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Stories From The Field

This is a section for real entrepreneurs running real business in Moldova to share their experience, frustrations, lessons and insights with the community at large.

Category contains 27 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

If you are wondering why you haven't heard from me in a long time well... life has been a bit hectic. Running Smokehouse, opening Taproom 27 (yes! we have a new bar actually :) and countless hours spent working on the nuts and bolts of the problems I have described in this blog with FSEA have taken their toll on my free time. But I have started to miss the blog and an organized way of telling our strange tale. In thinking about what would be next for OSE I had a realization - talking is easier than writing! Over the last year various groups have asked me to come to events as a guest speaker or panelist and after some thought I have decided to officially announce (drummroll please) that I enjoy such events. More importantly, I feel they are a great mechanism for sharing the Smokehouse story and to help educate the next generation of Moldovan entrepreneurs and leaders in the reality of the situation, the many challenges, and the reasons for hope and excitement about starting a business in Moldova.

So without further ado I will announce that I will cease to neglect this blog and simply put it on hiatus for a time. Meanwhile, please follows OSE on Facebook for random, funny thoughts I have about corruption, bureaucracy, and business in Moldova in general. 

And... if you happen to be in an organization looking for an Expert Speaker on the topics of Corruption, Bureaucracy, Reform and Hope for the Small Business sector in Moldova reach out! My email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Open Source Entrepreneurship

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Această postare este tradusă, textul original fiind în limba engleză. Mulțumim voluntarilor care au editat și tradus acest blog!!

În sfîrșit am revenit. A trecut ceva timp și, sincer vorbind, probabil mi-a lipsit mai mult decît credeam efectul cathartic al acestui blog. De-a lungul ultimelor 4 luni am fost cam în totalitate concentrat pe afacere, fapt care a produs două obstacole destul de semnificative pentru oricine încearcă să mențină o activitate precum acest website. În primul rînd, am fost extrem de ocupat. Să gestionezi un restaurant în primul său an nu înseamnă doar să-ți dedici tot timpul lucrului, dar și să traiești constant cu memoria gîndului că niciodată nu îndeplinești mai mult decît 20 % din lucrul planificat pentru o zi, și că ziua următoare va aduce și mai mult lucru. Există și o doză complementară de vină care te face să renunți progresiv la pasiunile tale (ceea ce, evident, nu-i bine pentru sănătatea mintală). Al doilea obstacol în actualizarea continuă a acestui website este un pic mai cinic. Sincer, am început să fim indiferenți față de anumite lucruri. Circumstanțe care anterior îmi trezeau indignare, au început să-mi trezească doar rîsete și apoi nimic. Am fost într-o vacanță frumoasă și acum am revenit în modul de rîs, pe care vreau să-l păstrez. Indignarea persistă, dar e ascunsă sub un paravan de așteptări abisal de joase, fapt care-i un element de bază al gestionării afacerilor în Moldova.

Așadar, pe această notă sumbră, mă voi lansa într-un subiect care, cred eu, va crea un tablou despre ce înseamnă să faci afaceri aici (și care expune o doză de frustrare), dar este orientat spre cum ar putea fi lucrurile. Mai exact, cît de multe oportunități sunt aici pentru oricine dorește să muncească mult și să încerce. Cînd am început să scriu acest articol cu cîteva luni în urmă, l-am întitulat „Lucrul cu furnizorii (sau: Coca Cola, așteptam mai mult de la tine)”. În mod hilar m-am abținut, pentru că nu voiam să menționez tare și răspicat numele Coca Cola. De atunci am pierdut această inhibare (și veți vedea de ce).

Trecînd direct la subiect, iată cîteva motive pentru care Moldova este plină de oportunități pentru oricine își dorește să le înhațe.


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Posted by on in Stories From The Field

So at long last I'm back. It's been a while and frankly I've probably missed the rather cathardic outlet of this blog more than I knew. For the last 4 months or so I've been pretty much totally focused on the business and this has yielded two rather significant obstacles to anyone who seeks to keep an account such as this website. Firstly, I've been extremely busy. Running a restaurant in it's first year is not only about all of your hours being taken up by work but also living the the constant knowledge that you never accomplish more than 20% of your work in a given day and that tomorrow will add more and more. There is a certain guilt that accompanies this, once known, that drives you to progressively eliminate your hobbies (obviously not good for mental health). The second obstacle to my continued updates to this site is a little more cynical. Frankly, we've begun to get numb to things. Circumstances that used to invoke outrage in me began to invoke only sputtering laughter and then nothing. I took a nice vacation and I'm back in laughter mode which is where I intend to stay. The outrage is still there but hidden beneath a veil of abysmally low expectations that is a staple of doing business in Moldova. 

So on that dismal note I will launch into a topic that I think is going to paint a picture of doing business here (and as such exhibits an amount of frustration) but with a focus on how things could be. Specifically how much opportunity there is here for anyone who wants to work hard and try. When I originally began to draft this entry a few months ago I titled it "Working with suppliers (or: Coca Cola we expected better of you)." Hilariously (in retrospect) I held off because I didn't want to call Coke out by name. I have since lost that inhibition (and you shall see why).   



b2ap3_thumbnail_batmanNoFs.gifsays it all... 

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One year in a reread of my original "Choosing a Bank" seems like quite a strange journey into a far more naive past. In the year since I wrote that we've talked a number of other times about our experiences banking in Moldovan and moving money here (loansmoving money and the general state of the banking sector / the theft of the century). 



When looking for tie in here I punched "crook" into google images. This is first.
I like to imagine this man swooping into Moldova and stealing 1 Billion
Dollars leaving the country to destroy itself in finger pointing while he
rides off into the sunset. Oddly this is a more comforting
image than the truth...

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Posted by on in Stories From The Field
We Are Open / Year in Review

Note: for any of you in Moldova you likely realize that we have been open for just over a month (if you didn't know that come visit us!! smokehouse.md for directions).

Smokehouse opened for business on Monday June 29th 2015. As you might imagine the trials of a new business have completely consumed my time (and still do) which is why this is the first time I'm getting a chance to make an update. The reality is that this date was just 12 days away from the 1 year anniversary of signing the lease to our Smokehouse location. It feels like it's time for me to write a bit about our journey. 




Tagged in: Business Open OSE
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