Travel History. Part 1

    Now that everyone is used to numerous technology startups, there is a developed infrastructure in order to deprive the novice entrepreneur of problems with finding, renting and expanding the office space. Many technology parks, coworking centers, business incubators are waiting for the future Google, Apple and other Facebook. But 20 years ago, when ABBYY was created, all of this did not happen, and we had to regularly look for solutions to the above and many, sometimes quite unexpected, problems with the work areas. And if Microsoft called its startup school “Start in Garage” (“Start in Garage”), then we could call, for example, “Develop in kindergarten”. If you are wondering why - welcome to cat.

    ENEAThe first office of the company (then “BIT Software”) can be considered a corner in the “Central” pavilion at VDNKh. Then there was another Fiztekhov firm - "Initiative", which sold computer equipment, and also became the first major dealer of our company. In our first office, we had both R&D and production: while two or three people worked at the landlord's computers, one of the employees was engaged in buying plastic bags, putting in them floppy disks with the Lingvo dictionary and sealing the bags with a soldering iron. But after six months it took a bigger room and BIT Software moved to ... a hotel!

    Hotel KuzminkiIt was perhaps the most mobile office of the company. Here is what David Yang (Chairman of the Board of Directors and founder of the company) tells about this period of development of ABBYY: “We rented a two-room suite, lived there and worked there. But according to the law, it was impossible to live in one room for more than 10 days. Therefore, every 10 days we moved. To another number. Sometimes to another floor. Our household was small - 4-5 computers, books, papers ... We took all this into our hands and moved. After some time, we got so good at doing it that the whole process took no more than an hour. ”

    The next place of registration of the company was a two-room apartment. According to eyewitnesses, she was small and crowded, because 10-15 people constantly worked and talked in her. Three worked in the kitchen, drank coffee there, two worked in one room, four in another. Due to cramped spaces, some employees worked at home or in the hostel. But from time to time everyone met at this apartment and discussed working issues.

    HouseWhen it became very crowded, we moved to a three-room apartment in South Izmailovo. The life in this apartment was remembered by the fact that there in large quantities they consumed eggs and Canadian pizza. In those rather difficult times, when there was nothing, the first Russian-Canadian joint pizza appeared in Moscow. She was bought in two nearby stores and ate. At that time it was very tasty and was considered chic.
    Even in that apartment there was a black cat who “talked” with the first customers.
    When all employees ceased to fit in this apartment, the company rented part of the kindergarten located right in the courtyard.

    KindergartenThe fact is that the birth rate in the early 90s was very low, kindergartens were empty and often rented out their premises. It was in kindergarten that the first FineReader was written. According to Vadim Tereshchenko (Financial Director of ABBYY Group of Companies), “we had a middle group, and everyone joked that if they work well, they will be transferred to the senior group.”
    The group had a corridor and two rooms (with a total area of ​​about 100 sq.m.). Reception was sitting in the hallway. The first room was enclosed by cabinets in two parts: in one there was a top management and a showroom, in the other part there was a dining room. In the second room there are programmers.
    Then the company already employed 25-30 people. However, there was not enough computers for everyone, so a schedule was drawn up, and some of the employees worked in shifts. All the work took shape on a network drive, so you could work from any computer.
    Many, as students, worked on weekends.

    Almost everyone remembers life in kindergarten with nostalgia. Everything was very sincere and family-like. Around the building - greenery, flowering flower beds. Many working issues were resolved while walking along the paths around the kindergarten, and the sandbox was a classic place to think.
    From household details to employees the kindergarten toilet was most remembered. Firstly, he was alone, without division into "M" and "F". Secondly, there were tiny toilets in it. And two in a booth. Especially good impressions were left after visiting the company’s customers :)

    When the company grew even more, the marketing department moved to the office near metro Elektrozavodskaya. However, it was inconvenient to work like that. They began to look for a larger room. Found and moved again.

    Tatyana Danielyan (deputy director of the technology development department), who participated in all the moves, said that “it was the coolest move. Then the company did not have that kind of money to hire someone, so we did everything ourselves - we cleaned everything, packed it, prepared it. Each employee prepared an office for relocation. All the property fit in one truck. ”

    Further relocations were associated with global repairs and restructuring of premises and the corporate network, so the second part of our annals of relocations will be with more technical nuances and comments from our system administrators.

    Tatyana Panferova,
    Corporate Communications Service

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