7 Startups Pre-revolutionary Russia

Textile factory by English standards, his favourite cognac house and the first Dutch cheese — a selection “”Megaplan””. The success of these people did not believe even the parents, they often lacked the knowledge, did not understand them to friends and subordinates, and the banks didnt want to give them credit. This is similar to how modern startups are born.

But really we are talking about Russia of the 19th century. At this time there were merchants, who in their energy and originality was not inferior to todays entrepreneurs of the world level. And some could outdo.

Startups of the 19th century a lot in common. They begin modestly, without big capital. They were launched either business men, as it was then called, or curious boys who could not sit on the spot and wanted, in addition to routine, to do something new. These people had two big talent. Good to do business and to choose their wives.

Often, it is the second half became their helpers and companions. As well as business, as a rule, were family, it was important to get involved and children. Child (six–seven years) brought to the factory or to the office and gave him small errands. The position was called “boy”. Through this way were nearly all family entrepreneurs.

In 1908 four of the Morozov family factory produced approximately 10% of all Russian textile. A hundred years before that the founder of the future business serf peasant Savva Morozov wore to dawn the shoes, took the bag with silk ribbons and went on foot to Moscow from the village of Zuevo. The day the elder Morozov overcame 80 kilometers.

Savva learned how to weave ribbon for decoration of ladies hats and dresses in 10 years, 27 years married to the daughter of a Dyer. 5 rubles of dowry became their initial capital. A young family came to the conclusion that to make products and to wait for six months, until the village comes wholesale buyers, extremely profitable.

And the couple began to travel to the capital. At first selling only their goods, and then the neighborhood. At 51 frost redeemed himself and four sons from bondage (wife according to the rules released for free). Acquired a plot of land from his former landlord began construction of the factory.

But it probably would not be as successful, if not a risky deal. In 1841, Morozov signed a contract with a young resourceful German by Ludwig Knoop. That in exchange for units (shares) of the future, the company promised to bring to the Morozov factory English specialists and equipment, which was not yet in Russia. After five years, foreigners have taught the suburban peasants to handle the equipment, and the business Sava has got rapid development.

Interestingly, at the time of conclusion of this agreement Morozov was 71 years old and was painted, according to legend, the cross was to manage the Affairs he was fine, but the diploma and have not learned. If in 1866, 15-year-old son of Ivan Sytina clerk said that he would become the richest and most powerful book publisher in Russia, he would have called it nonsense. Because hardly after spending three years at a school Desk, Ivan believed that there is nothing more boring reading.

However, it so happened that his future employer merchant Sharapov had only two business and fur book. The first workers were not required. And the young man had to learn to sell books.

Ten years later, he got married, got a dowry of 4 thousand rubles, it took Sharapova 3 more thousand and bought a lithographic machine. What could, and made a living. At that time for the elite urban residents of the small numbers printed expensive editions of the classics.

And the whole country, meanwhile, read horoscopes, splints (comics), stories about hell, funny jokes or obscene stories. In 1884, to sytinu went to the store and public figure Vladimir Chertkov and offered to publish a series of books that today we would call by pocket books (pocket books). The classics at competitive prices. The project decided to call it “Mediator”.

The cost of publishing a hundred brochures with nice illustrations was 65 cents, and sold them for 80. Before the price of the same books were 7 cents apiece. And though the first couple of years citino had to publish the series almost at a loss, people gradually began to be interested in his products. And hes opened new niches for cheap books.

For the first four years, the publisher released works 64 classics sold over 12 million copies. No ones ever threatened on such a scale. The principle of “Mediator” has become the main business model Sytin.

The publisher often offered to produce, for example, the collected works of Gogol with a circulation of 5 thousand copies and sell for 2 rubles for the book, but he refused and was printed in 200 thousand copies at 50 cents apiece. By 1914, a former hater of the literature produced 40% of all publications in Russia, and his memoir called “the Life book”. 32 Nikolai Vereshchagin, a former naval officer, retired, came to the estate to parents and, looking around, asked the father to run “startup.”.

Instead of selling milk from the cow, he offered to make him cheese and butter. But the father said that wont do strange thing. Then, Vereshchagin went to Sweden and got a boy in a cheese factory. Then came back and prepared for the Russian economic society, the project on the establishment of peasant cooperatives-dairies. Nikolay has opened schools-workshops in the villages Dimanovo and Koprino.

It was there for the first time was made by the Dutch domestic production of cheese. Vereshchagin opened artels throughout Russia. Moreover, in contrast to all who learned from him and opened their own business, not work on your own startup is a lot of money. Because every time when he invented know-how did not go to a patent or to hide the secret, and immediately published information about it in the press.

Mainly it was the development of the business across the country. Considering that by 1913 the butter has become the second export product (before we sold abroad only melted), one only Siberia was selling it for the same amount as the gold from their mines — it was a success. In 1860-e years in Moscow it was possible to observe how in some tavern came a student asked “Shustov vodka” and, when they learned that it is not, a scandal or a fight.

Such guerrilla marketing Shustovs family of merchants used to break into the market of alcohol. But the real glory they brought the brandy project. In the late 19th century truly appreciated only French cognac, the other manufacturers had to call its product “brandy”.

In 1899 Shustova decide to change the situation. Buy a bankrupt factory in Armenia, and the youngest of the brothers, Vasily sent to work on French spirits plants. And not to come back until he finds the formulation of the local tipple. Espionage is successful.

Shustova finalize the recipe and a year after the start of their adventures win the Grand Prix at the exhibition in Paris. When it became clear that the drink did not a Frenchman, but a foreigner, to Shustovs made an exception and allowed to write on the bottle “cognac”. In the early 20th century a family of entrepreneurs was ranked fourth in the world in the production of cognac. After the 1917 revolution the factories were nationalized Shustovs, but the drink continued to produce for the same technology.

It, by the way, was very fond of Churchill, and, ordering his 400 bottles a year, always called the pre-revolutionary manner “Shustov cognac”. “If Sytin the country learned to read Gogol, the Frenchman, Henry Brocard, who arrived in Russia in the 1860-ies, washed her, — says Elena Kalmykova.

€? Their capital he earned in the soap, which cost one penny and was available to all”. The first half year of Henri Brocard has been employed in the French perfume company, then decided to start their own business. Set in the former stables three boilers, hired two workers and together with them began to make soap.

But he could not fully enter the market, while his wife Charlotte Rewa has not given the Council, enriched Brocard. She drew his attention that the aristocrats choose only foreign soap, and the rest of it can not afford. The perfumer decided to take this niche and began to produce cheap soap in the form of cucumbers, lemons, bunnies and letters of the alphabet.

Still, the ambitious Frenchman wanted more fame. Keeping soap production, he began producing eau de Cologne and had a great advertising campaign. In 1882, the first all-Russian exhibition he staged a fountain from his new floral Cologne. Visitors brought from home banks and vessels, and those who do not stock, just dipped handkerchiefs and even jackets.

Yakov Shchukin was born in a peasant family, he served as a military assistant, and then joined the merchant and do business. He opened or leased restaurants in Moscow parks and produced theatrical events. In the 1890s, he decided that he wanted to create their own cultural platform and set it all up to the coat which was put to print the poster.

Shchukin rented an abandoned wasteland in Karetny Ryad, and brought out 50 thousand carts of the old soil. I bought the black soil and with his own hands planted exotic flowers. Ordered in Europe a special system of irrigation and Autonomous diesel power to make the illumination.

Such equipment Moscow did not yet know. He also had to buy the name “Hermitage” is one of the garden with the same name in the city already. In 1895, the area with theatre, bar and a lovely garden officially opened. During the summer season there come more than 70 thousand visitors.

A year later, on may 26, 1896, Shchukin hosted the first public screening of the film. He was a great producer, but if you have seen or ignorance of a mess out of himself. Once he made a remark to a woman who was drawing something with an umbrella on one of the paths of his garden. In response, she defiantly picked a flower.

The host turned pale, and pointed her towards the exit. When I ran the assistant Shchukin and explained that he expels the dancer, which the theater contract, the owner told me to pay her money, but to cancel the concerts in the “Hermitage” is no longer allowed. Merchant Vasily Prokhorov made a good profit on the production of beer, but he did not like this occupation, and devout wife constantly complained that he could not pray for his success.

The case has reduced it with the master dyeing business Fedor Rezanova in 1799. Together they decide to open a business. Prokhorov invested, Rezanov — knowledge, and the profit they agreed to share 45% and 55%, respectively.

It went well until 1812. Rezanov was at this time just opened his own manufactory, and captured Moscow, Napoleon. Factory Prokhorov was not injured in the fire, but almost bankrupt, and to lend them nobody agreed. At that time the head guy was about 60 years, and his son Timothy were only 15 years old.

The fact that it is already a year run its a small thing anyway, no inspiration. Timothy then turned to the merchants, who were able to fire to take out from Moscow unpainted fabric, with a request to borrow a piece of matter so he can paint it, sell and then return the money. Not knowing the right Timothy as craftsmen, merchants entrusted him with a very small number. The young man worked day and night, dyed fabric. The merchants, seeing that the work was performed even better than the father, offered more material.

Over the next two years Timofey Prokhorov has increased the capital factory ten times. One of the children of Timothy Prokhorov a little old fashioned, but very accurately described the secret of happiness: Dress me in purple and gold, pour it all over me with their flavors and set them upon the head a crown of diamonds, I will never be as happy and calm as if doing their job up a sweat.

And thats the entrepreneurs of the 19th century, perhaps, close to each other and to modern businessmen. By the way, some of the pre-revolutionary startups still exist. For example, factory brokara has become a brand New dawn, Prokhorov manufactory is still working under his second name — “the three”, although changed the location. The famous cognac Shustovs bell can be found in stores.

A Hermitage garden is open to guests every day until late evening.

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