Timur Khabirov: "We Are All Digitized, And There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of This"

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Timur Khabirov: "We Are All Digitized, And There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of This"
Timur Khabirov: "We Are All Digitized, And There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of This"

Video: Timur Khabirov: "We Are All Digitized, And There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of This"

Video: Timur Khabirov: "We Are All Digitized, And There Is No Need To Be Afraid Of This"
Video: No Need To Be Afraid (Demo) 2023, March

According to the futurist Toffler, the future belongs to projects that will combine what was previously considered incongruous. In our case, these are technologies, business expertise and art. My partner Serzh Aliseenko and I are both IT specialists, entrepreneurs with experience, and my whole life I was fond of art. As a child, he wanted to become a singer, studied music, dance, studied painting, and later - graphic design. All of this came in handy when Prequel was created.

The idea of the application is to give the user of social networks the tools to express themselves more vividly, convey a mood, and pack a message to the world. Smartphones now have good cameras, and everyone is filming and posting everything. There are so many videos and photos that by themselves they no longer catch. Just beautiful people in beautiful cars against the backdrop of beautiful landscapes - it looks like the movie "King Kong" in 1986 and does not start. To be liked not only by your subordinates and your family, you need to master new formats, challenges and advanced applications.

Kim Kardashian, Victoria's Secret models, Ariana Grande, Christina Aguilera are signed on Prequel.

The names of those who use our presets and filters speak for us. We were involved in advertising for Gucci - even Alessandro Michele thought that Prequel would help convey his ideas to the public. Our effects are not just fashionable art, there is artificial intelligence under the hood, at least 50 people in the development laboratory and about 5 million of our investments in technology per year.

Best of all we go "Miami" and "Disco" - the effects of the disco of the 70s. Each country in the world has its own preferences, which are analyzed by the service of psychologists, but these two are constantly used all over the planet. And the youngsters at TikTok sat down on our Beverly Hills 90210-style color grading and fonts. Interestingly, by the way, fashion is turning. Filters were once created in order to embellish the image taken with a weak camera. And now it's cool and fashionable to distort it "antique", as if filmed on a VHS cassette. These effects blew up the market, during the pandemic we overtook YouTube and became the second in search of the letter "P" after PayPal. I myself really love retro styling, I have every second post with such an effect, although my wife (she is a model) and I test everything that Prequel posts.

Fashion is cyclical, ideas that were hot 30-40 years ago are returning to trends. Of course, with adaptation.

We study the culture layer from the Lumiere brothers: what kind of film was used, what kind of lenses. Art is as serious a laboratory as technology. For a month we dissected only Helmut Newton with his Polaroids.

Prequel is, among other things, time travel. We give a person the opportunity to take a reliable photo in the style of the 60s, even if he was born much later.


We met our partner Serzh Aliseenko after moving to America, and I moved to the States at the age of 26. We both had a prejudice that friends shouldn't do business together - they would become enemies. But we decided to try. Arguing why we succeeded, I would single out several factors. First, the project is so voluminous that we would not have pulled it apart individually. We have different expertise. Product creation, team building and all operating systems on me. Serge is good at digital marketing and has a solid expertise in the mobile market.

Second, he is honest, he always speaks as is. You know, there is such a psychological moment in male relationships: when a guy compliments you in the gym, it stimulates. There is no sexual connotation.

It is clear that business is a test of friendship. There is no need to flirt, in a stressful situation we swear. Separating work from personal relationships is difficult because I am an emotional person. Self-discipline is needed. Like in marriage, because a business partnership is like a second family with a child project, its own everyday, annoying little things. It is not customary for us to console and regret each other, Serge can tell me on the next problem: “What did you want, this is business, you knew where you were going”. And there is more support in these words than in hu-hu.

Thirdly, we were lucky: if they were of the same temperament, the tension would hang constantly.

Talking about real children: there is a lot of controversy over whether it is worth limiting their use of gadgets. My opinion is no. We are all digitized, and there is no need to be afraid of this. Can you imagine how great it will be if, after death, our consciousness moves to the cloud, like in the TV series "Black Mirror"?

To parents who criticize children's enthusiasm for gadgets, I would say that it is a matter of themselves. Fathers and children are an eternal problem, but now the gap between generations is widening, because technological progress is especially rapid.

Just because parents don't understand a digital product doesn't mean it's bad. It's like my dad always made me listen to the Beatles - yes, they are good, but there are many other bands.

Answer the question, how did you build communication with your child. If he is always left to himself, what difference does it make if he pours mud on himself in the sandbox or stuck in the gadget? The child should be taught how to properly allocate time, show something other than games, and not be afraid of everything. Prohibiting is always easier than explaining. Here is another personal example for you: my mother was afraid to let me go to boxing, she said: "Tim, you will become a fool." Do you think I listened? No, I went secretly. The child will still find the opportunity to do what is interesting to him. And if not, you will make him a black sheep. Do you really want him to suffer from complexes all his life?

I have always tried to make a career in the West. There were also unpleasant episodes when a loved one threw a million dollars. This teaches you not to trust money to someone who has never run a business. Now I'm not afraid of deception, in our industry everything is so kosher that the road is closed for people with a tarnished reputation.

In general, IT business is both new professions and vacancies. We don't have enough people. We urgently need to recruit 60 specialists.

We are constantly looking for programmers working with artificial intelligence, neurons, machine learning, computer vision. There is a big shortage of managerial staff, product specialists. We need cool digital designers. There is no shortage of money: in Moscow, the starting salary of an IT specialist is from 100,000 rubles a month. A good incentive to learn new professions, right?

And yet all this stimulates not to extol yourself, how much you have achieved, but to pedal more fun. I worry about one thing - time is passing, we are not getting younger, but we want to do a lot.

Photo: Olga Tuponogova-Volkova, Getty Images

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