Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Piracy and the software marketplace (unexpected results)

1. Pirated Software in Ukraine makes software almost free
2. Low cost software (alternatives to Microsoft) is Ukraine's SW producers most likely market niche
3. Since software is close to free, there is no market for low cost software alternatives
4. No market for SW, equalates no Ukrainian SW industry (for popular SW)
5. In the short term, international software publishers lose sales, in the longer term, as Ukrainian economy grows and matures, there is no domestic SW industry to rival international software publishers.
6. Short term piracy is of longer term benefit to international software publishers.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

The abundance of casinos in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities points to only one thing, money laundering. It is not creditable that a population of mostly poor people would have the resources to waste a few hours gambling away real money in the many casinos of the city.

Two Quick Business Ideas:

Wall Coverings Retailer: While wallpaper is the most common wall covering in Ukraine, there is really few retailers offering a wide selection. There are large Ukrainian wallpaper producers but their target market price sensitive customers. There is little range of design or color. There is very few selections for children’s rooms. These stores could also offer painting supplies.

Crimea Travel Information Service: Over the past few years the Crimea has developed a number of reasonably remonted resorts. They offer good locations and facilities, many with private beaches, tennis courts and entertainment facilities. The target market for these resorts is Ukrainian and Russian vacationers who want value and predictability. The resorts depend on returning guests to fill their rooms. What these resorts and cities are missing is appropriate marketing campaigns. They depend on small travel agents who do very little other than order taking. The larger travel agents in Ukraine and Russia are too busy pushing foreign travel packages. This gap in services is open for some marketing organization that could advertise, provide information and take reservations for the resorts. The major skill that would be needed to be successful in this business would be good relations with the resorts.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

This is fun

Monday, October 06, 2003

One sign of change, the infamous Cowboy Bar is no more, it has been closed. A “Temporary Closed” sign is now on its door, but there is nothing as permanent as a temporary closed sign. The location of the gunslingers of Kiev painting featuring Trey Aven is unknown.

Disney is now advertising a “Special Edition” of the Lion King Video and DVD in Kiev. This is the first advertisement for any western video product in Ukraine. Either the pirating of videos is slowing up or Disney thinks there is a market for full priced legal videos.