Jobs: Tigran Khudaverdyan, head of Yandex.Taxi

What do you do in your work?

For ten years I have been creating various custom products in Yandex. Of the very popular ones are Yandex.Navigator and Yandex.Browser. Now I am running Yandex.Taxi.

Before that, I participated in the family business and tried to create my own. I had several online stores, but there was not enough experience. So in 2006 I decided to get a job in some company. We took them to Yandex.

What is your profession?

I graduated from the Physics Department of Moscow State University. For school life several times changed the mindset of what to be – a mathematician, a programmer or a physicist. Chose the latter.

I am convinced that higher education is necessary. And not a template, but a fundamental, teaching not to processes, but their essence. Now they often teach patterns: in such and such a situation, do so-and-so. If the situation does not break out beyond these cliches, the person is successful. But in life you have to deal with different projects, sometimes you can solve non-standard tasks. And here we need knowledge that does not answer the question “What to do?”, But the questions “How?” And “Why?”.

Higher education gives the ability to understand the essence of what is happening, to think and act systematically.

There is no talk of networking in the university. But, after giving 10-12 sessions, the young man learns to overcome life’s difficulties.

I’m pretty skeptical about getting the second, third and subsequent diplomas. This is rarely done for the sake of knowledge and is not an end in itself. In my opinion, the best additional education is experience. It must be able to learn and correctly interpret.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

There is one character trait that is both strong and weak at the same time. This is laziness.

Weak because I postpone business for later. Strong, because I try to find simple solutions to complex problems. All the time I think how to make it faster and easier or not at all, but to achieve the result.

What does your workplace look like?

In “Yandex” adhere to the concept of open space. This is an important part of corporate culture. If the head fences with the walls of the office, a certain barrier appears between him and the employees. It hinders the development of business and does not allow you to make decisions promptly.

Therefore, my desk is in the center of a large room. On it – a MacBook and two monitors. MacBook, because to work with mail and the Internet better than Mac OS has not come up with anything. External monitors, because I work a lot in Excel. I bring tables to one, and on the other – mail and everything else.

Workers MesTigran Khudaverdyan, Yandex.Taxi

Also on the table are a lot of memorable souvenirs. For example, plush female breasts. I was given it once for a birthday. Brought for the sake of fun at work, and stayed.

From mobile gadgets I have an iPhone. There is also Apple Watch, but, in my opinion, this is absolutely a failed project. Smart watches Pebble, for example, a thousand times better.

BY

I think, in terms of Internet surfing, I’m an average user. I react to the fluff immediately. It distracts, but has not learned otherwise.

My main browser is Yandex.Browser. Of messengers, it seems, I use everything at all: Telegram (this is the main one), Slack (for urgent communications within the team), WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger. I just do not like Skype and chat “VKontakte”.

I hate networkers; therefore, with respect to social networks, I adhere to the principle: it is signed only for those whom I know personally.

Facebook for me is a zone of personal communication.

I do not add friends and do not confirm the friendship of strangers. The exception is a couple of very famous bloggers who are interesting to me. Also I delete those who clog the tape with news of politics and economy and constantly post jokes.

The email client on the Mac is standard. When I work with mail, I follow the simple rule – to store only the letters in the inbox for which the work is not yet completed. If the message is read and answered, or no additional action is required, it is transferred to the archive.

To work with Microsoft Office, I have a Windows operating system. To work with the program code I use the editor Sublime. The data is stored in the Dropbox. I have an archive with photos of 200 gigabytes in the last ten years.

I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to process photos. For video processing – iMovie. For storing and organizing photos – Picasa. Unfortunately, Google announced the termination of support for this service. It’s a pity, because today there are no programs comparable with Picasa in terms of speed and simplicity of operation. One of its main features is face recognition. Literally one button you could find pictures of the right person.

Is there a place for paper in your work?

The only thing I use paper for is to think about a specific task. The best way to understand what needs to be done is to draw a result. You know, Amazon has a rule: before they start a project, they write a press release to it, even if the launch is only scheduled in three years. Drawing on paper schemes and graphics, you can build on what the result should be, and not on what resources are available.

Also on paper it’s easier to explain and show something to people. There is not a single program that allows you to sketch something as quickly and conveniently as a pen and paper. Sometimes you need to draw something, postpone, draw something else, and then put together five pages and see what happens. And at least ten iPad decomposed, just as clearly as on paper, will not.

How do you organize your time?

We have a corporate calendar where meetings are planned. I have no other time management tools. Unless occasionally I enter something in Wunderlist.

How do you feel about delegation of authority?

One of my leaders in Yandex taught me great wisdom (by the way, I was very lucky with the bosses, they taught me a lot). Unloading a car with sugar, it is important not only to catch the bag, but also to have time to throw it on, otherwise the next one will kill you. With delegation is the same. It is necessary to be able to transfer tasks as quickly as possible so that the process of “unloading” is continuous.

At the same time, the manager should always delve into the details. Delegating does not mean flipping yourself off. We must thoroughly understand the problem in order to understand who it can be delegated to.

What is your daily routine?

I get up between six and nine in the morning, I go to bed usually after midnight. At work I come in eight or nine in the morning, I leave at 20: 30-21: 00.

Productive throughout the day. But after eleven o’clock in the evening I can not work anymore – I’m getting tired.

Tigran Khudaverdyan, Yandex.Taxi

How do you waste time in traffic jams?

In traffic jams, I listen to the radio, in the queues I read Facebook.

I prefer not to listen or read news. It is an idle, imposed from the outside interest. It creates the illusion that this piece of information gives you more opportunities and allows you to better understand the reality. This is not true. Only wasting time.

What’s your hobby?

The first hobby is photography. I photograph people and nature. I even have a small drone helicopter, with which I shoot aeropanoramy and various videos.

I dream of being able to travel a lot in my life.

The second hobby is a clock. A year ago my friend and I opened a company to produce exclusive wrist watches. For this we find antique antiques watches of famous brands (Zenit, Moser, Omega and others), restore their mechanisms, while using original parts for 99%, we create an individual case. Soon, an online store will open, where you can buy these watches.

What place does sport play in your life?

I go in for mountain skiing and twice a week I do table tennis. The first is always associated with communication and interesting pastime, the second teaches to think and helps to distract. And energetically, table tennis is quite expensive.

I do not understand selfish sports, like running, and power, where the main goal is to demonstrate physical data. These classes seem to me senseless, they do not have an element of the game, they do not improve life.

Tigran Khudaverdyan, Yandex.Taxi
Tigran Khudaverdyan: “Be simpler. Thoughts are easier “

Lifkhakerstvo from Tigran Khudaverdyan

Books

To tell the truth, in comparison with my environment I read a little. I devote more time to the cinema. Now I read “It will not be easy” by Ben Horowitz.

But if you recommend a book, then I would advise all leaders to read the autobiographical book of the president of Ford and chairman of the board of the corporation Chrysler, Lee Iacocchi “Manager’s career.”

From fiction to all who have not yet read, I advise the novel of Australian writer Gregory David Roberts “Shantaram.” Perhaps this is the best book I’ve read in five years.

Films

I do not watch TV shows, because I think it’s a waste of time. The exception is Doctor House. Well, “Santa Barbara” as a child. 🙂 But I watch a lot of feature films. It is difficult to single out some best, but if something needs to be recommended, then “Dogville” by Lars von Trier. Its very few people watched, it’s a very deep movie.

Video

There is such a program, which was published in America from 1983 to 2002, – “Computer Chronicles” (Computer Chronicles). On YouTube, there are almost all series. It is very interesting to watch it in the year 2016 and see how the IT industry was born and developed, what computers, laptops, games and so on were.

In general, looking back at the past is useful. In Soviet times, every year the book “Eureka” was published. They described the discoveries made in science and made a forecast for the future. It is interesting to read it now (you can find it in second-hand booksellers). Then they thought that scientific and technological progress would reach unprecedented heights. Nowadays, every new technology promises to bring about a revolution. But these books help to temper the enthusiasm and understand what phenomena are temporary, and which really take root and become popular.

What is your life credo?

Be more simple. Thoughts are simpler.