Monday, June 05, 2006

Returned From Russia

I've just returned from Russia and I see I have a lot of catching up to.

Russia has a lot of very smart and skilled internet people. They are very sharp, innovative and resourceful people! The biggest problem seems to be that there are no jobs. In the U.S. this would mean the unemployed programmers and designers would be starting their own businesses. But one of the results of 70 years of communism seems to be that the knowledge of how to create a money-making business needs to be restored. This is not a lack on the part of individual people. I saw an entrepreneurial spirit all over the place in the form of thousands of small shops. Everyone seems to be trying to make a ruble. That's great! What is missing is the infastructure and body of laws that supports the formation of new businesses. For example, one business owner mentioned that taxes take 90% of a business' profits. There is little incentive to be highly profitable, and a lot of incentive to cheat on your taxes. When I asked my interpretor about the different types of police in Russia, she said there were just two. Regular police and the tax police.

I met a lot of highly skilled (internet skills) people who were unemployed or under-employed. There is a resevour of talent, creativity and desire in Russia that will one day explode on the world market.


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