The first time I came to the US in 2008 in Los Angeles. Then America seemed to me a completely different world. When I walked out of the airport, I saw that things work quite well, as we do, came up with the idea that not just because they are on the other side of the globe.
The difference in global matters and minutiae - such as traffic lights have is vertical, they have horizontal white lines in the road and they have yellow, etc. The movement organization in the United States - is generally a separate issue, everything is done in the mind! In that trip I stayed in Los Angeles three weeks, and when he returned to Moscow, the first time woke up at 5 in the morning, waiting for the opening of coffee and walked the habit of drinking coffee, mainly in Starbucks.
After arrival in Moscow to me with enviable regularity began to come to the idea of moving to the United States. The feel of the first visit was positive.
The decision to leave the United States "on postoyanku" originated somewhere in a year. Not from what I bad lived in Russia, and it was impossible to do something. On the contrary, I was all more or less well, 25 years old, your internet business a couple of off-line projects, a good car, hobbies, friends, - in general, I was all arranged. Haunted only that the scale of IT-business in Russia was just an infant compared with the US.
I read a bunch of books about the history of Google, Apple and others. I wanted to create something big! In those days, I also was a postgraduate student at the department of management of investment and innovation, and wrote his thesis on the theme "Investing in high-tech companies." Therefore, the numbers from the capitalization, EBITDA and others. Constantly flashed before my eyes. At that time, no Yandex or Mail has not yet reached the IPO, and have very little technology companies were public. Finish the work, however, did not succeed, because at the time we launched two new projects, and had to quit graduate school.
So, I list the factors that attracted me to the United States:
1) the scope of the American Homeland and IT-business. I have always believed that learning should be an example and take the best and if possible, to be as close as possible to their orbit. Valley - a place of origin of the whole IT-industry. In this case, be close with her and be near the offices of Google, Apple, Facebook, and others seemed to me a good idea.
2) Climate. In California, it is always warm, and in Los Angeles, the sun shines 350 days a year. In San Francisco, a little cooler, but the coat is not required if you are not a rapper. The following five temperature almost never falls.
3) The creative and pleasant environment. For example, when you wake up, you can see from the window of the mountains or the ocean, located in Los Angeles, or the bridge "Golden Gate" in San Frantssko, then your mood and creativity are at a higher level than if you watch the November porridge and dullness in Moscow. Of course, this will be displayed on the products that you launch. However, at the time of writing this article, I watch the sunrise, blue sky, the center of Moscow and the Kremlin stars away - this is also a good appearance, but the weather does not always happen.
In the US, pleasing not only the species, but also the situation. For example, going to a book, you can comfortably sit on the floor with a cup of coffee and read your favorite book or magazine, to communicate with someone.
4) Staff. In our industry in the United States employs a large number of people, they have a great experience and a good knowledge.
5) Cheaper appliances, automobiles and things - these are additional and nice buns.
The idea was as follows: - come a month to rest and get used to the surroundings, then start to assemble a team and start a new project. The exact idea of the project was not there, but wanted to do a tour guide. I have worked in this field since 2003 and collecting puzzle from local projects in areas. For example, I had a project about fitness in Moscow www.infit.ru
and several other projects life-style theme. Was the idea to combine them and make such a global world wide.
We had a "Bill", they have been Yelp, and a lot of resources on both sides. Foursquare at the time was not yet. This is one of those factors that do not appear in time and became, I believe, a hindrance to us, and all made changes in the market.
In autumn 2009, my office and the main business remained in Moscow, and I packed up and flew to the United States. However, not in San Francisco, and Los Angeles - where I have had at least some friends. Relatives said he was leaving to live in the States, but will sometimes visit. Being there on a tourist visa I could not more than 6 months, so was planning to come to Moscow twice a year, visit a couple of weeks and come back. Working visa I was not needed, since I did not plan to be employed. The issue of a green card has been postponed for later. Somewhere a year before I left, I hired a CEO, which was to completely take over management of the company. We called each other almost every day on Skype, but operational decisions he took without me. In addition, all key personnel sent me daily reports by e-mail, and I can "on the fly" to coordinate their work.
There is a joke about dinosaurs: what is the probability of finding a dinosaur in the street? 50/50 - either meet or not. To those who want to emigrate to the United States, about the same story - there are those who will be able to settle down there, and those who do not. I apparently belong to the second type.
Looking ahead, I will say that the last couple of weeks I have been downright rushed back, but after some time I was again drawn to the United States, but without the idea of moving.
And now a little bit about how things changed as I was there:
1) Staff. The States have technical specialists and designers big salaries. Both in Moscow and in America for the quality you have to pay. For example, the designer of VAZ never be able to do the same design of the car, like a BMW. Similarly, people will not be able to draw a small salary as a designer who receives 5-7k per month - they just have a different level.
In addition, we I understand where and how to select personnel. There Hh, specialized resources for IT pros. I met and talked with potential employees and kofaundarami, only had about 10 meetings, were they in a cafe or at the pool in the sun in the apartment where I lived - it is certainly nice. With someone corresponded by mail. But in the end to any of them, I nothing agreed. Someone money someone other conditions are not satisfied, someone questioned the idea.
Once I met in a bookstore one American in the business section of the literature, we are talking about the business, and it seemed to me that this might have something to go. We have some time, and talked a couple of weeks agreed to meet, as I thought, with its partners. As a result, he brought me to meet gerbalayfistov or some similar MLM-office. I explained his view of what is happening and left the place.
2) Ignorance of the law and business infrastructure. Lawyers and consultants in America are expensive. Organization can be registered for a few thousand dollars, by selecting the most appropriate staff to not pay taxes. But this is only the beginning.
3) language. I can not give her a perfect knowledge of the language, but no matter how you know the language to speak and read, especially the contract and the specific literature, in any case easier in their own language.
4) mentality. At the end of your stay I started a little annoying eternal smiles around. We have different jokes as a child we looked different cartoons, listen to different music, in general, we have different cultures. For me, as it turned out it was a small obstacle in communication and contacts with the Americans. For example, once a woman was driving me a few kilometers, then drove with me at the gate at the entrance to the apartment - and all this in order to accuse me that I turned from the wrong row. This is despite the fact that noise I will not created.
5) Food. In America, of course, a huge selection of products, and in the hypermarket just a pleasure to be in. I often purchase organic products in the stores, but the taste of some I did not like. For example, chicken and milk have other, and milk products are not the same as in Russia.
6) American freedom and democracy. Where freedom begins stranger, your end very quickly, and democracy will be stopped very rigidly. Once I arrived at the parking office Google and came out with a camera. To me immediately approached two guards on bicycles, in a not very friendly manner asked to leave their territory, the second someone dictating numbers on my car radio. I of course immediately left. I must say that I later photographed quietly on the lawn of Apple's headquarters in Palo Alto. It depends.
Another one of the surprises was at the airport. I had to fly to Moscow for a week in urgent circumstances, and after returning to the United States, at passport control, I said that the period of intended stay - 6 months. They asked the purpose of my stay and asked a number of other standard questions, and I answered them all very clearly explained. My answer to them was not satisfied, and I was detained at the airport for two hours to clarify. No one then explain to me why I was detained, and how much it will last. Besides behaved extremely unfriendly staff. As a result, the conflict has been settled, no, I did not break the law, the Chief Inspector brought formal apology and released, but at some time the sediment remained. All of these procedures and disassembly after a 13 hour flight - not the most pleasant experience.
7) No one is waiting for us with open arms to build the American dream. I wish that none of this was not, but in the event of any conflict you Americans always be an immigrant, and this will be felt in the debriefing.
8) industry. What we had before 2010 and that was after - it's like two different countries in the context of it is online business. Stirs the top was visible and tangible, and it came to the participants, although going from the bottom is also very active and rapid development. Now, going into the coffee shop, I almost always meet a couple of startups that are discussing the idea of a new project. Whether it will have or not, but the process is! History is happening here and now in our hands.
In general, these factors are folded, I realized that I have to go back. It has been about a month since my return, I started a new project advizzer.com. By the scale is a bit not what I had planned, but the project was launched, and now came to self-sufficiency, in contrast to the larger projects of similar subjects. The business model is tested and proven, on the issue of speed of development and resources. Then he started another project, and is now developing further.
As time passes, I can say that that trip gave me a lot. Later I have flown a couple of conferences in San Francisco. All the same, in the United States has its own energy and rhythm, and the air, ocean and mountains certainly will clean your mind and have a positive impact on them. I was very comfortable there - both in general and in the details.
As for business, then for me the idea of scaling existing projects in the West quite working. Ideally, it would be representative of the company, for example, in San Francisco, and periodically visit the United States - for a few weeks, to a maximum of a couple of winter months. Ideas are many, so I think it will be on what to try.
But to run it from the ground up a new project with a new team - I would not. But if someone from our compatriots coming to the United States and makes it something that does not happen I have - he's a big fellow! Nothing is impossible.