Friday, November 9, 2012

в Яндексе

The Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF), a student group I was involved with at Stanford, is in town for their autumn Moscow Conference.

SURF partners university students from the United States with university students in Russia and prompts them to collaborate on joint research projects concerning topics relevant to the future of U.S. - Russian international relations.  It's a great program and I encourage anyone even remotely interested in Russia to apply to be a delegate for next year's program.

Today, SURF had a tour of Яндекс headquarters in Moscow.  Kyle and I decided to tag along.
Yandex Headquarters
Яндекс (Yandex) is a Russian web service similar to Google.

The Marketing Director of Yandex, Andrei Sebrant, showed us around three floors of the complex.

He explained that Yandex's goal is making their employees comfortable so that they can be creative.  Many offices include beanbags, coffee and tea are always available, employees have no dress code, and conference rooms are lined with whiteboards for "ideating."

After the tour, Andrei answered SURF delegates' questions about topics such as the future of Yandex, Russian start-ups, and how Yandex hopes to compete with Google.

In all, my visit to Yandex reminded me of the start-up culture in Silicon Valley.  If companies like Yandex and other Russian internet ventures succeed, then perhaps Russia may have a future in the intellectual-business market it hopes to enter.   

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