Pavel Durov is a Russian entrepreneur, programmer, one of the founders of the most popular social network in the CIS countries. Former CEO of VKontakte and one of the richest people in Russia.
Pavel Durov. Billionaire Biography
Pavel Valerievich was born on October 10, 1984 in Leningrad. His father is Valery Semenovich Durov - doctor of philological sciences, head of the department of classical philology, philological faculty of St. Petersburg State University.
The Russian billionaire has a brother - Nikolai Valerevich. He’s the technical director of VKontakte, who is a candidate of physical and mathematical sciences, and also a two-time world champion among programming students.
For the first time at a school desk, Pavel Durov sat in Turin, where his father worked at that time. A few years later, the family returned to Russia. After a short training in an ordinary school, Durov became a student of the academic gymnasium at St. Petersburg State University.
Pavel Valerievich studied four foreign languages in depth. Due to poor eyesight, he always sat at the first desk. From the age of 11, Pavel became interested in programming. Hacking a computer network and selecting passwords for computers in the computer science cabinet are well-known pranks that Pavel Durov sinned. The biography of the future Russian entrepreneur continues at the university of St. Petersburg.
After graduating from the Academic Gymnasium, Durov continued his studies at the Faculty of Philology at St. Petersburg State University with a degree in English Philology and Translation. In his student years he became a laureate of a scholarship to the President and Government of the Russian Federation, three times he was a laureate of the Potaninsky scholarship.
In parallel with his studies at the university, he was trained at the military faculty with a specialization in Propaganda and Psychological Warfare. At university, he served as a platoon commander at his faculty. At the end of military training, Durov was promoted to junior reserve lieutenant. In 2006, he graduated with honors, but still has not taken him from the university.
During his student days, Pavel Durov began working on several projects designed to simplify the search for information necessary for students and improve the quality of the scientific and public activities of his university.
Such projects were the University's electronic abstract library (durov.com) and a forum for students of St. Petersburg State University (spbgu.ru). They did not bring their creator any financial benefit, but only helped students from different universities communicate.
After some time, he became disillusioned with the existing system of organizing user accounts in Runet, where people could hide under any names and avatars. Finding another form of implementation of the association of Internet users is the goal that Pavel Durov set for himself at that time.
VKontakte: creation and development of the project
After some time, Pavel met his old friend, who returned from the USA, where he studied. He told Durov about the student project Facebook. There, users posted real photos and information. Pavel liked this idea, and he decided to create a similar association in the Russian-speaking Internet space.
Durov began to translate the idea into life at the end of the university. The original name of the project is Student.ru, but after a while it was changed to VKontakte. Durov explained this change by the fact that in any case, students will become graduates.
Pavel Durov and his brother Nikolai on October 1, 2006 open a limited liability company, known to all of us as VKontakte, and register the first domain of the service. Until the end of the year, the project was in the testing and development phase. Register in it could only by invitation. In December, Durov opened VKontakte for free registration. During the first days of open access, more than 2,000 users registered on the site.
At the initial stage, the promotion of the project was very successful through viral marketing and many contests for users. By the end of 2006, servers ceased to cope with an ever-growing number of users, in connection with which the servers were replaced and network software support was improved. In 2007, Durov received numerous offers to purchase the project, but he refuses them and continues to spin up the network, attracting investors. In the same year, VKontakte became one of the three most visited Runet sites.
In 2008, the number of users exceeded 20 million. At the same time, the monetization of the project started: advertising, gaming applications, which began to bring program developers a certain percentage of the project’s income.
Any popular and profitable project attracts crackers, spammers and others. VKontakte was no exception. The site was repeatedly infected and became a virus carrier. In addition, the site made attempts to expand the porn industry, so the developers did not have to sit idle.
Durov and his offspring have repeatedly been sued for copyright infringement (for posting films and videos on the site in the public domain). But they did not end successfully for the plaintiffs, as VKontakte is a public resource, and certain users should be held accountable.
In 2011, VKontakte was seriously changed both externally and functionally. New items have appeared: a pop-up message box, convenient photo viewing, the ability to add video files from popular video hosting sites and other useful functions.
The income of the creator of VKontakte
By the end of 2010, the company’s value was estimated at $ 1.5 billion. According to official data, the authorized capital of VKontakte at that time was divided as follows:
- Mikhail Mirilashvili - 10%;
- Lev Leviev - 10%;
- Pavel Durov - 20%;
- Vyacheslav Mirilashvili - 60%.
According to these data, the condition of Pavel Durov for 2011 was estimated at 7.9 billion rubles. But this figure may not correspond to reality. One “Happy Farmer" brings about $ 10 million a year, and yet other, no less popular applications work.
But still, based on official data, in 2011, Durov took 350th place among the richest people in Russia, with 7.9 billion rubles ($ 260 million) in his accounts.
In December 2011, he began financing various startups selected on a competitive basis, and already in December six of them received $ 25 thousand from the entrepreneur. In January 2012, Durov donated a million dollars for the development of Wikipedia.
In November of the same year, Nikolai Kononov presented the documentary book "Durov Code" dedicated to the development of VKontakte. The right to film adaptation was immediately acquired by AR Films. As for Paul, he reacted to the film adaptation extremely negatively. Despite his position, the film will be released in 2014.
What is he, the founder of VKontakte, personally?
Pavel Durov, whose personal life is of considerable interest primarily for the fair half of humanity, does not attend social events, occasionally appears in public.
He is a workaholic, uncommunicative, polite. Pavel devoted himself almost entirely to doing business. Pavel Durov, whose personal life does not give rest to the press, himself does not tell anything about it. Therefore, various rumors are spread that are not confirmed by facts.
Despite the status of a billionaire, Durov rents an apartment near the office where he works. His idols are Steve Jobs, Che Guevara. He reacts negatively to the social network Facebook and calls it a "sinking ship." Durov is very aggressive in doing business.
His “war” with the company Mail.ru Group, which is one of the largest shareholders of VKontakte, is known. In 2011, she wanted to absorb and integrate a social network with Odnoklassniki. There is a known conflict between Durov and the editors of the Vedomosti newspaper related to the innovation of the site, which allows you to watch news from various resources without having to click on active links.
Criticism of Durov
Eccentric acts, as well as harsh statements, often made by Pavel Durov, are criticized. A photo of the founder of VKontakte at the window of his office during the “money rain” immediately caused a flurry of criticism. Bloggers and journalists dubbed this trick “the merchant’s whim”, and the words of the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky were even harsher: “A person who treats people like cattle in the area should receive the profession of a seamstress.”
On May 26, 2012, airplanes with banknotes attached were scattered around Durov’s office. Eyewitnesses believe that this was organized by Pavel Durov, whose photo on the balcony during the turmoil near the building is a confirmation of this, and he does not deny this.
On the eve of Victory Day on May 9 of that year, Durov incurred the wrath of many people by saying on Twitter: "67 years ago, Stalin managed to defend the right to repress the people of the USSR from Hitler." Many bloggers and various public figures immediately condemned this post and, in protest, deleted their accounts from VKontakte. Some time later, a VKontakte spokeswoman said that Durov’s harsh statement was related to the fact that his grandfather, who went through the war from start to finish, was later repressed, and Pavel himself respects Victory Day.
Farewell to his brainchild
Many are interested in the question: “Pavel Durov sold to VKontakte?” This is partly true. It is known that on January 4, 2014, Durov sold his shares to the General Director of Megafon Ivan Tavrin. The founder of the most popular social network of the CIS countries filed a letter of resignation on March 21, and a month later his statement was accepted. After this, Pavel Durov left VKontakte permanently and does not plan to return. Before his departure, the vice president and financial director of the social network quit.
Ivan Streshinsky, who is the CEO of USM Advisors and owns a 52% stake in VKontakte, said: “We were surprised when Durov did not withdraw his resignation letter, and VKontakte owners satisfied his decision a month later. We have always believed that the role of Pavel Durov is very important for the company. We regret that he decided to resign as CEO. ”
Perhaps Durov will change his mind and return to the post of VKontakte architect.
Despite all this, the fact remains that Pavel Durov sold VKontakte and left his brainchild. He attributed his dismissal to the fact that he did not provide the FSB with personal information about people supporting Euromaidan.
To date, the founder of VKontakte is located outside of Russia and plans to launch a mobile social network, but abroad. Telegram Pavel Durov will appear this year.
Many admire the talent and hard work of Pavel’s bright and eccentric personality, while others despise him, alluding to plagiarism and huge profits. He was credited with the service in the FSB, the state financing of his offspring and the fact that he was just a beautiful sign of the VKontakte project.
Durov always denied all these rumors on his personal page. Despite all this, his social network is an incredible success, which says a lot.
On the page of Durov there is such a statement: “Those who do and do not talk are very few. In any case, they are much smaller than it might seem. Do not waste time. "Man is led to the success of his actions, not words."