And nerds do business

    Habr saw many success stories when a huge company grew out of youthful maximalism and fun. For us, they are divorced from life - another country, another time, other opportunities.
    But do you know a lot of failure stories that would inspire you to act, infect you with confidence and strength?

    Here we love all sorts of motivational things and stories of people who have achieved everything with their zeal and perseverance. Now you will learn about the amazing experience of an almost simple Russian guy - Fedor Ovchinnikov. He is a former archaeologist who looks 20 years maximum and does not create the impression of an experienced businessman.

    He has not yet exchanged the fourth dozen, but two books have been written about him, he was at Tinkov’s Business Secrets, became the hero of innumerable articles and meetings, leads his column on and launched his second business.

    But why is Fyodor such an interesting personality, especially for habravchane? He is just one of many talented offline businessmen.

    I believe that the book “And nerds do business” , written by Maxim Kotin about the “innovative businessman” Fedor, should be read by everyone. Spend five evenings to survive the burst of inspiration. It causes special emotions in people with great ambitions, but who for one reason or another are afraid to take up the matter seriously.
    During the reading, the name constantly bothered me - Fedor does not at all look like a classic botanist, but here is what he himself thinks about it:

    At first, the name "nerd." I never considered myself and was not a "nerd" in my understanding. I was an archaeologist, drank vodka, went to punk concerts, organized an NBP cell in the first year of university, once burnt the American flag in the central square ...

    But then I realized that I was always a real “nerd” for the business environment surrounding me. I was a “nerd” with glasses for an Armenian landlord, for sellers, movers, for experienced businessmen and local bigwigs, for gangsters and reputable entrepreneurs, and even for my former boss, the owner of the City of Masterov, Ivan Degtyarev, I was a talented “nerd” "(By the marketer). I was different. We spoke different languages, we had a different culture, we grew up in different eras, but I needed to find understanding with them and not give way.

    I realized that a better word simply could not be found. Yes, I'm a nerd. "Nerd" in business.

    Why is this interesting?

    In the absence of money, experience or acquaintances, archaeologist Fedor was able to open his first intellectual bookstore in Syktyvkar.
    He was not afraid of high taxes, bribe takers, corrupt officials, authorities. He was not convinced by the words of his relatives that he should not meddle in this, that nothing would come of it. He just took and did.
    It seems to me that everyone in your life should hear the words “you won’t succeed”. It is also a kind of incentive to prove to someone that you are capable of more.

    At 25 years old (2006), he took a loan of 400 thousand. He was denied a loan for business, so he took on consumer needs. This was easily given. He added his 150 thousand to them and discovered the “Power of the Mind”. At that moment, it seemed to everyone that the store on the 6th floor of the shopping center, which sells intellectual literature in Syktyvkar, would go bankrupt very quickly.
    But in spite of all the winds, the store lived and even began to flourish, though it required huge sacrifices from Fedor and his family. In a sense, this is similar to the American model: working all my life for 18 hours without sparing myself, but getting rest and freedom in old age.
    Fedor made a bunch of mistakes due to inexperience. He managed to level many of them with cunning (in a good sense), clever moves and strict discipline.
    For example, when opening an office supply store, he sold office paper for the same price that he bought for, not even reimbursing the delivery price, working at a loss. But this helped to attract a huge number of customers in a new, seemingly uncompetitive store.
    Other mistakes, such as selling 50% of the business, were fatal, which slowly but surely led to the sad completion of the first venture.
    For three years, he balanced on the verge of bankruptcy, cultivating his business, each time finding a way out one move before the mat.
    He is an idealist and did not make money, but business. He did not give bribes, tried not to sell vulgar pop music like tabloid novels, he himself participated in all stages, from the distribution and sorting of books to their placement on shelves.
    In general, a person with such principles must still be sought.

    Why is it interesting for us IT workers?

    Ovchinnikov is a new generation businessman who uses information technology in his business.
    In the book business, this was not so bright - almost all of IT was limited to his blog.
    After the store opened, Fedor had no money for advertising at all - he invested everything and the goods, having received the widest choice in Syktyvkar. And he relied on the Internet. On his site, he decided to publish absolutely all information about his undertaking: all expenses, incomes, decisions. He indicated how much his sellers earn, how much he receives himself, the rent, furniture.
    Whether this played a role in the store’s profits or not is difficult to say, but it definitely brought Fedor fame, provoked a lot of offers from potential partners and invitations to interviews. And this despite the fact that his business was not at all large and barely balanced on the margin of profitability.
    At the same time, he kept the documentation in Excel tables, there was no 1C at all, this led to a bunch of errors and problems.
    At this stage, the depth of IT penetration into the business was almost zero.

    The next three years were very eventful. Reading about his adventures, I myself was filled with emotions and excitement. Despite all the difficulties he had to face, I want to take and open my own business.

    After reading the book, there remains a slight bitterness. Having gone through fire, water and copper pipes, Fedor leaves his book-writing business with nine shops with almost nothing. And he made a titanic effort, saving stores a myriad of times. Fedor invested several million of his personal money alone. After numerous betrayals and set-ups, the partners practically ousted him from the case created by him. Ovchinnikov sold his last 25% for only 600,000. Almost for the amount with which he started.
    But the extraordinary story of Fedor Ovchinnikov does not end there. Now he is 30 years old and has found application for his raking experience. Given all the mistakes and vast experience gained, he took up a new business - more reliable - a pizzeria. By the way, the name (DoDo-Pizza) was chosen for reasons: a sonorous and free domain name.
    Now, he still does not back down from his idea. His blog is lively and it publishes almost all the details of Do-To-Do business.
    Before plunging headlong into the creation of a pizzeria, Fedor went to Moscow and worked in almost all fast-food restaurants as a regular worker. He studied how the kitchen works, recipes, regulations, instructions, how the rules of the institution are respected, how employees cheat their bosses. For the sake of this, he endured exhausting hours in a hot kitchen, smoke in his face, monotonous work, uncomfortable shoes and separation from his family.
    But I must admit, all this was not in vain. After only a year of work, he sells 5% of his business for 10,000,000 rubles (recall that he sold 25% of his past business for 600,000). His restaurant DoDo Pizza is considered one of the best in Syktyvkar and he actively promotes franchising.
    This time, the entry of Information Technology into his business is much deeper.
    In June 2011, at the very beginning, they allocated substantial funds to finance the development of their own business process automation and document management system Dodo IS, where the client is a web application accessible from any browser. They continue to invest in it energy and money now. Today, this development is one of the main competitive advantages of the company.

    Why is this story on Ivideon's blog?

    Fedor is very principled in matters of discipline and respect for cleanliness. He himself saw the attitude of employees towards standards in those pizzerias where he had a chance to work. At home, he could not allow this and imposed an almost perfect order in the kitchen. The next wish was for the client to see in real time how his pizza is being prepared.
    About a year ago, Fyodor Ovchinnikov wrote a letter to Ivideon asking him to help organize a video broadcast from the kitchen to the blog site.
    Ivideon always goes towards such undertakings and now on the site you can watch as cooks, prepare pizza and Dodsters.

    This decision caused a lot of controversy on the part of readers, but we will leave aside ethical issues and note that it’s very exciting to follow the honed actions of cooks.

    By the way, it was after this small request that the service of embedding video using Ivideon on other sites or blogs was born . We wanted to know how much it would be in demand and implemented it first for Fedor, and then for all our other users. And after a year we can say that the benefits of this service have exceeded all our expectations.

    Frankly, when I read Kotin’s book, I felt a bitter sense of hopelessness from the fact that a major political player had almost taken away his business, it seemed to me that this would easily break a person, send him into depression or binge. But the hero of our article, rather, spurred on to the next steps.
    This is how the story of failure led to a story of luck, which can be traced a little with Ivideon .

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