Biography of Pavel Durov: from the take-off of VKontakte network to emigration and Telegram
Internet entrepreneur Pavel Valerievich Durov is often called the “Russian Zuckerberg”. Pavel himself is not happy with this comparison: since 2014, the businessman has no relation to the Russian Federation and carries the passport of the island country of Saint Kitts and Nevis. And Facebook corporation is called “sinking ship”.
Pavel Durov was born on October 10, 1984 in Leningrad. Since the beginning of the 90s of the XX century, Pavel’s father has headed the Department of Classical Philology in St. Petersburg.
Petersburg State University. The mother of “Russian Zuckerberg” also teaches at this university.
Pavel Valerievich graduated from the Academic Gymnasium and from 11 years was engaged in programming. The first companion to write software turned out to be Paul’s own brother, Nikolai. His favorite subject at the gymnasium was computer science, during which the young man was entertaining as best he could cracking passwords and changing screen savers. In particular, “thanks” to Pavel, at a certain moment MustDie (it should die) was written on the monitors of all the computers of the school at the start.
Pavel continued his education at his parents’ alma mater: at the St.Petersburg State University (English philology and translation). Durov did not take the red diploma for a good reason: by that time, he was a millionaire, the creator of the most popular social network in Russia.
Of course, the idea of VKontakte (later VK.com) was borrowed from Mark Zuckerberg. Durov recalled more than once that a friend returned from the USA showed the main social network of the world of Facebook to him. Recall that Facebook was originally intended as a “photo album” for students.
Start of VKontakte in 2006 turned out to be enchanting. Pavel and his brother Nikolai registered an LLC and demonstrated a demo version of the social network. It was possible to register only by invitations, and a real battle arose for them. Soon, Site VKontakte opened for everyone, and two years later, it was monetized.
Thanks to its own advertising network, the project began to bring tangible profits.
During the entire existence of VKontakte, the main market players were constantly interested in the project, especially Mail.ru Group (the Odnoklassniki network). Attempts were made to purchase and even “spin” LLC VKontakte. Constant informational (and not only) wars took place around Pavel Durov and Mail.ru representatives. At the end of 2013, the battles ended not in favor of Pavel: he was dismissed from the position of general director by the decision of the shareholders’ council. And the whole VKontakte is absorbed by Mail.ru Group. The last straw was the refusal of Pavel Durov to provide the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation with personal data of the founders of the Ukrainian Euromaidan groups.
Telegram messenger and emigration to nowhere
At the end of 2013, Pavel decided to leave the country, and in early 2014 he fulfilled his desire. Since 2011, Pavel Durov and his brother have been brewing a desire to create an instant messenger with an unprecedented level of data encryption. Therefore, the project was implemented. True, already outside of Russia.
Telegram was created quickly and fascinatingly: a group of programmers traveled around different countries and continents, never stopping anywhere for more than two weeks.
At the end of 2015, the demand of the Russian authorities for issuing the Key and Telegram encryption to them became known. To which Durov refused: by that time, the messenger was used in more than 20 countries, and the ban in one of them globally would not affect anything.
Pavel Durov made a hero of the book “Durov Code” and the failed film: a citizen of the world and a dollar billionaire do not need extra hype around his name.