‘Police state’: Creator ‘Vkontakte’ explained why he doesn’t like to live in the USA

The Creator of Telegram messenger and social network “Vkontakte” Pavel Durov on his channel told about why, in his opinion, it is not necessary to move to Silicon valley and build there the IT business. He believes that in the U.S. poor health, high crime and poor prospects in the modern world. This writes the MC.Today.

'Полицейское государство': создатель 'ВКонтакте' рассказал, почему ему не нравится жить в США

Photo: Shutterstock

Hereinafter in the first person.

Why a film about Silicon valley is not the whole truth

The recently released film Yuri Dude about Silicon valley. It entrepreneurs-immigrants talk about the benefits of moving to the United States.

I am familiar with many of the characters in the film Yuri personally, and noticed the contrast between what they declare on camera, and what they say in private conversations. From all the friends of entrepreneurs from a story I had heard about the disadvantages of living in the United States.

Now one of them half the time at home, the other actually had several months back in Europe, the third was disappointed in the Americans and builds around itself “little Russia.”

In General, on-camera characters in the film demonstrate a very American trait – to bypass acute angles and to concentrate on the positive sides. It is my duty to also tell you about the shortcomings of the States, to warn a new generation of entrepreneurs from repeating the mistakes of the predecessors. 7 reasons not to move to Silicon valley.

1. Police state

Despite the country’s image of freedom, USA – hard-police state, which is the leader in the number of people sitting in prisons. The percentage of prisoners in the US is 10 times higher than in Finland, Germany or Holland.

I think that you will not touch it? I wouldn’t be so sure: at least one of the entrepreneurs that promote the Valley in the movie that he suffered from unjust actions of U.S. law enforcement agencies and organized follow him.

We in the Telegram is also faced with the pressure of the FBI during a visit to San Francisco in 2016.

2. Inaccessible health care

The US health care system inefficient and expensive, resulting in many expats fly to be treated in Eastern Europe – it’s cheaper.

The average people of the United States are not healthy people: the US ranks first in obesity among developed countries. Possible reasons for this poorly regulated food industry, low culture of eating and stress.

3. The limited cultural life

Silicon valley is a few villages with limited cultural life. The nearest city is San Francisco, not too far from metropolis, but has a high level of crime and a large homeless population.

It is ironic that San Francisco is the only place in the entire history of my travels, where I was attacked in the afternoon in the city centre.

4. Mediocre secondary education

The quality of secondary education in the US is lower than in other developed countries. States is only 38th in quality of mathematics teaching in schools (out of 79 countries surveyed).

All the winners of world Championships in programming, who are in favor of eminent American universities, ethnic Chinese, educated in Chinese schools and moved to the United States. Despite this, the US is in these competitions the first place much less than China or Russia.

5. High taxes

USA is a country of high taxes, and successful residents of California give more than half of their earnings to the state. The US is the only country in the world that continues to demand income tax from their citizens even after they have left the country.

Passport of the United States is economic serfdom, which is always with you. Regardless of in what part of the globe you live. Of course, you can try to renounce U.S. citizenship, but, as shown by the sad example of Oleg Tinkov, and it doesn’t always work.

In Eastern Europe, direct taxes are much lower than in the United States, and in countries like the UAE and is equal to zero.

6. The high cost of development

Silicon valley is the high prices of not only real estate, but also to conduct high-tech business.

The entrepreneurs themselves-immigrants rarely hire developers from Silicon valley. Local programmers of the road, are spoiled and often can’t focus at work because of the flow of foreign suggestions and ideas.

In the end, the immigrants prefer to work with programmers and designers from Eastern Europe, but it is often given to them by labour to force a 10-hour time difference. In this sense, it is much easier to lead the development of a time zone close to Eastern Europe or India.

7. Weak market prospects in the XXI century

The American market is overheated and regulated segment of the global Internet, representing only 4% of the population.

Another 10 or 20 years ago it seemed that all global projects can only be launched from Silicon valley, and it was justified. Then, the US represented the biggest single Internet market, and new projects such as YouTube and Instagram, it was easier to start from there.

In recent years, it is not so: the biggest success stories in social media occur just outside of Silicon valley. For example, TikTok with 800 million users or Telegram with 400 million active users.

Last week, an Indian education startup Byju capitalization reached $10 billion. This is natural: today India, not the United States, represents the largest open online marketplace. Not coincidentally, the share of Indian users in the Telegram exceeds the share of users from any other country.

Where to move

The USA is not the best place neither for the life nor the conduct of IT business. I am sure that given the choice all those wishing to leave Eastern Europe you should definitely consider other options.

The rights and freedoms of a person is much better protected in the countries of Northern and Central Europe, and economic growth in the XXI century is focused in Asia. The United States is still able to lure a part of established entrepreneurs and developers from all over the world with cheap money investors, but the move in the US today is akin to buying an asset at its peak value.


Our people


Silicon долинаFacebookVkontakte