Investment Opportunities in Bulgaria
Posts 1-10 of 10
Ivailo Borisov21 Jul 2008, 1:19 pm
My name is Ivailo, often mistyped and mispronounced by English-speakers as Ivalio. But I'm used to that already. Currently my time is dedicated to Iventica, where I'm a co-founder and a partner. We are striving to provide great B2B and B2C software and web solutions. We are the only authorized reseller of SDL Trados Technologies for Bulgaria, and we provide next generation web services as well. Needless to say, our portfolio of clients looks nice - we can randomly throw big names here and there to impress people, but there is (almost) no need for that ;-)
On the other side, I tend to think of myself as a visionary, and I've always been looking for a way to make (my) ideas happen. Those ideas come in various fields (internet, daily life, product design and so on), and would employ various skills, teams and approaches. But I'm not afraid of that - I'd love to see them work. The good thing is I have a vast supply of ideas that can work both in Bulgaria and abroad. I can't make those happen alone, so I'm open for (almost) any kind of cooperation, or at least open, honest discussion. My mother use to say I'm truly naive, but I'm not afraid of what might get stolen from me. I'd rather try, than keep it to myself.
Petar Ilievski Group moderator21 Jul 2008, 1:40 pm
Glad you shared this.
Truth be told,I have a few ideas of mine,regarding online products,and I`m often confused whether to share them in order to have an additional point of view,or to keep it to myself,protecting something I don`t actually own.
These ideas of yours-I presume money is the foremost set-back for them to come to life.Or am I mistaken?
At least for me,the money I need would come from a bank.So,I`m not really happy with that.Otherwise,I have this reoccurring question in my head-why are dating websites so popular in Bulgaria?
I asked Gemius,I asked Nielsen.
Now I`m asking you-if website has 100 K users,usually 1-3% are active.
Profoundly different at home.We have dating wesites,coming alive round the clock,reaping massive profits out of the huge activity of the users.
Is this a CEE syndrome,as Ukraine shows the same tendency?
By the way,as for a discussion,I would be really happy to share a bit with you at some point of time.
Ivailo Borisov22 Jul 2008, 12:06 pm
Otherwise, funding is one of the major setbacks for me, yes. But not the only one. Money can be raised in different ways - venture capital, and private investors being the ones I'm after. I don't really consider bank loans as an option at the moment.
What I found out while running the company and conducting numerous interviews over the past couple of years, is that the workforce in Bulgaria is its major problem. Overconfident, insolent attitude, very high remuneration requirements, and skills below satisfaction. And I think this has changed from bad to worse over the past 5 years. Now, to be honest, this is my personal opinion, but my experience is less than encouraging. Therefore, finding the people I'd like to work with is my major problem. And so I decided to look for them abroad as well.
As for the dating sites, we can have an informal talk about them and other topics as well. Can share some experience. We can go and have a beer or two (or whatever you're drinking) when you feel like it.
Petar Ilievski Group moderator23 Jul 2008, 5:20 pm
To be honest,there have been times,when I felt like I`m just on a position to fill the spot-days when I did no major contribution either to the companies I worked for,nor for my personal development.
Motivation is a tricky element.I got this on my wall at home-"A year from now you may wish you had started today!".
I try to do my job the same way,so that I don`t regret for something I could have done yesterday.
A talk and a drink sounds nice.
By the way,I had this idea of posting an event on the group.I wanted to invite everyone to a chat in a pleasant bar&dinner.And by that to get to know each other,share our business models,exchange opinions and why not strike new business partnerships.And also to hear other people`s opinions of how they would like to benefit from this group.
But perhaps it`s too soon and I`m not prepared to host this alone.Maybe when the other moderator returns to Bulgaria,we can do it together.
So,some late afternoon,I guess,we could have a chat .
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Ivailo Borisov30 Jul 2008, 12:23 pm
Pretty valid statement, indeed. For more than two years now we have in mind creating a local community like the one you're describing, but for one reason or another, it's still in the idea phase. If someone would like to help out with the development of the project, I'd gladly welcome them. What we need as a start is so simple, I feel embarrassed sharing it - I was not able to find the right backend to drive the community portal. Creating a custom backend is not an option in the start-up phase, as I'd rather have that just running, and start from there.
As for your kind invitation... if it only were that time next month...
Petar Ilievski Group moderator30 Jul 2008, 3:20 pm
Let me see if I got this right!
Backend is the place where the site administrator manages the site and it's content.
If this the actual topic in mind,I`m a little bit surprised,to be honest.
By the way,I have the exact opposite opinion-that for such a enterprise to start functioning,we need a solid base,which should be very appealing to the potential users.
For example I`m developing a loong list of target groups,that would appreciate the existence and usability of such a website.
Here`s what I see as a progressing activity till the end of the year.
1.A basic idea of the type of website is formulated-much simple and clear
2.Target groups are defined-by age,by business,by financial status,by nationality etc.
3.Once the target groups are defined,I can start developing the features of the website-content,interface and usability features-search engines,member`s connectivity issues,profile types,partnering websites to power relationship models etc.That way we take the out-in approach,rather than in-out traditional marketing strategy.I`d like to have a picture of which target groups prevail and should be considered and valued the most,therefore,have website features that would suit them.
4.So,once we have a ground picture of users and website features,then the process of actually creating it could begin.
These common sense steps I try to back up by analysis of the internet users-in the country and abroad,best practices,tendencies in the regional markets etc.
Here`s what bothers me,though.
Perhaps I mentioned this already in another forum,but still:
The unpredictability of the local markets.
A simple example,though from another business sphere:
KFC, which is a very popular place to eat in the country,had a good strategy in the country,and now they have lots of satisfied customers every day.Naturally,part of the reason for that is their marketing strategy.
But,take this on account-in Plovdiv ,the second largest city in the country,KFC opened a local branch and declared bankruptcy in a few months.
In Sofia,one may say KFC is more famous than McDonalds,or at least preferred.
In Plovdiv,on the other hand,people love McD and would not even go to KFC for a change.
Perhaps KFC would push one more time,now that Malls are opening across the city,still they lost the battle once already.
And this is what I fear the most!
This unpredictability,this total lack of common sense market development,that takes place once in a while.
More or less,the upper-class marketing gurus are the ones that survive in such environments.
So,I`d like to believe I`m getting somewhere,and it`s a fine place to be one day!
Nevertheless,I come across many example these days,that what is interesting and helpful in my point of view,is not what actually appeals to most people.
And this group is a perfect example-I thought it would be interesting and valued with its topics,still it proves nobody is actually interested in the situation in Sunny Beach,EU-BG current situation or social topics.
Even more surprisingly,people are not interested in political topics!
So,I guess having a good idea is sometimes not enough,unless you have several more pairs of eyes,to see it through different perspectives and estimate its actual value.
Ivailo Borisov01 Aug 2008, 11:15 am
That's why in the end I concluded the look just doesn't matter to the wide audience. It matters to specific group of users (including myself, as I rarely use ugly-looking services), but they will most probably accept it as long as they get the content that is important to them.
So what really matters is just start somewhere. Your strategy looks interesting as well. And what's good about it is we can start on the opposing ends and meet in the middle, saving half of the time, and effort, and avoiding things either of us might not be prepared for or feel comfortable doing.
Petar Ilievski Group moderator05 Aug 2008, 10:22 am
As far as the vision is concerned,I always think of google -one of the most simple and quite unpretty concepts.
Anyway,let me share a bit more about my vision.
I don`t like facebook, no matter how successful it is.So I would not develop a similar concept in terms of usability.
The structure is quite time-consuming,thus not very appealing.My opinion.There are good ideas,like widgets and groups,but they are pretty much for the teenage American.
And here I come to the big question-am I to head for a professional networking device or an entertainment one.Making a mixed-use project is tempting,but I cannot quite grasp a good strategy and vision for it.
So far,I have researched and structured some basics about a possible professional network-custormerwise and in terms of usability.
The basic issue,according to me,is the easy interaction between users at mass levels.
Take Xing for example-it`s quite better than linkedin on such measures.You can easily find someone,and you don`t need some previous connection in order to get in touch.
But,then come the groups.LinkedIn concept is to have a group,but the actual interaction between members to be on a different platform-a website,blog etc.And that`s not the way I see it work.
Xing on the other hand,has a good concept for groups.Easy interaction,forums,articles,languages.But quite not perfect.
For example,replying to articles is a feature I think can be better structured.Because we can discuss a topic with hundreds of replies.But what if someone wants to follow this topic-this article has 8 replies so far-but there are ones with more than a hundred-no way to follow up with a discussion,no matter how interesting it is.
What I consider,is a way of structuring it in a way,that one can easily find his/her way around a topic,without pressing next page after next page after next page.
And something else-there is no speed in these discussions.Users should be able to interact in a prompt manner,not refresh.
I believe it is Xing`s vision- heavy business discussions to develop,not chat-like talks.Not my idea,though.
And a few more things-user`s presence online.It should have a different type of display.Group members` too.
I got carried away,naturally.By the way,if you think about it,that`s the beauty of mirc and the other stone age programs.The rapidness of talks,that urge you to be brief,not write novels like me,which few people have the nerves to read.
I have an interesting question-naturally,we are not inventing the hot water,neither are we the ones to bring something new to Bulgaria.Do you know some similar networks that already are present?
I was told a concept like xing for Bulgaria is already online,but I cannot seem to find it.Any guesses?
We should definitely chat about this.By the way,have you ever thought if there is an instant chat widget for personal talks,not only messages,here in xing?I have.It would have been perfect for our topic of mind.
Greetings from Shopsko!
Ivailo Borisov06 Aug 2008, 11:01 am
When I saw the results for some of my old posts my jaw dropped to the floor. Was like 22-25 years of education and readability index below 30%. Now, a few weeks later, in general it looks like 14-17 years of education and readability well above 75%.
Anyway. I'm familiar with the social networks you pointed, but never used any of them. I don't feel they can help me, or my business in any way. They don't speak my language, or meet my expectations, even at the first glance. Furthermore, I feel like it's just the new face of the good old dating business, that is sooo popular in Bulgaria. And it was 5 years ago when I last visited a dating site. Seems to me nothing has changed since then - same players, same ideas, same old business model. No, thanks.
But not only have I thought about a community chat widget, it's on my to-be-developed-ASAP list :-) So let's have a nice chat about it!