Founder Tips. Artyom Subbotin, CEO of Simkomat

    Our weekly column “Founder's Tips” continues to delight readers of Megamind with interesting thoughts from a wide variety of founders, directors and co-founders of Russian (and not only) IT projects.

    This time we talked with the CEO of Simkomat Artem Subbotin. A few years ago, his team got involved in a big and dangerous game called: "Create your own rules in the existing market." From that moment, as Artem admits, they are trying, often successfully, to implement a project in Russia with remote identification and the conclusion of contracts, for example, with telecom operators.

    This spring, the Ministry of Communications provided written consent that people can be served and identified remotely, which I consider to be a small, but a victory. This opened the door to our other brainchild: CheckU - a remote identification system that can be implemented in third-party services.

    Go on. It's not about zeal or assertiveness, just try one last time

    Often there were times when it seemed like you just had to stop. Stop banging your head against this wall, calm down, turn around, and go home. And as soon as such thoughts began to swarm in the head - this was a sure sign that a couple more blows and the wall would collapse. Practice has shown that all fatal failures happen at the pinnacle of success, and breakthrough moments in the last breath.

    Team. Only after going through 20 businesses, I realized that everything was doing wrong

    An idea can come to mind even to the most distant person. Probably brilliant ideas like meteor shower bombing everyone who can be on this planet. When the ideas hit my head, I broke down and ran to implement them, it seemed to me that the idea is primary, and those who will implement it are secondary. I took the same “man-fire” to my team, as I did, to make it more fun. After a year or two, the business fell apart or was sold, because it turned out that the two “ignitors” could do nothing but search for the necessary contacts to launch and the first orders for earnings. In the current project, even before the launch, I took a piece of paper and wrote out all my weaknesses there. This list formed the basis for the description of the "team of my dreams", which I have already put together.

    Understanding. At first, communicating with investors, I used the dictionary

    At one very strange event for startups, where I was invited to give a lecture, the following story happened: I confused a minibus for everyone with a minibus for VIPs. I jumped into it, and was next to either Bob Dorf, or Steve Blanck, in general, with a gray-haired alien of about 55. He asked me: “How are you?” To which I shared with him my feelings about what I I don’t understand a damn thing in these pitches, bones, rhubarb, and thermal shields. The answer to me was: “Calm down, people craving isolation have created professional slang. Feel free to ask for clarification, and you will be surprised how often the asker does not know the synonym or definition of the word. ” Then one of the organizers got into the car and asked me to get out.

    But this phrase, either from Bob Dorf, or from Steve Blanca, stuck in my head, and I stopped straining from the slang of investors and some startups.

    Dream. And if you do not have a technical education, then do not limit yourself to anything ...

    I am a psychologist by training and have the most indirect attitude towards technology - I dream or reflect on them. Yes, I am a “groundless dreamer,” I can afford to dream about technologies that cannot be embodied at this level of human development. I'm a psychologist.

    When we designed the first version of the “simkomat”, we could not even imagine how many legal or technical nuances we did not observe. We just wanted to quickly make a piece of hardware that can automatically sell SIM cards. We did not consult with telecom operators, lawyers, engineers and programmers, and did a simkat day and night. When finished, we took him to the terminal exhibition in Moscow.

    Every second of those who approached us at the booth said that he was thinking about such a thing, but did not know how to solve the problem with one or another nuance. We were approached by telecom operators, who unanimously reiterated that it was illegal to sell SIM cards through our “aggregate”. And then we began to ask everyone what needs to be done to become “legal”, and turned to engineers, lawyers and programmers. And at first there was only a dream ...

    From the Editor: if you have a desire to participate in the Founder's Tips rubric, write to us at editor (at)

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