The chance to learn from Yandex that he is best able

    We opened the kit at the new Tolstoy Startup Camp . This is the workshop of Yandex, where we help launch a startup. She will be the fourth in a row. The previous three have given a lot not only to its participants, but also to us - we understood how and what can be changed in the camp. In the first three sets, we were ready to work with a variety of projects in the IT field, provided that we liked the idea, we believed in the team or saw the potential for business development.

    Now we have decided that we will invite to TSC only those people who have already created projects, designs or programs - those who know how to do something with their hands. The experience of past camps showed us that the main thing that Yandex can teach is to make technological and near-technological products for a mass audience. It is in this that we have more expertise and skills. As soon as we take on something else, the usefulness and efficiency decreases, not only for us, but also for startups.



    Yandex features are manifested in everything: in development, in design - anywhere. So that everyone can understand what our experience is valuable and whether it is useful to you, we asked two people from very different parts of Yandex to tell us what, in their opinion, is unique in Yandex's skills and what we can do best. They both worked with the guys and lectured at previous camps.

    One of them is Anatoly anatolix Orlov, who has been working in Yandex for almost 10 years. For the first two years on Yandex, he wrote Market, and then spent a long time on search performance. The second is Kostya Gorsky, art director of Yandex.Browser. He has been with Yandex for a little over four years. Recently, his team introduced the new Browser concept.
    Read under the cut not only their different opinions, but also details about the camp.

    Anatoly Orlov - one of the leaders of Yandex search.

    I recently thought that Yandex looks like a large city clinical hospital. In Moscow there are a lot of glamorous paid clinics, where in beautiful interiors they provide paid services like removing tartar or extracting cold pills. But if you have any serious trouble, then most often a doctor who can help you will work (at least half the time) in a completely Soviet type of hefty state clinic with dilapidated walls and rude nurses. Scuffed walls and nurses are not really needed for this, so we have not implemented this. But in such hospitals there is a huge stream of complicated cases, and there are doctors who have seen literally everything. You could even say that their competence is paid for with lives.

    We have a very cool technological competency. If you are doing something really technologically complex, then there are many people in Yandex who will help you. This will be, as in that joke: "Experts do not think - they know." There are many smart people who can come up with a cool solution, but the advantage of our smart people is that there are many things that you are just going to think about, we just know.

    We are faced with a huge number of technological situations every day; small companies often need years to do this. Build a business on technology X, and at the stage of exponential growth realized that technology X no longer works on your data? It is very unpleasant to bend down when the startup has already shot. And a couple of years ago on Wednesday afternoon, we tried to fill in X with 10% of our data, and even then we realized that it did not work, and apparently never would. So you could ask us too. We have already stepped on all the technological rakes that could kill your business. You will be surprised at what percentage of “generally accepted industry technologies” is bent over at least a significant amount. 80 percent probably do not work. Of the new fashionable and glamorous that young developers love so much for their beauty, probably all 99%.

    We also have a very good culture of "demonstrable improvements." Yandex has metrics for everything. If you make a change, then “believing” that it improves something, very often breaks up against reality. It’s better not to believe, but just stupidly measure the effect. You say, not everything can be measured? No, you can measure everything. Not everything can come up with an accurate metric, but everything can come up with a useful metric.

    And we also have a huge amount of unique data and resources. If your product needs to know the attendance of most of the pages in Runet, or requires 10,000 machine-hours of calculations per day, then we have all this.

    If you need any of the above, then come to us - we will help. If you are making a standard commercial product that does not contain anything more complicated than nginx + php + mysql, and all you need is just money and help in checking the business model, then most likely you are better off not going to us. Of course, we can do this, but we are no better at this than the funds that are on the market. Plus, some of the projects for people who make Yandex may simply not be interesting. This does not mean that they are bad - we are simply not talking about them, and they are not talking about us. At least, I can hardly imagine how such wonderful projects, such as LinguaLeo, could be born in Yandex.


    Kostya Gorsky, art director of Yandex.Browser.



    The first few months after I came to Yandex, there was a feeling that I sat on a rocket that takes off, and I need to at least stay on it. There were so many cool people around who were not indifferent to what they were doing, so much new knowledge. It hit me a lot. At the same time, Yandex did not solve anything and authority does not solve. You can’t say: “Do it because I’m the boss.” You should always be able to answer questions about why you propose to do one way or another. When we came up with a new browser concept, we made dozens of presentations for different people in different parts of the company, just to tell what it is and why.

    A large number of questions is what distinguishes experienced people. If a designer, for example, during an interview, says that everything is fine and he would not have remade anything, this is strange. If he says that everything is terrible in the existing solution and therefore he would redo everything, this is also alarming. People who have already created not concepts, but working products, understand that the one who works on the product understands more than others why everything is so arranged, that there were many options, that for some reason such a decision was made. At the moment when the designer came up with something, the design does not end, but only begins, by and large.

    In an interview, Ilya Segalovich said: “No matter what you are capable of. It’s important what you did. ” I really liked these words. This is the “religion” that Ilya asked in the company, and she is still alive. I see this in communication with people all the time, and it's terribly cool. There are always more ideas than those who can implement them. I think those who come to the camp are aware of this important idea through communication with our people.


    To summarize, to whom Yandex expertise will be useful and whom we are waiting for in the fourth camp, these will be:

    • Massive, scalable services that millions of people can use in the future
    • Automated B2C services that solve a specific user problem;
    • projects based on a unique technological solution.

    But this does not mean that now we will only take ready-made projects with the team to the camp. We are still looking for people with our own ideas and thoughts who are ready to create a team around us. Or without ideas, but on the condition that they will be ready to join some foreign project.

    This Tolstoy Startup Camp will open on February 16 of next year and will last until April 17. The program, as before, will consist of three stages: formulating an idea, testing hypotheses and creating a prototype.

    We still do not have requirements for education, experience, country and place of residence. Prerequisites: age over 18 years, knowledge of the Russian language, the presence of your own laptop or other device for work. Knowledge of English is also desirable, because we invite foreign experts to the workshop. Anyone who comes to us from outside Moscow will be provided with accommodation.

    To participate in the workshop, you must fill out a questionnaire and solve a test task . If your application passes the selection, you will receive an invitation to an interview on Skype. Applications will be accepted until 23:59 on January 18.

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