building communities in startups and hiphop, and the freedom of getting things wrong
A lot’s happened since 9 year old Dmitry Koltunov and his family packed a few suitcases, left the Soviet Union, and headed west into the unknown
Today, he’s known by many as the co-founder of a hugely successful tech company serving the hospitality industry. To many hundreds more, he’s the indefatigable linchpin of a popular startup fellowship program. And to others, he’s the creator of a new Broadway-bound musical.
Before all these ventures, Dmitry had to learn a new language and culture, and found himself in the gladiatorial environments of corporate America. It was only after two very different visits to New York’s Lower East Side that his current path began to emerge.
In this wide-ranging conversation we get into the surprises that come when following the American dream, why confidence can create fragility, the commonalities between hiphop and startups, and lessons learned from freestyling with one Lin Manuel Miranda.
6:00 Lower East Side free styling with Lin Manuel Miranda
17:00 Detecting the difference between startups and hobbies
25:00 The gladiator game of business – and going the other way
30:00 Following the American dream, and observing culture
43:00 Hiphop and startup communities
48:00 Being fragile from the confidence
58:00 Structures and segments of creative work
66:00 Handling success
73:00 Writing Broadway musicals