We had the good fortune of connecting with Igor Fedenkoff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Igor, how do you think about risk?
I think every single person has a vast potential for greatness, but due to a number of reasons and many outside factors, many choose not to. And in my opinion, it’s not exactly the risk that is causing aversion, but the possibility of a failure and a preconceived notion of being inadequate.
I still remember getting my courage together and asking the prettiest girl in class out, and being shot down, but still thinking – hey, I did it! Leaving the comfort of my family’s home at 17 to go study in the US, working 6 jobs to pay for school and getting my BS in 3 years and then an MBA, because someone said I couldn’t, first motorcycle ride or the skydive, speaking in front of 20 people, and then having a speaking engagement with a few hundreds in the audience, tasting fried crickets and becoming a husband and a father… Come to think of it, my list is fairly long and won’t fit in the frame of this panel, but this is the thing – you remember all of the risks you take, whether life-changing, or tiny, and all of them, absolutely all of them have helped and keep helping me to some day become the best version of me, keep realizing my potential, as opposed to just having it.
Many times in my life I have taken a risk just because it scared the living hell out of me. But as the time passed, it didn’t seem all that scary and most importantly it brought a new experience, a new knowledge, a new-found strength, confidence and courage, that otherwise would not be found by me in the routine stream of everyday safe scenarios. And needless to say, I wouldn’t be where I am today, running an exciting new enterprise, my fourth startup, living and breathing the challenges and asking for more, if I haven’t taken at first the smaller risks, then bigger, and then practically made a habit of it 🙂 It becomes addictive, it becomes an exhilaration of the pursuit of one’s goals, newer and bigger ones every time around 🙂
I am fortunate enough to be married to an entrepreneur as well, a wonderful woman and an amazing mother, and together we do our best to create a balance in our personal, parental, and professional life – and let me tell you – this is the risk in it’s own, a risk of complacency and lack of attention to all the aspects of the life we have created for ourselves – but we are moving through it, learning, failing, succeeding, finding new ways, and hopefully showing our kids that taking a leap can be a scary, yet very rewarding experience.
There is a saying in my culture – Those who don’t risk, don’t get to drink champagne.
I do enjoy a good champagne toast – so, cheers to the next risk that you will take, because it truly is worth it!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Founded by four serial entrepreneurs in 2018, Brybe, Inc. is a California Corporation behind the creation of Brybe Marketplace, an online platform that gives Freelancers and Influencers an opportunity to offer digital services and run multi-tiered marketing campaigns worldwide. Our ultimate goal is to further develop the digital creator ecosystem by bringing transparency and systematization to the otherwise relatively fragmented market. In today’s space many lower to mid level buyers lack the knowledge and understanding that a plethora of digital services via freelancers and more powerful storytelling through influencers are at their fingertips. Brybe Marketplace makes it easy and seamless by minimizing time spent on manual search, analysis and tracking. We control the precision of the transaction and the transfer of the finances, they feel safe and use us. By curating these profitable relationships and ensuring the accuracy of every single deal, we add confidence to all parties involved and hedge against the risk of otherwise unpredictable private transactions.
Having a number of various competences in my previous engagements most definitely allowed me to be where I am today. And this is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learnt over the years – whatever you do, try to be the best you can be at it, because you never know when this experience may come handy:) Being an entrepreneur is far from glamorous, and you find yourself constantly facing the unknown. My experience in finance, hospitality, and marketing puts me into a different category of digital business founders, because I am not an engineer. I am very fortunate to have been able to attract fantastic specialists to this project, and at the same time, I am good at storytelling, which helps relating to the target audience or potential investors in Brybe.
Another interesting fact worth mentioning is that while we always believe that our product is the best and makes perfect sense – we, as founders, are most of the time very much off on this. Users are the ones that truly judge the product and it’s readiness, and it’s vital to get and hear their feedback, remain flexible and adjust to necessary changes in good time, because otherwise you risk losing the momentum and that usually costs.
Brybe is uniting digital creators and digital promoters, giving them a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in either a customized or pre-packaged manner while earning 100% of the revenue for their work, no platform fees, thus giving potential buyers a one-stop shop for freelancer and influencer services – quality, transparent, efficient and affordable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Best part about LA and CA in general is an absolute versatility of the nature and climate 🙂 As I prefer active vacations, the time off will definitely be split between some of the best hiking trails in the country – Malibu canyons or Placerita canyon in Valencia, a day snowboarding trip to Mammoth, definitely catching some waves around Zuma, and of course taking a motorcycle ride on some of the winding hill roads around LA.
I’m thinking a picturesque drive up PCH with drinks on a balcony at Moonshadows and a sunset dinner at Geoffrey’s would make for a comfy afternoon. Actually, speaking of sunsets – gotta see another one from Castaway in Burbank, with some of the best steak and specialty dish selection around. Nightlife would definitely start with the ArtWalk, and you can’t beat the city views from so many vantage points, starting from Angeleno Hotel, to the Standard, or the Perch, or Bonaventure Hotel downtown, Yamashiro in Hollywood, or Sushiya on Sunset.
LA has many faces and many hidden gems, like the Last Bookstore on Spring (have a coffee and dessert at Bottega Loui), small parks in Silverlake (taste the small plates at Alimento), the most colorful crowd and establishments, and of course the canals in Venice (fish tacos at the James Beach), feel the freedom and laid back surfer vibe in Ventura plus a damn good breakfast at the Immigrant Son’s Cafe, a supercar meet at an undisclosed location and an evening drive up Mullholland.
I will leave all the touristy stuff for their guided tour 🙂 but show them the side of LA that locals know better. Fever, for instance, organizes phenomenal musical showcases at the most intriguing locations like churches or beach cafes. Korea Town has some of the yummiest street vendor food and international shopping. Small lounges host some of the coolest live acts like bands, djs or burlesque. Vibrato on Beverly Glen is Herb Alpert’s place and a home to wonderful jazz shows. Small street around Melrose host expressive and curious art exhibits. And you can’t miss Descanso Gardens, the Huntington Library or the Arboretum around Pasadena for a zen walk among the bursting flora.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Man, this feels like an award show 🙂 I want to say the biggest thank you to my parents, Igor and Lyubov, that raised me in an “I can and I will” spirit; my wife, Yuliya, and my beautiful daughters, Jade and Sophie, for being loving, patient, supportive, strict and understanding. Family is what makes us, I truly believe that.
I also most definitely want to give a shoutout to all the naysayers, haters, and challengers that ever came into my life and created obstacles, gave me reasons not to do something, challenged me and doubted me. Much to their credit, I keep getting out of my comfort zones, taking leaps of faith, falling, dusting off and getting up again.
Life is a lot like the Olympics, with many different sports tied into it, and it wouldn’t be as rewarding or even exist if we didn’t have other competitors and challengers in these games, records to break, and personal victories to achieve. No limits.