Nahili Samurai

Wool

December 29, 2007
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Camel wool is really good for health, special belt-underwear made from it helps people with backpain. Some guys also make wool Russian boots – valenki, and sell it to Russia. In winter (and it’s way below 0 Celsius outside) many of us wear wool socks…

There are all kinds of businesses for everyone in Turkmenistan. What matters is to stop actionless dreaming, wishing and biting nails. Just go on with your idea.

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Municpality changing pipes and satellite TV

December 26, 2007
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Municpality changing pipes and satellite TV

The municipality is updating our heating system for the first time in 20 years. They’re changing old metallic pipes to new plastic pipes. I guess the pipes are produced in our new factory.

All the ugly satellistes are being removed, households are attached to a single distribution center for each house. Most popular satellites are available – Yamal 1, Yamal 2, Turksat, Hotbird.

I rate municipality efforts – A+


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Bad days – fix’em with good reading

December 25, 2007
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As anyone with some brains in 21st century, sometimes I have very very very bad days. It’s the melancholy within and I cannot fix it. But thanks to Google and Lib.ru – the Russian online library, sometimes all you need is a book πŸ˜€

Only Russians could share so much intellectual property online. While Western mind always thinks “money”, Eastern mind still thinks “soul”. So right now I’m reading The Thief by Alexey Pehov. Apparently he’s a self-made author who directly marketed his books online, free. They’re still free and available online, East is not greedy πŸ˜› This is a phenomenon of 21st century and Web 2.0 – more and more things will be free or cheap to compete for your attention. Attention will be worth more and more. Thanks Seth Godin

Full text of the book is available here: http://lib.rus.ec/books.html/Aleksey__Pehov_Kraduschiysya_v_teni.html


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Sleep is the cornerstone

December 20, 2007
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After years of trials and errors and tests and failures… I’ve found that going to sleep early and not eating late are the most important things for innovation and proper brain work. I gurarantee πŸ˜€


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Ashgabat, Gokdepe, Nissa, Desert Market tour

December 17, 2007
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Ashgabat, Gokdepe, Nissa, Desert Market tour

What will you miss on your tour around Ashgabat? You will miss the Turkmen story, just like me today. You will still listen to Soviet story, because the tourist guide didn’t read the history written by Turkmens. They still go on with the “old format” historians, from the distorted books of the past. They will not tell how we sold Russian trophy weapons in Bukhara after defeating them many times, they will not tell how Gara Batyr rode alone against entire Skobelev’s army, how women fought the enemy like women of Turkish Chanakkale. They will not tell you how Skobelev died 1 year after Gokdepe…

Nissa is not much assosiated with Turkmens and Desert Market is to move to a new place soon. These things have to be told.

Millions of rubles were spent during Soviet union to make Turkmens shy of being Turkmen. What’s the problem now? The problem is – we still have tourist guides educated in those times. This could be easily fixed if they only tried to read new books, if they weren’t lazy.

I’m not a historian, but I know that life and marketing are about stories. Those ruins and mosques are white paper to tell your own story. Tell the true story guys, don’t tell Soviet fairy tales. Please!


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Loving Russians

December 16, 2007
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Loving Russians

To love living, working and hanging out with Russians one has got to;

  • know Russian language (like me)
  • be straightforward (like me)
  • understand Russian mentality (like me), which isn’t a diferent mentality at all, but rather a more humane approach to life
  • have highest sense of humour (like me)
  • not to be Russian (like me), since every nation naturally loves itself

Learning basic Russian like Orientals or Westerners won’t help, come on we’re talking Pasternak and Dostoyevsky here. Marrying Russian girls like Turkish guys do; is definitely a strange idea. Copying Russian external shells (clothing, behaviour, style) like some Turkmens do; is only funny. Overall, I’m the best at loving Russians πŸ˜€ Not so timid am I?

I’m the best since I don’t copy their external qualities, I learn their internal qualities and keep myself Turkmen. I read their deep literature, watch their deep movies and know what Orthodox church stands for. I work with them, hang out with them. And I love Russians. In the true sense of the word “love”.


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Just one goal

December 13, 2007
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There is only a place for one really big love in one heart. Is it gonna be a woman, or something bigger? There is only one job that will need full attention and all the thoughts, and all the focus. This is where happiness is – finding a true ONE, and trying to achieve it.

I’m frequently asked “Why love just one woman, it’s like different flavours of ice-cream, why don’t try many?”, or “Why follow one idea so feverishly?”, or “Why dedicate to a local company when you could easily go abroad?”. All I can think about right now is “I don’t have time for 20 questions, I have a goal to achieve. And as long as didn’t achieve it, just don’t bother me, I’m too happy and excited”.

It will take eternity to fully understand one woman. It will take even more to develop myself into a decent human being. Just one goal πŸ˜€


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The end of series

December 9, 2007
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The end of series

I got news that the GM of certain company is retiring. So, I end this series about the certain company and will delete all posts related to it. I want to start things from blank, because in essence it doesn’t matter anymore. Our generation has passed this test, and the new generation has a different agreement.

Google cache and I will still have all the posts. But it’s over anyway.


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How to kill creativity

December 7, 2007
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How to kill creativity

I’ve been reading The Brand Building Blog for a while now. Then I found this post on how managers kill creativity for stupid reasons. If you go to September 2006 archives, there is Playing it safe – Part 1 and Part 2, and some more.

My favourite part:

“Olivier, perhaps you should stop sharing ideas with people.”

_ I’m sorry… what?

“Ideas. I said you should stop sharing them.”

_ I’m… not sure I understand what you mean.

“You have a tendency to share ideas. A couple of people here have complained about that.”

_ About ideas.

“About the fact that you share them.”

_ You’re joking.

“No. They’ve complained to me about it.”

_ Who?

“It wouldn’t be fair for me to say. A couple of people.”

_ Were my ideas… offensive?

“No, they’re actually very good. They’re fantastic ideas. Everybody really loves them.”

_ … But… this couple of people complain about them anyway.

“Yes.”

_ Were they unsolicited ideas?

“No. That isn’t the issue.”

_ Um… I don’t get it.

“It makes them feel that you’re telling them how to do their jobs.”

_ (Chuckle.) Seriously?

“Seriously.”

_ How so?

“Frankly, if you can’t see it, I’m not sure I want to explain it to you.”

_ What ideas are you talking about? I mean, what ideas specifically are you talking about?

“I don’t know. I can’t think of an example right now.”

_ Well… It’s kind of important that you do because I really want to understand this. These are good ideas that everyone loves and thinks are great… but a couple of people are complaining about them? I… They must have complained about specific instances. They would have.

“I can’t think of one right now. But you should stop sharing ideas with other people. It’s just not something everyone is comfortable with here yet. We’ve been doing things a certain way for fifty years, and not everyone here feels comfortable with change.”

_ Um… You do realize that it’s my job to actually come up with ideas for products and marketing and business opportunities, right?

“Yes.”

_ And that we’ve already made and saved a lot of money because of these ideas, right?

“Yes.”

_No, I mean. That’s what I was hired to do. It’s my job.

“Yes, I understand that, but these people would like you to just focus more on your other work.”

_ That is my work. There is no other work.

“I’m sure there are other things that you do.”

_ Actually, no. It starts with the ideas. Without the ideas, there is no work.

“Look, I am just conveying to you what has been brought to my attention. There are people here who have worked very hard over the years to put this place where it is. You have no idea how much we’ve grown over the last twenty years. The advances that were made before you came. When you share your ideas and it gets back to those people, they feel like you don’t appreciate that and are telling them how to do their jobs.”

_ You can’t be serious.

(Incredulous and condescending look from the HR person) “I honestly have a difficult time believing that you didn’t think that something like this would happen.”

_ Believe it. Look. I don’t know what we’re even talking about. Other department managers send me articles about stuff that’s marketing related, or design related… I send them stuff too. We have meetings to discuss them. It’s a dialogue we have. It’s collaborative and enriching. It’s simple stuff. Good stuff. I learn, they learn… It’s actually a very cool way to be exposed to new ideas, technology, and emerging trends. It helps us get better. It isn’t like I say Hey, you’re doing this wrong. Do it this way instead. It isn’t like that. We share case studies… Most of the modernization in the plant has been a result of this dialogue. Are you telling me that’s all been a bad thing?

“They don’t like it.”

_ So… wait. I still don’t get it. Is it the ideas? The delivery? Am I being condescending or arrogant in any way?

“No, no, no. It’s nothing like that. They just don’t think it’s your place to be sharing any ideas.”

(Stunned look.) _ Huh?

“Olivier, I am going to be candid with you. You think that we don’t see your talents, but we do. We’re all very aware that you are years ahead of the curve. Decades, even. That you’re smarter and more market and design savvy than anyone here. You are undoubtedly the most articulate and creative person that has ever worked for (this company). Bar-none….”

(picking my chin up from the floor.)

“…But you’ve only been here three years, and these people have been here for over twenty years. You just haven’t paid your dues yet. You need to be patient. When the time comes and you are asked for your input, then maybe your role here will evolve. But right now, you have to understand that some people… who have never worked anywhere else… can feel threatened by someone like you. So you should keep your ideas private. I’m not suggesting that you dumb things down. Just that you… give people time to adjust to the fact that things in the outside world have changed and that they may not have all of the answers.”

_ I’m sorry… I’m still stuck on what you said a few minutes ago. So… you guys realize that I have these skills? That I know what I am talking about? That I am right about most of this stuff?

“Yes. We are very aware of that.”

_ But… you’re asking me to put a lid on it. To stop sharing ideas and no longer participate in the dialogue.

“Until you’ve been here a lot longer than three years.”

_ Like, how long?

“There’s no set amount of time. Most of our VPs have been here more than twenty years. One day, if you keep your nose to the grindstone, you might move up the ladder enough.”

_ The grindstone? You think I plan on still being here in twenty years, having conversations like this one?

“I’ve been here almost that long. They’ve been great years.”

_ You know… we don’t have twenty years. The market is changing now. Today. Things need to be done this year, not twenty years from now, in order for this company to be successful again. Second, why wait? You have me now. I can do this now. You’ve seen the work my team has been putting out. The changes we’ve already brought about. Our customers are coming back, our reps are excited again, we actually have a story to tell now, for the first time in twenty-five years. You would have me stop all of that? Put off innovation for what… ten more years, just because a few people feel uncomfortable with… change?

“Don’t worry. (The company) will still be here in ten years and we’ll have plenty of time to catch up then.”

_ You can’t be serious.

“It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve done it.”

_ Let me get this straight… you actually realize that I know what needs to be done and how. That I can help you win back a huge chunk of market share… that my team can do all of this… That we can do it now and that there’s a need for it now.

“Yes. I do.”

_ But… you’re asking me to sit back and do nothing.

“Not nothing, no. Just… less. More um… routine work.”

_ Until I’ve paid my dues.

“Until you’ve paid your dues, yes.”

_ And you equate my “paying dues” with sitting on my ass in a back office rather than continuing to make this company loads of money like I have been, and helping put you back on the map?

“It would make things easier for a few key people, yes.”

_ And when you hear yourself say this, it sounds reasonable to you?

(Pause.) “I am just telling you how it is, Olivier.”

_ That’s quite a business model you’ve got there. Really. You guys should be proud.

“Yes. It’s worked well for us over the years.”

(end scene.)


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Turkmenistan on the up

December 6, 2007
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I digged this article on Fifa.com about our soccer team’s progress in World Ranking. It’s a very good article. Let’s support our national team. If they get into finals they will market our country to the world!


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