Back from Moscow

 KremlinBasil000_Stitch20090310Amazing trip.

Thanks to my SEBT colleagues in Moscow for great meetings this past week in Russia.

It was a highly successful visit, connecting with all the right people in the government and VC community.

Long story short: these are some incredible people; really smart folks, with whom I engaged.

I am honored to have been accepted into their midst.

Certainly, not all work and no play .. I had time to do a few walkabouts.

Time for lots and lots of pictures.

My hotel was a block from the Kremlin, in the heart of of the shopping district, right in the center of town.

275px-Mosmetro2008Seriously in the center of town .. check out the Metro (METPO) map; my stop was dead center, at the intersection of the red and green lines; my station name starts with OXO (click the image for a larger version).

I was glad I bought a new coat for the trip, and that I had a hat and gloves.

A scarf would have been a welcome addition .. stylish, to boot.

I got quite adept riding the Moscow Metro system to get most everywhere I needed to go.

The key for me was noting the first three (Cyrillic) letters of the last stop (to ensure I was on a train going in the right direction) .. reach out to me ( if you find yourself traveling. Happy to assist.

Despite excellent directions (Metro only gets you to the target stop .. not to places above-ground), I did get lost once; just once.

That said, I feel you never really know a city until you’re lost in it 😛

I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather, albeit a bit cold. Nice and clear, as you’ll see from the pictures.

Three things that surprised me about Moscow:

  • Pineapple. It was everywhere: at every breakfast, in sauces and as garnish for dishes. I’m guessing that as it’s a great source of Vitamin C, and oranges don’t grow in the climate, that it’s a treat, yet a dietary staple. Other Tropical or “down-under” fruits made an appearance: Kiwi, Papaya, Mango. My guess: Cuba and the need to avoid Scurvy.
  • The employee-to-customer ratio. In every business I observed, there were receptionists, waiters, managers .. plenty of folks to take care of customers. Most weren’t very busy; there were lots of paperback novels and Sudoku books to be found .. but they were definitely on duty.
  • Even with such over-staffed conditions, service wasn’t very good, even at the nicer places I visited. Umm .. it was downright bad, actually.

Some links:

Kids made out like bandits; I brought Cassie a Matryoshka doll, t-shirts and Cossack hats for Connor, Conner and Hunter.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

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