These are exciting times right now in Russia. After a long history of existing on a resource-driven oil & gas economy, the country has made great strides  to becoming a high technology powerhouse. The press is a-buzz with talk about technology parks and fostering a start-up culture. Lots of attention has been given to learning from Silicon Valley’s history and applying those lessons into creating a Russian high-tech sector.

Silicon Valley 2010

We had started, joined, sold and wrecked a few startups

We are the group of energetic Russian-American entrepreneurs based in Silicon Valley. We have been here for many years and done many things grand and small. We have been in and out of huge technology companies. Started, joined, wrecked, and sold quite a few startups. Gotten, spent, given, and advised on many high tech investments. From our front-row seats right here in Mountain View, Palo Alto & San Francisco, we experienced first hand the .com boom and bust, enjoyed the spring of web 2.0, watched the rise of Google and Facebook, and were generally awed by the never-ending evolution of the Valley. Being Russian in Silicon Valley is interesting and humbling. Sometimes our heritage has been an aid, but more often than not it has led to confusion & bedazzlement. Things here get done so fast!!!!  It helps to realize which of our historical baggage we should take or abandon, and  what else we needed to learn in order to compete with the best and the brightest of Silicon Valley.

Like everybody else, we got excited hearing the recent news from Russia. What can be more interesting than thinking of biggest startup of them all, restarting the whole country! Silicon Valley’s first teaching is that no challenge is too hard. Small determined teams are capable of astonishing results, thousands of times bigger than their inputs. If two guys in garage can take down a multi-billion dollar international corporation by building an even bigger mega-multi-billion dollar company on two laptops and folding table, why can’t a rag-tag group of entrepreneurs reform a whole country by using a blog and powered by an unstoppable drive to succeed? Just roll out the white-boards and start brainstorming.

Silicon Valley’s first teaching is that no challenge is too hard.

We are not going to waste your time on obvious “startup/entrepreneur” entry level advice. There are plenty of other resources for that on “the internet”. What we are going to do is to dig deep to unearth the roots of how Russian legacy culture looks like through the prism of Silicon Valley innovation; what the real fundamentals of Silicon Valley system are, so hidden from the surface, yet so critical for success; what must change in the broader Russian mindset and worldview to see the world like we do here in Silicon Valley.  We will try to analyze and uncover these deeper truths.

Stay tuned for more great stuff coming up soon!

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