Nikita Sherman (WIX): “I wanted to do too much with too little effort”

    Maxim Spiridonov, co-founder and general director of the educational company Netologiya Group, talked with entrepreneur Nikita Sherman about the gaming industry, about interesting projects, about victories and defeats.

    Megamind provides the most interesting facts and quotes from the interview.

    Nikita Sherman worked as chief editor of publications "" , "Vebluk" and "" but then became an entrepreneur in the field of Internet services and the gaming industry. In 2004, he met with the founder of the IMI Investment Fund, Igor Matsanyuk.

    He, like me, just arrived in Moscow and launched the game "Territory" . She brought money, and Igor was eager to invest in the Internet. At first, we just met and made friends with Matsanyuk. This was my first contact with online games. I was delighted not only with what they do, but also with the way they do. And most importantly - their degree of involvement in the process, the passion that they invested in this matter.

    The most interesting was the Rush Hour project. It was a game in which people could win a real apartment in Moscow. We agreed with the developers from PIK, and they provided three apartments. "Rambler" has become a playground.

    About work in Mamba

    There was a period when I moved from place to place. It’s not me who is such an opportunist, I just found offers that were difficult to refuse. Here is an example with Mamba . Lyosha Basov called me and offered to drink beer. They sat with him in a cafe, and he says: "I need a president in Mambu." How can you refuse this?

    It was necessary to make a qualitative leap against the background of the fact that RBC invested large budgets in the marketing and promotion of Loveplanet .

    I can’t say that I was responsible for the strategy. We developed it together with CEO Andrei Bronetskiy and Operations Director Maxim Trukhin. The reputation of Mamba as a frivolous dating site did not bother me. Moreover, I think that the struggle of Mamba with this stereotype is harmful to the service.

    On the transition to Odnoklassniki and the introduction of tight monetization

    I was not going to leave Mamba anywhere, but I received a letter from Roma Tyshkovsky, the then-known headhunter. I learned that we are talking about the position of the president of Odnoklassniki. This is the next level. I was faced with a dilemma: to leave a comfortable place or to accept a new challenge.

    In fact, I have never been responsible for the development of Odnoklassniki, so the strategy of tight monetization has nothing to do with me. As the first person, I took a hit on myself, but I could not stop the process. After 9 months I left.

    In retrospect, I understand that if I were as wise as I was today, I would not go to Odnoklassniki at all .

    About his project “Dreammy”

    One of the first who called me after being fired from Odnoklassniki was Kolya Mityushin from ABRT Venture Fund . He said: "If you have an idea, come, we will give you money." When I got it, I immediately called him back.

    Mityushin began to attract partners from the Mangrove Capital Partners fund . I had only an idea, a presentation and a certain understanding of how we will go towards our goals.

    In the first round, we raised $ 2 million and then a few more. They made the first product when 15 people worked in our company - the game "Fishing". She was immediately successful and started making money. Intoxicated by this success, we actively scaled. We conceived and implemented new products, we thought how to grow a company from the inside. At its peak, the company employed 130 people. We broke even, but not for long.

    I wanted to do too much with too little effort. It was necessary to develop one product, "Fishing", by the efforts of those 15 people who then worked in the company. And it is on Facebook. When Odnoklassniki and My World opened their API, we had to deal with all Russian social networks. Customizing the game for each individual platform took a lot of time, effort, money, resources. It would be right to choose one platform, the largest.

    The second mistake - we did not focus on one game, but began to produce them. “Fishing” was a unique product from the point of view of genres, because then no one did simulators at all. You could develop this genre and stake it out for yourself.

    At the end of 2012, there were several options for the development of events, one of which was the sale of the company. There was a specific buyer. He did not buy a company, but games that made money. "Fishing" at that moment earned several hundred thousand dollars a month.

    About the transition to Wix and the target audience of the service

    When I had Dreammy , the Mangrove Foundation periodically exported its portfolio companies to events where we talked, hung out and shared experiences. There we met with the Wix founder.

    The root audience of our services is small and medium-sized businesses. As a rule, individual entrepreneurs. They themselves do not know what they need. In social networks, they build sales channels. But in addition to sales channels, you also need a place where you can be found. Our product is aimed at those people who do not understand a damn thing about it. Just as a child builds a house out of cubes, the Wix website can also be assembled using drag-and-drop.

    All sites by default have a universal design. They are adapted for both mobile and web versions at the same time. The mobile version can be improved, we have separate tools in the editor for this.

    About the features of small business in Russia

    Firstly, in our country, the state does not make any efforts to develop this direction. Take a conditional wedding photographer. Does he consider himself an entrepreneur? He is not even registered as an individual entrepreneur, he is a creative person, an artist. Or a tutor who comes to your child to study a foreign language. He does not consider himself an entrepreneur.

    Secondly, the market in Russia is under the control of large network companies. Small businesses focused on selling goods and services to neighbors are highly developed in Europe and the USA. For example, a bakery in France is usually a small family business. The bakery on your street belongs to one person, and on the next one to another. In France, thousands of private bakeries that belong to different people. And in each city we have several bakeries. We have a very networked market.

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