Few weeks ago Bloomberg Businessweek published a large — and quite comprehensive — article on Belarusian IT. The particular attention was paid to a piece of mobile software called Viber. Or simply and humbly a “Skype killer”.
Such a name sounds at any rate pretentious: someone in some Belarus tries to take over the market of Skype, the largest VoIP application (by the way, developed in another former USSR country — Estonia)? But Viber designed in Israel by Talmon Marco and Igor Magazinik and being developed in Belarus has all chances.
Viber is aimed at smartphones and designed to fit this platform perfectly unlike “too desktop” Skype. One may receive calls, SMS, share files without bulky process of authorisation and appointing talk beforehand. Furthermore, the service is absolutely gratis.
Viber is constructed with the smartphone in mind. When you make a Viber call, your request is routed to a central Viber server. The server checks to see if the recipient of the call currently has Viber running in the background on his phone. If so, the phone starts ringing; if not, the recipient’s phone receives a push notification that essentially turns Viber on automatically, causing the phone to ring. Currently, Viber surpassed 50 million subscribers and continues growing.
Choosing exactly Belarusian developers for Viber is not random. Firstly, Belarusian programmers possess flexible thinking: “When was the last time I hired a developer in California?” Talmon Marco asks rhetorically. “In Silicon Valley, they may be up on the latest techniques, the latest approaches,” he says, “but they’re too rigid, too by the book.”
Secondly, they are cheap. “For a talented developer, it would be $130,000 a year.” For this amount, Marco and Magazinikcan pay seven Belarusian developers, Bloomberg says.
Belarusian IT is popular among world’s largest companies: Belarusian software is purchased by Coke, Google, Halliburton, Chevron, Citigroup, Sears, Colgate-Palmolive, Thomson Reuters, Viacom, Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, Philips, Samsung, Barclays, and the London Stock Exchange.