Alina: Seven years ago, Ruslan and I came to the United States. We visited all the typical tourist destinations - New York, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And here we were, standing in front of the Apple headquarters. Ruslan's heart skipped a beat, and he said to me, "Imagine if we came back here next time with entrepreneurs? We could visit offices, learn about corporate culture secrets, successful business strategies. We could study how startups thrive here and how venture funds operate. We could create a kind of business tourism. What do you think?"
I replied, "Your idea doesn't sound that great. First of all, who would even let you in there, my dear? Secondly, who will tell you all these details? And thirdly, who would even want to go with you?" In our family, when I say "not a great idea," it usually means there's something to it. But we figured out this pattern later.
Still, Ruslan went ahead and posted on Instagram that we were gathering people for a trip. And later he tells me, "Alina, there are comments. Call the guys, let's come up with some price and sell the tour."
Two weeks later, we're sitting in our kitchen in Ufa, drinking tea. Eighty people commented, and we already had ten sales.
Ruslan: In reality, we could speak on an endless number of topics. I'm interested in venture investments; I've even written a book about corporate culture. But when we realized that we would have an audience with various backgrounds here, we thought that the most valuable thing we could share with you are the principles that guided us in building our community in Silicon Valley. They might seem obvious, but in practice, they truly work.