The English-speaking media often calls Pavel Durov "Russian Mark Zuckerberg"
, and you know what? There's a certain truth to that — Zuckerberg gave Facebook to American students, Durov in his turn gave VK (VKontakte)
social network to Russian… well, better say "Russian-speaking" students. Why did this website become so popular within a few weeks? It was so simple! According to Mr. Durov himself, it took him 3 minutes to create the VK logo.
As one of the VK co-founders said, "Pavel knew what school and college students wanted to get, and how to implement this, taking into consideration old cheap computers and low Internet quality that were a reality for most of them".
Times have changed, and VK has changed as well. Now it is highly functional and even more popular than ever before. Besides Pavel Durov has created the Telegram Messenger — a world-popular cloud-based messenger with proper protection of user's personal data and messages.
Pavel Durov is a "frequent guest" on different charts, such as "the top-10 weird business people
" and "most eccentric entrepreneurs
". Well, you got the idea. What's left is to get "why".
- In 2011, the holding Mail.Ru Group had the intention to buy 100% of the shares of VK, thus merging it and combining the platform with Mail.Ru Group's native website "Odniklassniki" (whose major audience is aged 50 and up). Durov rejected this, calling Mail.Ru Group a "trash holding" and giving them the middle finger.
- When Pavel was a schoolchild, he cracked all of the school computers and changed the desktop wallpaper to a photo of his IT teacher with a banner that read "must die". After that, all the passwords were changed, and Durov was banned from accessing the school computers… but he easily hacked them again several times.
- In 2006, Pavel Durov graduated from university in St. Petersburg, but his graduation certificate is still at the university; Mr. Durov never came by to take it.
- In 2012, Durov and his colleague were seen launching paper planes made from 5,000 Russian ruble banknotes (approx. $77.85 USD) from the windows of VK's headquarters. This act was strongly criticized by Russian politicians and authorities.
All in all, Pavel Durov is right the person who millions of Russian teenagers may thank for their "first date" with social networks. And, what is more important, this "date" has evolved into a strongly tied marriage, as the number of Russian-speaking bloggers is incredible!