A man is half of the people – the freinds that surround him. Fortunately, I have many friends – great personalities, so I hope I am on a right track with my life. Below is the list of those of you, who have internet presence already, in chronological order – the latest friends are listed below those I met earlier. If you are not on this list and have a web site, send me the link, please. If you do not have time or desire to maintain your own web site, send me the material about yourself, and I will create your page here. I will feel honored.
Igor and I were roommates in the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technologies, so I observed from close quarters how Igor’s interest in art grew and his talent flourished. I remember many insightful discussions with him, which continue to feed my imagination even today.
When we first met, Igor was the most advanced physicist among all of us. The Landau and Lifshitz course was an open book for him, and he retained this vision of the world and transferred it into his painting. That’s how the world looks when we remove our human conventions and see it as-is.
And yet, looking at his paintings, I still feel Igor’s kind and warm personality. We cannot rid off ourselves, can we?
Alexander was my climbing partner. We climbed many routes together in Crimea and Caucasus Mountains. We were members of the same mountain rescue team and the narrow circle of the Crimean mountaineers that called themselves The Company.
Many mountain and business related stories in my books originate from the adventures we had together. If Alexander control the other end of the rope or was part of some joint business, I could be sure that nothing bad could happen to me. Master climber, always cheerful, optimistic and full of energy, he inspired everybody around him. The number of people he saved is huge, including me, but he never counted or bragged and tried to remember only positive and humorous aspects of the past.
Alexander (Sashka) is as a good friend as one can be.
We lived in the same city of Feodosia in Crimea where I got my first job after MIPT. Feodosia is known for its art tradition, in large part due to the legacy of one of the greatest marine artists in history Ivan Aivazovsky, who lived there all his life and left his house and all his many paintings to the city.
Volodia graduated from the art school for children, which was located incidentally in the same house where I lived. But we met much later when Volodia became a software programmer, among his many other talents. A year or two after our acquaintance, Volodia emigrated to the US and we assumed we were not going to see each other again.
But we did, some ten years later when my daughter auditioned in The Julliard School in New York. Volodia lived there with his nice family too, working as a programmer, and we had a lot of fun catching up.
Recently, Volodia picked up his art skills again and produced quite a few works, presented here. I enjoyed seeing them and hope you too.
Entrepreneur, pilot, engineer
I met Corvin in Feodosia too. He came to share with Ukrainian entrepreneurs the western business experience. Those were early days of the independence, and we all yet hoped to turn around the country for the better and bright future. The work he and his business partners did, was financed by German Government as part of the Program of Technical Assistance to the newly independent countries in their transition to the market economy.
At the time I was an entrepreneur too – I founded a software development company. So, we quickly found a lot in common. I helped him and his colleague Christian Winkelmann to get around. A year later, they hired me as a full-time employee of their company. Together we traveled across the country and Europe and worked long hours, helping Ukrainian entrepreneurs to get going.
It was my first exposure to the western culture, while they got to know our ways of life. The experience was mutually beneficial. We spent many hours discussing important life questions. Later, Corvin, Christian and their families helped our children to get piano auditions in the best European music schools, and we ended up in London, where children got scholarship in the Royal College of Music. Thank you, Corvin! Without you, it would not be possible.
Programmer, mountain man
We climbed quite a few peaks together – several above 14,000 ft. We covered many trails in Rocky Mountains – on foot and on mountain bikes, including 400 miles of Colorado Trails (well, we did it in strides – two sections each weekend).
We got in a jam a few times – were lost at night in a wilderness or struggled through unexpected snowstorm for ten hours. It helped us to develop the sense of trust to each other. Don edits my books. Thank you, Don! We also often share and discuss everything we find worth discussing.
John was a member of the same Toastmasters club I joined in order to improve my public speaking ability. I was impressed by the ease John delivered his speeches. He also expressed his thoughts very well. Then I learned – surprise! – he was accomplished nuclear scientist (in 1995-1996, he even served as president of American Nuclear Society) and established writer.
We share a lot in common – both professionally and by other interests. John used to race in marathons a lot, while I competed in the decathlon and wanted to try my hand in writing. John accepted my dream of writing as quite natural and his attitude helped me get going. Thank you, John!
John also loves and knows the art world, which was another shared passion. Unfortunately, he moved to Belgium with his family. Good for him, for his wife (who is actually from Belgium) and his two beautiful twin-daughters! He also has a famous son Paul Graham, but I know him only by his books, essays, and the internet in general.
I worked with Dave at the same company on the same project. One had just to see Dave and his work place with four displays to get the confidence that he knew what he was doing. His fingers fly over the keyboard (he always prefers the command line over the mouse and the graphic interface) and he is always on top of the latest and greatest in the industry.
It is a pleasure and instructive to talk to him on any topic, even when we disagree (he is much bigger on individual freedom and entrepreneurship than I, raised soaked in communism).
I was very happy to learn that Dave started a successful second career as a blogger and a podcaster – the activities that complemented his technical expertise with his ability to think about complex subjects and dissect them into easily manageable parts.
I worked at the same company with Bill on the same project for several years. It is a pleasure to have him around – smart, easy going, cheerful character with great sense of humor and very creative.
He is an artist by any measure. And yet, he is also a technology expert, who can grasp the needs of the business on the fly and convert them into a very attractive design.
It is Bill who designed all my book covers and this website too. Thank you, Billy!
Director, writer, photographer, composer
We met on-line and hit it off. Marco talks straight and does not waste time before cutting into the core of the topic at hand. Just read his answers on Quora. He helps me keep my thoughts clear and focused on my most important priorities.
I hope one day to do some project with him or just meet and chat in person. That would be fun. Ah, Marco?