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Russian » English - 7 finalists


From "Маркетинг, которого нет" by Alexander Moskovkin. 360 words
Несмотря на то, что место программиста сулило спокойную работу, неплохие заработки и хорошую карьеру, Андрей без всяких сомнений покинул насиженные места и вступил на тернистый путь предпринимательства. Естественно, что ни о маркетинге, ни о продажах он и понятия не имел. Всему приходилось учиться на практике, набивая шишки в общении с покупателями.

Несмотря  на все сложности, Поминову удалось  завоевать клиентов, о которых мечтает любая компания. Как же предпринимателю-самоучке, работающему прямо в собственной квартире, удалось добиться такого успеха?

…По счастливому стечению обстоятельств, в один день с Андреем в Академии появилась чуть ли не первая в Советском Союзе партия болгарских персональных компьютеров. И у руководства возникла мысль перенести уже существовавшие словари с больших ЭВМ на персональные компьютеры. За полгода сделали работающий прототип словаря, который и лег в основу будущего Мультитрана.

Словарь планировалось продавать организациям (других покупателей в конце 80-х просто не было), однако в стране наступил кризис, возникли перебои с финансированием и проект стал умирать. Чтобы спасти то, что уже было сделано, энтузиасты, в числе которых был и Поминов, создали совместное предприятие. Так как денег на него никто не выделил, СП просуществовало всего полгода.

Возник довольно острый вопрос: кто станет хозяином продукта. «Здесь я, можно сказать, перетянул одеяло на себя, - вспоминает Андрей, - так как уже несколько месяцев сидел дома и занимался словарем в одиночку». Так Мультитран стал «домашним» проектом: Поминов сидел в обычной квартире, доводил его до ума, а в свободное время ездил в Европу за подержанными автомобилями и одеждой. «Покупать я тогда очень любил, а вот продавать – нет. Наверное, потому что продавать надо уметь», - смеется он.

…Время показало, что фирма – слишком много для одного человека, и Андрей переквалифицировался в индивидуального предпринимателя, ведь при такой организации бизнеса никаких «бумажек» практически не требуется…

…Недавно Поминову позвонила девушка из агентства, занимающегося проведением опросов, и спросила: «Это квартира или офис?» «Ну, даже и не знаю…», - замешкался он. Компьютер в своей квартире Андрей не выключает уже много лет: «Офис – дома, напротив – почта, через дорогу – банк, в том же доме
провайдер и сервер с Мультитраном. Этот «золотой треугольник» можно обойти за 10 минут».

«Если честно, я не могу сказать, каким именно будет сайт лет через десять.» - признается Андрей.

The winning and finalist entries are displayed below.To view the like/dislike tags the entries received simply click on the "view all tags" link on the right hand corner of each entry.

You can leave your feedback for this pair at the bottom of the page.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all the participants!






Entry #1 - Points: 12 - WINNER!
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Despite the promise of a quiet job, decent earnings, and a good career as a programmer, Andrei fearlessly abandoned familiar territory and set out on the thorny path of business ownership. Naturally, he had no clue about marketing or sales. Everything had to be learned in practice, hitting all the bumps in customer relations.

Despite all the difficulties, Pominov succeeded in winning the clients every company dreams about. How did a self-taught entrepreneur, working right out of his own apartment, manage to achieve such success?

…By a fortunate coincidence, what was almost the very first batch of Bulgarian personal computers in the Soviet Union showed up with Andrei at the Academy on the same day. The directors had gotten the idea of transferring the currently existing dictionaries from the mainframes to the personal computers. For half a year they constructed a working prototype of the dictionary that was the basis for the future Multitran.

The dictionary was planned for sale to organizations (other customers simply didn't exist in the late eighties), but a crisis set in across the country, financing was interrupted and the project began to die. In order to save what was already finished, enthusiasts (Pominov among them) established a joint venture. Since no one had earmarked money for it, the venture lasted all of half a year.

A rather acute problem arose: who would be the owner of the product. “Here's where I hogged the blanket, so to speak,” Andrei remembers, “since I'd been sitting at home working on the dictionary by myself for several months.” So Multitran became a “homemade” project: Pominov sat in his ordinary apartment and whipped it into shape, and in his free time traveled to Europe for second-hand cars and clothes. “I loved buying things then, but selling – no. Probably because I needed to know how to sell,” he laughs.

…Over time, it became clear that the firm was too much for one person, and Andrei re-licensed as a sole proprietor, since practically no “paperwork” is required for that kind of business organization…

…Recently, Pominov got a call from a girl at an agency involved in conducting surveys; she asked “Is this an apartment or an office?” “Well, I don't really know,” he replied hesitatingly. Andrei hadn't turned off the computer in his apartment for years: “The office is here at home, the post office is across the way; down the street is the bank, and the provider and Multitran server are in the same building. I could make the rounds of this 'golden triangle' in 10 minutes.”

“To be honest, I couldn't say what exactly the site will be like in ten years,” Andrei admits.
Mark Berelekhis
Mark Berelekhis
United States
A close one. Congratulations, Jeff!



Entry #2 - Points: 11
James McVay
James McVay
United States
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Despite the fact that a programmer's job offers stress-free work, good pay and a promising career, Andrey left his comfort zone with no regrets whatsoever and started down the rocky road of entrepreneurship. Naturally, he didn't know the first thing about marketing or sales. He would have to learn on the job, figuring out how to deal with customers as he went along.

Despite everything, Pominov was able to win customers that other companies could only dream about. So how was this self-taught entrepreneur able to be so successful while working out of his own apartment?

. . . By happy circumstance, one of the first shipments of Bulgarian personal computers to arrive in the Soviet Union showed up one day while Andrey was at the Academy of Sciences. Management got the idea to transfer the existing dictionaries from the mainframe computers to personal computers. Within half a year they had completed a working prototype of the dictionary that would form the basis for the future Multitran.

The plan was to sell the dictionary to organizations (there were simply no other customers in the late 1980s); however, the country went into crisis, funding fell through and the project started to fall apart. To save what had already accomplished, people who where enthused about the project -- including Pominov -- started up a joint venture company. Since the company had no financial backing, it only lasted half a year.

This raised a rather pressing question: who would own the product? "At this point you might say I took up the mantle," recalls Andrey, "since I stayed at home for several months and worked on the dictionary by myself." So Multitran became a home based project: Pominov sat in an ordinary apartment putting the finishing touches on the dictionary, and in his free time he traveled to Europe after used cars and clothes. "I really liked buying things then, but I didn't like selling. Probably because you have to know how to sell," he laughed.

. . . Over time, Andrey found that the company was too much for one person, and he became a self-employed entrepreneur. After all, that type of business organization requires very little in the way of paperwork . . . Not long ago a young lady at a polling agency called Pominov and asked: "Is that an apartment or an office?" "Well, I'm really not sure . . ." He hesitated. Andrey hasn't turned off the computer in his apartment for several years. "The office is my home; there's a post office kitty-corner to it and a bank across the street. My ISP and the Multitran server are located in the same building. I can navigate around this Golden Triangle in 10 minutes."

"To tell the truth, I can't say exactly what the site will be like in another ten years," Andrey admits.



Entry #3 - Points: 11
Mark Berelekhis
Mark Berelekhis
United States
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Despite the fact that the computer programmer position came complete with steady work, a fat paycheck and promising career opportunities, Andrey didn't think twice about abandoning familiar pastures and embarking on the thorny path of entrepreneurship. Of course, he knew nothing about sales or marketing, so every little thing he had to learn from experience, cutting his teeth on real-life customers.

All these difficulties notwithstanding, Pominov was able to win over clients that are on every company’s wish list. So how is it that a self-taught entrepreneur working out of his own apartment managed to score such a stunning success?

…One day, a fortuitous confluence of circumstances resulted in a batch of Bulgarian personal computers, one of the very first in the Soviet Union, winding up with Andrey in the Academy. The management thought to move the already existing dictionaries from the bulky electronic computers to PCs. It took another six months to develop a working prototype of the dictionary which laid the foundation for what later became Multitran.

The plan was to sell the dictionary to organizations (there simply weren’t any other prospective customers in the late 80s), but then the country was hit by a crisis, the financing became erratic, and the project started to die down. Seeking to salvage their labor, a group of enthusiasts, with Pominov among them, have formed a joint venture. However, in the absence of funding the venture dissolved after only half a year.

This brought up a rather sensitive issue: who was going to become the product’s owner? “You could say I took a firm stand on that one,” Andrey recalls, “since at that point I had already spent several months working on the dictionary at home by myself.” And that was how Multitran became a home project: Pominov sat in an ordinary apartment, seeing to the project’s proper development, and in his free time he traveled to Europe for used cars and clothing. “At the time I loved the buying part of the process. Selling – not so much. Probably because as a salesman, you actually need to know what you’re doing," he laughs.

…As time passed it became clear that the firm was too much for one man, and Andrey became a sole proprietor, drastically reducing the amount of paperwork needed for his business…

…Recently Ponimov was phoned by a woman from an agency conducting a survey. She asked him: “Is this an apartment or an office?” “Umm, I’m not sure…” he hummed and hawed. It’s been many a year since the computer in Andrey’s apartment has been shut off: “The office is at home, the post office is across the street, along with the bank. In the same building is the provider with the Multitran server. This ‘golden triangle’ takes all but 10 minutes to traverse.”

“To be honest, I haven’t a clue what the site may look like ten years from now,” Andrey confesses.



Entry #4 - Points: 11
anonymousView all tags
Even though the position of a programmer looked promising in terms of stress-free work, a nice income and a great career, Andrey didn't hesitate to leave the familiar ground and venture upon the thorny path of entrepreneurship. Needless to say, both marketing and sales were entirely unfamiliar to him. He had to learn by doing, taking hard knocks in communication with customers along the way.

Despite all the difficulties, Pominov managed to conquer every company's dream clients. How did a self-taught entrepreneur working out of his apartment achieve such a success?

…Due to a lucky coincidence, on Andrey's first work day the Academy received what may have been the first consignment of Bulgarian personal computers in the Soviet Union. Then management came up with the idea to port existing dictionaries from mainframes to personal computers. Six months later, a functioning prototype of the dictionary Multitran would later be based on was up and running.

The plan was to sell the dictionary to organizations (no other potential buyers existed in the 1980s), but the country ran into a crisis, the availability of funds diminished, and the project began to wither. In an effort to save what had already been done, enthusiasts, including Pominov, set up a joint venture. Nobody was willing to fund it though, and the JV only lasted six months.

A vexing question that needed to be answered fast was who would own the product. "At that point I sort of imposed my own decision," recollects Andrey, "because I had already spent several months working on the dictionary alone from home." That was how Multitran became a home project: Pominov worked out of a regular apartment improving the software and visiting Europe in his free time to buy second-hand cars and apparel. "Back then I really loved buying, but didn't enjoy selling at all. Probably because selling requires skill," he laughs.

…With time, it became clear that a company is too much for a single person, and Andrey registered as an individual entrepreneur instead, a status that delivers him from practically all red tape.

…In a recent phone call from a polling agency, the caller asked Pominov, "Is this a home or an office?"
"I am not really sure," he hesitated.
The computer in Andrey's apartment has been on for years. "My office is at home, a post office is next door, a bank is across the street, and both the ISP and the Multitran server are in that same building. That golden triangle is a 10 minutes' walk."

"To be honest, I can't say what the website will be like a decade from now," Andrey confesses.



Entry #5 - Points: 6
Susan Welsh
Susan Welsh
United States
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Although a job as a programmer promised steady work, decent wages, and a good career, Andrei, without a moment's hesitation, left the familiar behind him and struck out on the thorny path of entrepreneurship. To be sure, he hadn't the slightest grasp of either marketing or sales. He learned everything on the job, gaining experience the hard way, by dealing with customers.

Despite all the difficulties he encountered, Pominov won such clients as any company would dream of. How could a self-taught entrepreneur, working out of his own apartment, be so successful?

...Through a happy coincidence, one day Andrei was at the Academy when practically the very first shipment of Bulgarian personal computers arrived in the Soviet Union. And the leadership of the Academy came up with the idea of shifting the existing dictionaries over from mainframe computers to personal computers. For half a year, they developed a working prototype of the dictionary that laid the basis for the future Multitran.

The plan was to sell the dictionary to organizations (there were no other buyers at the end of the '80s); however, crisis hit the country, financing was intermittent, and the project started to die. To save what had been accomplished so far, enthusiasts--Pominov among them--created a joint venture. But because there was no funding for it, the venture only lasted six months.

A rather critical question was then posed: Who would own the product? "At this point, I decided to look out for number one, so to speak," Andrei recalls, "since after all, I had been sitting at home for several months working on the dictionary by myself." And so Multitran became a home-grown project: Pominov sat in a regular apartment, fine-tuning the work, and went to Europe in his spare time for used cars and clothes. "I really enjoyed buying things then, but selling them--that was another story. Probably because you have to know how to sell," he chuckles.

...As time went by, the company grew to be more than one person could handle, and Andrei got himself qualified as a sole proprietor, since a business like that doesn't need "big bucks."

...Not long ago, a girl phoned Pominov from a polling agency and asked: "Is this an apartment or an office?" "Well, I don't know myself...," he hesitated. Andrei hadn't turned off the computer in his apartment for many years: "Office at home, and vice versa - post office across the street - bank in the same building as Multitran's provider and server. It takes just 10 minutes to circumnavigate this `golden triangle.'"

"To be honest, I can't say what the site will be like ten years from now," Andrei admits.



Entry #6 - Points: 6
anonymousView all tags
Although computer programming offered a calm work environment, a decent wage and a bright career, Andrey ditched the familiar to launch out on the thorny path of entrepreneurship. Naturally, he knew nothing about either marketing or sales. For Andrey it was all a matter of on-the-job training as he learned things the hard way in his interaction with potential buyers.

Despite the many challenges, Pominov managed to win over the type of clients of whom any company can only dream. How, pray tell, did a self-taught entrepreneur working out of his own apartment manage to achieve such success?

As luck would have it, one fine day Andrey was greeted at the Academy by a shipment of one of the first personal computers from Bulgaria to turn up in the Soviet Union. Management came up with the idea to transfer existing dictionaries from the big IBMs onto the PCs. In six months' time, a working prototype of the dictionary that paved the way for the future Multitran was produced.

The plan was to sell the dictionary to organizations—there simply weren’t any other buyers in the late 80s—but as a result of a severe national crisis and inadequate funding, the project lost momentum. In order to salvage what had been accomplished thus far, a group of project enthusiasts, Pominov among them, went into business together. Since nobody had set aside any money, however, this joint venture lasted all of six months.

A rather urgent question arose: Who was to become the keeper of the product? "At this point, you might say that I ended up with the long end of the stick," Andrey recalls, "since I had been sitting home and working on the dictionary by myself for several months already." So Multitran became a "home" project—Pominov worked out of an ordinary apartment and whipped the dictionary into shape, traveling to Europe in his spare time to buy used cars and secondhand clothing. "I sure loved to buy things at the time. But sell? No way!" he laughs. "Probably because you have to know how to sell."

In time it became clear that the business was more than one person could handle. So Andrey set himself up as a sole proprietor. After all, this type of business arrangement involves next to no paperwork.

Not long ago Pominov received a phone call from a young woman representing an agency conducting a survey. "Is this an apartment or an office?" she asked. Andrey hesitated. "Well, I'm not entirely sure."

Andrey hasn't turned off the computer in his apartment for years. "My office is here at home and the post office is across the street. The bank is right around the corner, and my provider and the server hosting Multitran are in the same building. I can make the rounds in ten minutes."

"To be honest, I can't really say what the site will look like ten years from now," Andrey admits.



Entry #7 - Points: 4
John Farebrother
John Farebrother
United Kingdom
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Despite the promise of quiet work, reasonable pay and a good career that went with the position of programmer, Andrey Pominov left his familiar surroundings without a second thought and set out on the difficult path of the entrepreneur. He had of course no idea about marketing or sales, and would have to learn everything on the job, sorting out hiccups in his contacts with buyers.

Despite the complexities, Pominov managed to win clients that many companies only dream of. How did a self-taught businessman, working from his own flat, manage to achieve such success?

…By a happy coincidence, one day Andrey arrived at the Academy at the same time as almost the first consignment of Bulgarian personal computers in the Soviet Union. The governing board had the idea of transferring all their existing dictionaries from the large Soviet EVM computers onto personal computers. Over six months they produced a working prototype of the dictionary, thereby laying the foundation for the future Multitran.

It was planned to sell the dictionary to organisations (there were no other buyers at the end of the eighties), however a crisis in the country meant there was a hold up in funding and the project looked as if it was doomed. In order to save the work that had already gone into it, a group of enthusiasts, which included Pominov, decided to create a joint venture. As no money was allocated to it, the joint venture only lasted six months.

Then the crucial question arose of who would become the owner of the product. “Here I pulled the blanket onto my side, as it were” remembers Andrey, “as I had already spent several months sitting at home working on the dictionary alone”. In this way Multitran became a “home-made” product: Pominov sat in an ordinary flat perfecting it, and in his spare time travelled to Europe looking for second-hand cars and clothing. “At that time I loved the buying, but not so much the selling. Probably because you have to know how to sell” he laughs.

…After a time it became apparent that a company was too much for one person, and Andrey changed his status to sole trader, as there are practically no “paperwork” requirements under that legal form.

…Recently Pominov was called by a girl from an opinion poll agency, who asked him, “Is that a flat or an office?” “I’m not sure”, he hesitated. Andrey hasn’t turned the computer off in his flat for years: “The office is at home, the post office is just opposite, the bank is over the road, and the flat houses a provider and server with Multitran. I can do the rounds of this “golden triangle” in 10 minutes”.

“If I’m honest, I’ve no idea what the site will be like in 10 years” Andrey admits.



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