It gives me joy to deeply connect with other human beings on the path of self-discovery, awakening and manifesting their true self in the world through entrepreneurship.

A quick snapshot

  • Serial Tech Entrepreneur. Founder of three multi-million dollar businesses, including the non-profit focused software-as-a-service (SaaS), Wild Apricot, which serves over 20,000 small non-profits.
  • Cofounder of - #1 resource for Blockchain education
  • Voluntarist. 
  • Personal growth geek. Spiritual seeker.
  • Proud father of Vitalik Buterin - creator of Ethereum. (I can’t help you with in-depth insights of blockchain tech; I have a decent level of understanding but I am not a blockchain tech expert. )

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My learnings and philosophy

Here are some of the key learnings and philosophies that I acquired over the years:

  • Business results reflect the personal beliefs of the team, especially those of the leaders. If you want your business to grow, you have to identify and grow out of your limiting beliefs. This is hard!!!

  • Key tools for personal growth are:

    • Ongoing learning on your own — books, conferences etc.

    • Having an awesome group of peers and a way to connect and share with them deeply.

    • Working with the best coaches and mentors. I am grateful to many amazing people who have helped me in my journey, including Colin Collard and Philip McKernan

  • If you want to build a great business, attract great people. They will not stand for politics and other bullshit. Culture is key. Building a good culture is a long-term process. It’s not about posting a bunch of fancy posters about your mission and core values around the office.

  • You can only achieve great business results if you focus on what your customers want and help them solve their problems. Many businesses seem to be going at it backwards —  focusing on a particular revenue/profit/growth number and thinking of customers as an afterthought.

  • Most startups overcomplicate things and have very complex and fragile business models built on a mound of assumptions. I am a big believer in finding a very specific set of customers who have a specific problem and then validating your assumptions about the problem and your proposed solution through a series of iterations.

  • Successful businesses of the future will be built on new organizational models which help everyone in the organization to be their best. (One model I really like is Teal, featured in the book  Reinventing Organizations. We have been implementing Teal at Wild Apricot since January 2016. It has been hard to do, but very rewarding.)

  • A living, growing business has to be a learning business, which requires everyone in the business to constantly learn and grow, professionally and personally.

  • Great businesses are transparent. Everyone working there understands the full context and has full access to information, including good news and bad news.

  • Nonviolent communication is a great framework for better communication and conflict resolution, whether in a personal or business context.

  • People always overestimate what they can do in the short term and underestimate what they can do in the long term.

  • You can't help the world without helping yourself first. I don't care how smart you are, you will never achieve your full potential without self-awareness and emotional intelligence to collaborate with others

Short bio

I grew up in the Soviet Union, in Grozny, Chechnya, then moved to Moscow at the age of 17, to study Computer Science at the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering (MIET).

In 1994, I started my career, working briefly at DialogBank as a software engineer, then at Arthur Andersen Business Consulting as a computer systems consultant (ERP/Financial systems).

In 1997 I co-founded my first business, Columbus Russia, a financial software reseller and consultancy. I have been a serial tech entrepreneur ever since. Each venture has been bootstrapped, and I have never raised outside capital.

Three of my businesses have reached 7 figures in revenue (Columbus Russia, Bonasource, Wild Apricot), and one of them 8 figures (Wild Apricot).

At the end of 1999, I moved to Canada, and have been living in Toronto ever since.

From 2006-2017 I have been running Wild Apricot, SaaS serving over 20,000 small non-profits. Wild Apricot has been acquired in September 2017 and I have transitioned out of the business in December 2017

I’m a proud father of three —  my son Vitalik and two daughters.

My current focus

  • Deep self-reflection, healing, meditation, sharing, mentoring, coaching, learning.