do I have to list them all?

-The ones I like.

-Atmosphere, experiment, love, surprise, and get high off the job. So, experimenting.  We really like experimenting, we really like trying to invent something, trying something, launching lots of different projects, half of which collapse and go no further. But those that survive become successful. I think the main rule of business is never to put all your eggs in one basket, you have to do as many different projects, some of which are sure to shoot out. You should not be afraid to experiment and spend money and time on it. This is the philosophy of our company, there is an opportunity for anyone in the company to propose a project and if he is adequate enough, not something to sell drugs in Colombia. It’s something that works, you know some projects that came out of thin air, out of nowhere, and became big and popular, it’s very cool. 

-Let’s go back to the history of Simpals, it was 2002. In 16 years, can you name 3 of the company’s greatest turning points

-Yes. And the important principle is to enjoy your work, you have to enjoy what you do. I don’t need people who come here to make money, it’s not a place where you come to get kudos in your pocket. I want people in the company who are sick in a good sense of the word, who are passionate about what they do, who have eyes that are willing to do something beautiful, that they like and that others like.  So if you want to come to Simpals just to earn money, you won’t be able to work here for a long time and all the people are crazy about their work, love it and don’t divide it into personal and work life. So if you love something and what we have, welcome to our team, you’ll be fine here. Or you love something but we don’t do it…Come tell us and we’ll say, “mmm, cool, we’ll do it and we’ll love it together.”

-Okay. And again about the 3 most life-changing moments that have had a qualitative impact on the company.

-Actually there were a lot of them and each time we took a lot of directions and may not have come to where we were, but there were big twists and turns that dramatically changed the direction of the company.   The first was before we founded the company, when we decided to create a site where we could sell computer parts – it was Without 999, many projects would not exist today, because 999 gives us the opportunity to to experiment.  The second important moment was the emergence of Roman Fedorovich, in 2003, the man who made Simpals what it is now and the man who not only replaces me, it’s not my clone, it’s a different person, he has a different vision, which is great. He’s steering the company in the direction we all like.Without Roma Simpals it wouldn’t be the way you know it. There was a turning point when we had a terrible crisis in 2008 and the advertisers refused to pay us money and due to the fact that all budgets were cut, we had reduced subsidies and we almost lost our money, because there was no money and there were a lot of people and we had to feed them. We then decided to charge users 999 1 leu per each submitted ad. It seemed like a decision, but it turned out that nowadays 999 are earning much more than just placing banners. It turned out to be a financial, commercial one.

-You say make a decision with your heart, and you talk about money.

-Well, we made the decision with our hearts.


-Then what did you do?

-Rational decision, you were going to take money from users not to starve to death, not to have fun. Oops… Double standards

-Dermenji… stuff… Dermenji…. is from the word crap. It looks good on you, you’re such a pussy. So what’s our tipping point?

-Let’s talk about you getting into sports. You raised Moldova with the couch.

-And the third turning point for our company happened 4 years ago, when I got addicted to running, swimming, triathlon, to doing sports, and luckily my colleagues supported me and we opened a social network,, we started doing events, we raised Moldova from couches, we made it run, jump, move, swim, people are now in a mess themselves, they may not want it anymore, but they can’t do anything about it, it’s like a disease. And sportscaster has become a big whale, on which the Simpals are and because of it a lot of people found out about us and see that we do not earn anything, that sportscaster does not bring money, but it changes the country, for us it is very, very important.

-There were other important moments.

-Yes the 4th turning point will be in the future when I die and I would be interested to see what happens to Simpals after that.That moment will definitely happen someday and I hope that by that time Simpals will still exist and I wonder what it will be like after that event. I hope the people who come to work there will already be working without me and those values I was talking about will not die with me somewhere on Everest or drown somewhere in Gibraltar or be eaten by wild wolves in Alaska, they will stay here

-How many people worked for the company in 2002, please?

-In 2002 there were less than 10 of us and we occupied about 50-60 m2 in a semi-basement room, but we had as much fun as we do now. Nothing has changed, just the scale has grown and now we don’t eat sausages on a fire at a corporate party, but you can come and see what we eat at a corporate party

-How many people work in the company now?

 -According to unverified information, they say about 200, this again is a rumor and no one has checked, there are a lot of people and they are constantly appearing and disappearing, disperse into offices, go on vacation, etc… Here if you take at the corporate office and count…

-Okay. Now, we’re going to talk about the last 7 years, a very important moment, period at Simpals. Look…There’s this thing, 7 years is a turn around, every 7 years…

-I have six years. I have a life of 6 years… it’s who has it, some have 5, some have 7, but there is such a cycle…

-There’s a theme that if you haven’t seen a person for 7 years, you may not say hello to them because the cells in the body die completely…

-And you’re talking about biological…

 -The company has this period. I want to get to the subject of the office, that we’ve been in this office for these 7 years and it’s gone through a cycle, we’ve grown a lot, let’s try to remember the number of projects that have been born here.

-You give me a list I’ll read it, I what remember everything. No I don’t remember everything, so many projects, there were a lot of them, whatever you want, it became very much social. They say, here’s Simpals, so much money they have, and how much money, we give it all back, the country gives us back, we give it all back. We don’t have that much money.  We don’t have any huge, gold mountain reserves because we try to give back everything that comes to us. According to one of our philosophical doctrines, the wider you open the output pipe, the wider the input pipe opens. The more you give, the more you get. 

-How has the company changed in the last seven years?

-Well, in the last 7 years we have grown from a small and unknown company, in spite of the fact that there were 999, nobody associated them with Sympals, well 999 and 999, to a company which works with the state agencies, with funds, with embassies, we are taken seriously, we do state orders, now the company name says a lot to people, if before no one knew, now: “And if Simpals does something, it’s serious”. We are absolutely white and fluffy, we don’t have any plumes, courts, stolen money, our reputation is clean and we can be trusted. And people come to work for us, I won’t lie, we don’t have the highest salaries in the country. There are companies that pay more.  But what I’m proud of is that they come to work not for the money, but to change the world around them, and many people know about it and want to work in our company. 

-What projects have appeared in the last 7 years in the company?

-I don’t remember, give me a list with all the logos. I don’t remember everything, it’s going to get crumpled, let’s go backwards.  The most recent are Verde, Achizitii, Master, Chisinau is me, Goodvin, Stiri, Price, Afisha, Joblist, Fosfor, Sporter, Chisinau Marathons, Gidigich, swims all. Then on cartoons, we did two more cartoons in this time, we started to do a cartoon for virtual reality, we launched an underwater lobster, which allows our freedivers to dive.  Well you, madam, put me in a deadlock, because there are a lot of projects, I can’t remember all of them so sharply. Votum we had – voting …. But if you prepare well, put a list on the palm of your hand and so tell and palm peek. I can tell you about each one, but I can’t remember all of them right now… These journalists. 

-You could say that in 2010 we had a 999, a forum…a 999 market.

-There were a lot of dead people: ESM, colegi, joblist died, there was such a small graveyard… Now there are many more projects: And those projects that were there, they’ve grown, they’ve changed, they’ve expanded, and their attendance has increased 20 times.

-How do these projects appear?

-They usually appear spontaneously, in general I believe that the universe allows us to do these projects, it sees that we are a normal and adequate company, a group of people to whom you can entrust a resource, human or financial. In our heads, not only mine, put ideas, gives opportunities to implement them, does not interfere with us, helps us when we need money – we have a partner, we do not have enough permission from the mayor’s office – some magical way all solved at the last moment. For this I am grateful to the universe, again I think it is not just because, because our philosophy correlates well with the world order.

-That is, you believe that the right attitude to the situation, to the environment, etc., sets yourself up for a positive life

-Yes, that is, if the universe sees that we are doing good, the universe allows us to do good, gives us all the resources we need to keep doing it. We also launched a rocket into space. 

-About the atmosphere that surrounds the employees. I know that one of the rules of companies is that you can create an atmosphere for yourself and ask the company to help you. What is it done for?

-It’s done so that a person feels in the company not as at work, but as among your friends, as home, as a family. It will be very important at the moment when we move into the new office, the company will allocate money to each department to furnish it so that they feel not only comfortable, but also to show off a little bit to other departments: “Look how cool it is at our place. Come visit us for tea and cookies.”

-What makes Simpals Simpals?

-Specifically, cookies make Simpals Simpals.Because we tell all the people who come to work that you get a job you love and free cookies. And a lot of people come in and say, the job is okay, the pay is okay – but where are the cookies? And before, when we had those times, there were no cookies, people would leave and say, “No, that’s not the way it works. And since then we realized that this is our mistake and began to buy cookies in unlimited quantities. That’s why we have tons of them!

-Okay, what makes Simpals Simpals?

-What makes Simpals Simpals? You think I’m gonna tell you some corporate values or a revenue schedule?  Or maybe the degree of social influence? What makes Cympals Cympals are these characters who walk on my back.The people who work here, because without these people there would be nothing. We’re not a cookie factory, we’re a dream factory and only people can make it happen 

-Is there a classic portrait of a sympathizer? What should a sympathizer be like?

-This is a normal sympathizer, bringing water and wagging his horns. It is unclear where he got the horns, from family life, or she works shitty, or she lost an argument with a colleague, the bosses can make.This is fine! Now that’s a sympathetic one.

-Now to that point, which I absolutely love, do people leave an impact on the company and what kind of impact?

-We have people coming and going, there is a certain flow of people who came to the company, worked for five years, wanted more, then went to America. It may not be on the surface but dozens of people that come through the company certainly change the face of the company. I’m like Padre Simpals , it’s very hard for me to appreciate these changes, my kids grow up unnoticed.  If I were to look from the outside now and 5 years ago, of course I would see dramatic changes. so it’s not really a question for me. I agree that we have changed. the answer is nothing, you know

-What does a company change in employees’ lives and what does a company change in people’s lives?

-After working at Simpals for a year, you can’t leave the way you came in, that’s 100%. Simpals changes everyone. It cripples some, it cures others. But our philosophy is so powerful that it grinds people down. People who leak into the company for whatever reason with completely different principles of life, who just want to make money, who are capable of being mean or black at heart, and the company rejects them like pus, like a sore and they leave the company. People who are compatible with our principles, stay with us long time, they find acknowledgement of these principles, they grow, they accept this philosophy, and even leaving the company, they become brighter, I would like to believe more good, they bring pleasure to other people.

 -And what does the company change in people’s lives?

-What do we give to society in general? I think that every company has a duty to society in which it is located. You cannot just rob people around and line your own pockets. Such a company will not live long.In order for a company to live long and happy, it must necessarily give back to society, to do as much good as possible. You know what we do: we promote sports in the country on an absolutely charitable basis, we help children, we collect money for people and children who need help, we help retirees, we paint the city – Chisinau is me, the project is absolutely charitable, we just paint funny pictures around the city for tourists when they come, saying what a beautiful city. We plant trees, when we had a snowstorm, you know, it destroyed all the trees, we launched the project, which allows any citizen to buy a tree and plant it anywhere in our city. And we will be doing more and more such projects, because we believe one of our missions is to make life around us easier, more comfortable, more interesting and better.

-You were talking about how projects come into being, how people give birth to them… I need stories.

-I got it… I can tell you about phosphorus, I can make up stories about goodwin…

-You can tell me a sentence by sentence about the projects that were born in people’s heads.

-I remember about phosphorus, in general, a lot of projects were born in people’s heads. Matkovsky decided to raise it. Actually, that’s not true, Roma and I decided to raise it, and Matkovsky was allowed to do it. And what did vjik do?

-Verde did…. achizitii

-Okay. So as not to be unsubstantiated and not to sound pathetic, I will give you a couple of examples of what happens in the company. For example on public procurement, was initiated by Vadim Jelascov in order to make public procurement transparent, to avoid kickbacks, to prevent theft, to make everything transparent in Moldova.  Or the project Phosphorus – festival of electronic music, Ludmila Slav proposed to make such a festival, I don’t understand such music, I don’t like electronic music. But she managed to convince us that this festival will be a big one, many people will come to it and there’ll be lots of happy faces and smiles. We did this festival, and it was very popular. Last time came about 23 thousand people … Joblist for example which was in a half-dead state, dying, Andrey Matkovsky decided to revive it and here last year we revived it, it actively develops and takes one of the leading positions in the market. And there are enough examples. It is impossible, that these projects give birth to one head, therefore each employee can offer what to do sympathy, we always not enough, we want to do as much as possible, not for money, it interests us. We want to do everything.

-Tell us how do you see Simpals in the future? In a month for example?

-In a month, there will be no office, no Simpals. Everyone will be on a binge. The beginning of January. There will be no one at work, everyone will eat and drink.

-In a year?

-A year from now. Let’s fantasize. In a year we will be in a new office, 2500 meters, which is not completely full, it will be full. People will be 250-270 people somewhere, we will have at least 3 projects which I do not know about yet, but they will be and we will be surprised about it, one of them will be successful, it is not clear what kind of growth in money, maybe it will be, maybe not. I really hope, please, that I get one hour to spend more time with my family and not work. I plan that next year we will finish the cosmonaut, let it out and actively start working on wolves, that is

Most likely we will find some external studio to help us make the animation. We will release another 2 projects in the garage, at least 2 projects, iron, which we will sell to the whole world, one of them I already know, the second I do not know yet. On accounting, we will have an internal document management system, we already have it, we will launch it next year. Next year we will open a school where we will teach people design, Internet marketing, advertising and some other things. We have two big rooms in our new office specifically booked to open a school there-plus we will open a shooting studio where we will make television programs that will be shown on TV. Right now we’re just doing lives, but next year it’ll probably be small shows.

-Are there any favorite places in this office?

-Absolutely I will miss this office, because you know what my office looks like, my whole life is there, every cm2 I can tell about it, what is there, hanging, standing and how it relates to me. I will try to move many things into the new office, but I will miss that atmosphere: my balcony, the park, the hustle and bustle outside the door. It will probably be different, on a different level, the office will be big, the distance will be huge and I will see some people less often and of course it’s not the same. I feel sad for the previous office every time I move to a new one. That’s normal. And you’re going to be sad for your office, your hangout, just like any of us.

-It’s just that this office is where we spent the most time.

– Yes…I remember the previous office on Pushkin’s 12, I have very warm memories from it, many projects were born there, many things changed in my brain there. That period of 2008-2009 the company was growing at a tremendous pace, now we can not afford to grow that way, now if by 15-20% per year, then back then it was 100-150%. The company was small, the growth of 5 people – the company has grown by 2 times. At that time a lot of projects were born. I was younger and there was more excitement. It’s not the same now, 20 new projects a year, before it was 100.

 -Are there any strange things you did at work or for work?

-I jerked off at work… Nothing weird about that. Broke computers, monitors with a club, sawed them with a chainsaw, I even yelled at some people.Well rumors… I’m not going to lie, there were a couple of times I snapped.I am a balanced person, very calm, never let you raise your voice at employees, but a couple of times I got out. The goat brought me warm tea, not hot, but warm. I threw the cup at her, poured boiling water over her. And so in general … No, well, it’s not true everything, you know … In fact, I am a boor, in fact, say everything I think, and in order to communicate with me comfortably, you need to know my features.People who do not know me, fall into stupor, you know, when someone says that you think at the moment, it many shocked. But you thank God you are used to it, you are a leaden ass, you will not be surprised.

-Describe Simpals in two words.

-Sim pals.

-Did Simpals change your life?

-No, because Simpals is my life.

-Do you love Simpals?

-I love simpals, it’s second only to my family.

-Who do you love about Simpals?

-The cameramen who shoot my interviews, those are my favorite people in the company. It’s true that the more you love, the more you beat them, I usually fire them, they must suffer for it. Here… What do you mean who do I love in Simpals? I love everybody . I have people I’m more comfortable with, but I’ll never say their names. That’s like telling my son I love my daughter more than I love you. That’s not how it works.

-Are we going to have new animals in the office?

-Yeah, recruiting is working on that.

Mentioned projects:
Simpals 999 Sporter Joblist Fosfor
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