What does the startup crowd have to do with Overmind Zerg


    The other day, we asked those who are sitting with us, what they did not work at home. And very surprised. We were waiting for standard rational arguments and theses from Wikipedia.

    But Gene took it and explained why our kitchen is the best advertising platform for his project, and how he got a man from the oil industry; Olya - how to learn from everyone after Harvard; Cyril generally explained that he was thinking about a club of anonymous alcoholics; and Mitya didn’t come to saw the startup, but to re-invent his idea.

    In short, we again realized that we did not know anything. But they definitely decided that we are no longer coworking, but something else. For example, the zerg collective mind. Or perhaps Cyril is right, a club of anonymous developers.

    Come inside, I will show in faces how it lives in the Russian "Kremnevaya Valley". Namely, we have cave technologies here in comparison with the USA.


    Gena quit in May. I mean, absolutely. This decision was fully conscious. For three years he was thinking about his project, stumbled upon ideas, imagined all this in his head - but did not find time for implementation.

    And in May he took and quit. Gene - a very good PM, team lead by position. Therefore, he had no problems finding people: the developers were found right away. The technical issue was resolved immediately and for a long time, but with PR and other strange things it was a little difficult. We needed financiers, sales people and other strange people for him.

    But Gene is also cunning. Therefore, he realized that communication must be sought exactly in coworking. And even looked at five different places, comparing with us. He liked our coffee, events in the conference room and classrooms every day, too. Actually, ceteris paribus (for him), he chose a seat by passenger flow. And with us it turned out to be the largest.

    Gene is big. I mean, very big. Therefore, he lives in the kitchen and often uses his head for its intended purpose. He eats part of the time in her, and partly thinks of her from within. The kitchen turned out to be an ideal advertising platform and a meeting place. Even coworking guests come into the kitchen: they say that it was Gena who ate the sandwich of ABBYY vice president when he turned away.
    Residents and experts (including those from the neighboring accelerator of the IIDF) also enter the kitchen as a watering place. And Gena was well-worn: he hung A4 with two project proposals (an automated logistics system for courier services, shops and trading companies) on a magnetic board. And then, with the patience of a real hunter, he began to wait at the watering hole.

    Very soon, he was first found by a representative of a large logistics company, then - the owner of an online store. Both came to our #poSEEDelki - this is a series of meetings where people from various fields (development, management, marketing, legal and other matters) share their experiences and answer questions for free. They wrapped tea in the kitchen for tea, and both became clients of Gena. I’m saying it is shuffled.

    Then he grew up, and they began to take him as an expert at events. For example, he met at our Harvest with the future financial director of his project. And concurrently, a former auditor of one such small oil company.

    His second life hack is about dating too. Open space is one way or another flows and routes that are easily predicted. And although Gena has an unsecured place, he is an old-timer and good-natured person, whom it is somehow inconvenient for anyone to drive from the table where he sits.

    He chose the table wisely: next to the respected, and for many - along the way from or to the kitchen. You will pass by one way or another - and when one-third-fifth has already passed, it is somehow inconvenient not to say hello. Say hello - you can talk in the elevator, on the way for lunch or in the same kitchen. And there, the contact will be useful.

    So Gena found a partner who helps him to super-quickly integrate his system with online stores, then he met one contractor, and in the end he “scooped up” a sales specialist who came to work in coworking. Because Gena is very old.

    Now his goal is to bring the team to ten people, and then move out of #tceh. Because we won’t give the chill-out with ottomans to his office, although he really wanted to. By the way, he was very sad when we took these padded stools to Open Innovations and Moscow Startup Day. He says that they help to relax and concentrate for the next spurt.

    Now Gena has opened DinVIO: today it is the largest Russian delivery network - with 40 thousand cities available for delivery around the world, 4,500 postomats and blackjack.


    Olya is a typical excellent student. MGIMO, working for McKinsey, and his own project, invented during the MBA at Harvard. Olya loves to learn and learn new things and try to sell to different segments for diversification.

    This coincidence of interests led her to #tceh: by the summer she, together with her project Elementaree, already had one product (ingredients for restaurant-quality home dinners), and decided to launch a new one - a delicious diet, where they give a ready-made set and a proper nutrition program for Each day of the week. Here Olga decided to take advantage of the promised expertise in the field of launching and testing new services.

    That is, normal people come to coworking to sit and work, and Olya came for “intellectual stuffing”. Then it turned out that almost everyone did it.

    While there was no regular format for working with experts, Olya was not afraid to hit the mail, instant messenger or go in person and say: “And give me a specialist from this area.” And then, when we entered the office hours - this is when experts and investors come to us twice a week and give 4-8 personal consultations to projects, after the internal mailing it was possible not to say without looking - the first person to sign up would be Olya.

    She signed up for a meeting with Runa Capital, in the process they found out that the audiences of the two portfolio companies of the fund overlap with her audience - that’s the point of growth. This is all because Olya knows how to negotiate abruptly: at the institute she skimped on almost all the lectures for the sake of work, but everyone loved her, admitted to all exams - and she passed them perfectly.

    The elementaries are the “veterans” of our office hours; almost no consultations in these months have passed without them. Olya took part of the meetings with experts on herself, and on the rest she sent someone from the team, depending on the topic. But she always booked time with an expert in her own name, and then delegated it. Noticing that this was not an accident, but a tendency, we asked “why so.”

    It turned out that she pumped up the team, and at the same time kept everything under control: “We don’t need to go to the office hours - got up, got to the meeting room, then sat down to work on. And when we actively test new ideas and channels, it turns out to be priceless. The invited expert has more experience and contacts in some area, and we, in fact, take his brains on loan for half an hour. ”

    That's how her project is growing - both in terms of the number of people in the team, and in the number of clients (a couple of hundred new monthly), and in terms of turnover and recognition.

    Olya knows how to give herself - and the evidence of this is not only her 16 pairs of “working” shoes in our common wardrobe, but also the fact that some of our experts then come to coworking specifically for her project, and someone even beta-tests their product.

    By the way, Olya herself also needs a diet - (no, she’s not fat) only as a project manager about “a healthy lifestyle is simple” to stick to it even better. She is generally a fan of healthy lifestyle.

    One Sunday, she made a traditional run to work, went to the local shower and found out that there was no towel, and behind the door - 20 programmers from the hackathon for all good and against all bad. In order not to jeopardize Hack4good's finale, she decided to establish how much the body dries out by itself, and at the same time held successful negotiations right from the shower. I tell you, she can coolly negotiate.

    But we loved her even before this story - she and her guys really know how to work. When the coworking was just beginning, it was empty, and we stayed up at night and on weekends, there was always someone motivatingly plowing. That was her team.

    Especially for their sake, we even included in the “Code of the Coworker” the item “do not hit the punching bag until late evening” - their table is the closest to the chill out, where Genoa's beloved puffs, horizontal bar and punching bag are beloved. Pretty, by the way, loud.

    Speaking of pear.


    He created an app that Afisha included among the best releases of last year — along with apps from Codeacademy, Coursera, and Coub. But somehow it didn’t go any further. Monetization, as expected, did not work, and they and partners postponed everything until better times. Until someone appears who can help solve the problem comprehensively.

    A month ago, on the advice of our resident and co-founder of his project, Max, who is responsible for Freelance Dizkon, Cyril came to us for a “magic pendell”, found a punching bag that he dreamed of but couldn't hang at home, and got it in full - how once at this time we introduced another approach to working with projects, traction rallies.

    These are weekly meetings where teams are helped to set goals, look for ways to achieve them and focus. It is partly similar to the “club of someone anonymous” - several teams attend the meeting, each sharing their plans, problems; what has been done has not been done and is planned to be done; all this is subject to collective discussion.

    And since you took the floor before others, it’s already psychologically difficult to get off the tasks that you have planned. Let's say finish testing this module, phoning 100 potential customers or something else. But in fact - you get a mentor, but you don’t need to give a share. Here it is called a “tracker” - this is our CTO, which studied the technique through training on the two previous sets of the IIDF accelerator.

    His task is not to think for you, but to make you think. Plus, launch a “collective mind” of leaders of other projects. Because if several intelligent people gathered in the room, everyone has some experience, then why not use it. Accordingly, a lot of ideas and hypotheses are being attacked here, which you can then try to implement “under the deadline”. That was exactly what Cyril needed.

    He began to test with might and main the ideas that he would like to implement in the application, but somehow it was laziness and his hands did not reach. In the process of communication, I found among the residents guys who are ready to help him with sales. On the advice of the tracker, I went to catch Fyodor Skuratov, who is now sawing his project with us, and he also knows how to promote it in social networks (because the topic of freebies for alcohol seems to be trampled on there).

    And since Cyril himself was no longer quite a techie (although he had once studied at the physics and technology school, and the VMK was finishing), but he had to manage the developers, we also sent him to the training of Grisha Sitnin, who ate python on the management of it teams .

    So Cyril does everything to launch the new Alkoscanner. Finally, the next version of the application found normal TK.


    Mitya is a special case. He took the tariff for any 7 days a month and appeared only for these 7 days.

    The guy had an offline business about retail, but he was bored. And he came up with the idea of ​​becoming such a mediator and arbiter for those who bring their business online: to ensure that contractors do not chemise with metrics and analytics in advertising, to remove the headache in everything related to promotion. And all this is for a tough result.

    He came to us with the ideas of such a project, for which a couple of clients had already voted in rubles. Says: “I want to scale.”

    What finally blew his head. We thought that coworking is when you need to sit down and figure out how to grow, and he has a lot of weaknesses there: after all, in order to scale something, you need to learn to strictly control and take into account something. In short, it is very tough to regulate from all sides.

    Now Mitya is a regular participant in office hours and traction rallies, and the project is being built right before our eyes. It turns out a marketing service (audit, analytics, consulting) for small and medium-sized businesses.

    The most remarkable thing is that both the experts in personal consultations and the guys on the trashna work with Mitya with no less interest than with those who already have something more prepared.

    He gave us the practice of a kind of small home Founder Institute. This is the kind of program that the old friend of Elon Musk, called Adeo Ressi, is doing in America. They take money from good people, and then help them find and complete an idea that would have potential in the market and launch a project.

    Mitya has done little, but we cheer for him. He recently brought a colleague and they sat down to us permanently.



    Returning to the collective mind of the zerg. We have a piece of Y Combinator, a piece of General Assembly (these are educational programs), a piece of FI and many other projects that we are inspired by. We have our own approaches - first of all, to building a community into which disparate teams and specialists turn here. Essentially, not only his team is working on each project, but also hundreds of people from all sides - from #tceh, and from IIDF, and just guests who can be approached in the kitchen and asked a couple of questions.

    In this environment, there is no impossible or incomprehensible. There is simply work that needs to be taken and done. And working in coworking is convenient and fast. Loafing doesn’t work out well. That is how we live.

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