[quote]If I decide to do something, I don’t wait a day, a week or a month. I do it right away.[/quote]
Maxim Razmakhin was born and raised in Voronezh, Russia, 300 miles south of Moscow. At 17, he received a scholarship to play varsity tennis in Mississippi and immigrated to the United States. Little did he know about the remarkable journey that awaited him. His freshman year, he lived in a small trailer with 3 other people. After his junior year, he transferred to Ohio Wesleyan, where he developed and implemented his first business idea: Brainshake. Max started mixing vitamins, super foods and proteins known to improve concentration to a milkshake base. The shakes quickly became a success among his friends and then campus students. Max was forced to quit his business because of immigration laws prohibiting him to work for himself. After graduating with outstanding credentials, he started hunting for a job in an adverse economy. He had less than a dollar in his bank account and stayed over at friends’ places. This situation and his previous success with Brainshake made him realize that he enjoyed taking risks and has a passion for entrepreneurship and business. Max is now 23 and works full-time for a data-provider in New York. He has experience in sales, finance and data management. He is now focused on a social networking Internet startup called Blended, which he recently co-founded.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently working on a project called joinblended.com, which is a tool that utilizes your online presence to help you discover like-minded people around the world. The website (and later a location-based mobile app) gives users an opportunity to expand their professional and personal networks while meeting new people.
Where did the idea for Blended come from?
I was analyzing major trends in technology over the past 40 years. I noticed that people went from installing computers in their homes to connecting these computers through the Internet, to finally connecting with their friends through social networks. I believe the next step in this trend is to connect individuals who don’t know one another, but are a perfect fit for each other.
What does your typical day look like?
Not much sleep. I get up at 6:00 AM, answer emails and get ready for my day at work. I get to the office at 8:00 AM. I usually meet someone for lunch. I finish work at 5:30 PM and then attend an event, meet someone for a drink to discuss Blended or work on my startup. At 10:00 PM, I eat dinner and go to the gym. I resume working at midnight and work for a couple more hours on Blended.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If I decide to do something, I don’t wait a day, a week or a month. I do it right away.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
What excites me is a lack of clear trends in the technology world. There are so many different things happening at the same time that it will be very exciting to see where we are in a few years.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Working in a mail office where I had to stamp 1,000 letters in 2 hours. I didn’t learn anything except some ZIP codes.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would do less studying in school and more networking, brainstorming and exploring the technology field.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I constantly meet new people and try to help them with anything I can, even if I have nothing to gain from it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I believe that the online grocery industry still has a huge potential. The way we shop for food is very inefficient. Just imagine 10 households in the same neighborhood going grocery shopping on the same evening. It takes 10 cars and plenty of gas when it could take just 1 fuel-efficient car that bundles all the orders and delivers them at the same time. Most importantly, it doesn’t require a nice looking grocery store in a good location, which could drive down costs.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would change the way we meet new people. The whole process is inefficient and frustrating because to meet 5 good people, we need to talk to 100 random strangers. That’s the reason why I started Blended.
Tell us a secret.
“We don’t see the world the way it is. We see the world the way we are.” – Anais Nin
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
- Tweetadder.com: An automated tweet management tool. You can specify your target users, follow them and unfollow if they don’t follow you back.
- Icerocket.com: A blog search engine.
- Toastmasters.org: A great way to improve your public speaking skills.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie because it makes you look at things from a different perspective.
What’s on your playlist?
Dubstep, techno and house music.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @bfeld: Early stage investor and entrepreneur
- @Scobleizer: Blogger and co-author of the Naked Conversations
- @john_frankel: Venture capitalist
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
A few days ago I got expelled from a meetup group I had just joined because I wanted to establish a partnership with the organizer. I got a pretty rough message and he couldn’t believe that I joined the group for commercial purposes. Was it that terrible?
Who is your hero?
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s most famous prisoner and once its richest man.
How did you find your technical co-founders?
I used everything from attending meetups to LinkedIn, but I found my partners through github.com. Github offers an option to search by location and most of the members either provide an email address or a link to their personal websites.
How do you stay awake for so many hours?
I drink matcha tea for breakfast, exercise regularly and dream about succeeding in life.
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