Hire 'The Best Of The Best Of The Best,' And Be Free From Taking Orders From Anyone

Pavel Durov
founder of VK, and Telegram Messenger

Messaging has become integral to communication in the modern internet world, and that apps that provide the service have become increasingly important in this fast-paced community.

And one of the big players in the industry, is the Telegram Messenger, known for its security and privacy, cloud-based services, large group chats and channels, customization and bots, speed, API, cross-platform availability and more.

It's also free, and has no advertisement, whatsoever.

If ever a company that works on a global scale is secretive and tends to remain subtle in terms of publicity, Telegram would be it.

And the man behind it, Pavel Durov, is no less mysterious.

Pavel Durov
Pavel Durov.

Putting aside his black attire he wear at almost every time, the Leningrad, Soviet Union-born Durov is the man behind Telegram Messenger, and that he is also the sole owner of the app, its only director and product manager, and that things have been that way for an "extensive period of time."

According to him, by having zero personnel in his human resource team at the company, allows the company to move fast.

"I'm running this company because I enjoy it. I'm the only product manager because I think this is the way I can contribute.

While Durov claims to come up with most of the features, he said that he works directly with every engineer and designer. employed by the company, which he said is "30 full-time employees."

But to ensure that his company runs like it should, his company organizes competitions to find recruits.

In a rare interview with U.S. right-wing journalist Tucker Carlson, he said that:

" [...] every like month or two months or so, after a series of these competitions, we select the best of the best of the best and they then maybe, could join our team which is just about 30 engineers [...] it's really compact, the team is super efficient."

It's like a a Navy SEAL team."

Telegram Messenger has about 1 billion users, and Durov, standing at the center of it, is only aided by around 30 people.

In comparison, Telegram's main rival, WhatsApp, had 55 employees and 450 million users when it was sold to Facebook for $19 billion in 2014.

In the statement that even astonished Carlson, Durov shows how his lean operation can succeed, even without the commotion.

By having no unnecessary luggage, he can make Telegram to swiftly adapt to the trend and demand.

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has a long history that made him what he is.

Durov said that he fled Russia over Kremlin pressure.

He had refused state orders to take down opposition communities on VKontakte, or VK, the social network he co-founded in 2007.

During the 2011-12 mass protests against rigging in Russia’s parliamentary elections, Durov was asked to share Ukrainian pro-democracy protesters’ personal data in 2013, in which he also refused.

The eccentric tech CEO told Carlson that he also received another similar Russian request during Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests, which left him with “two sub-optimal options”: comply with the orders, or resign from his position as CEO of VK and fleeing Russia.

Pavel Durov
Pavel Durov (right), in an interview with U.S. right-wing journalist Tucker Carlson.

"I chose the latter," said Durov.

With VK being under the control of Kremlin-aligned oligarchs who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Durov then fled his home country. To find a home, Durov made several stops along the way, including Berlin, London, Singapore and San Francisco — where he recounted being mugged after meeting ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Durov then settled in Dubai, and relocated there in 2017 to avoid being "geopolitically aligned" or “select winners in any political fight.”

"I would rather be free than to take orders from anyone," Durov said.

Further reading: How 'Digital Resistance Movement' Goes Global And Won't End