European Internet Network
October 15, 1999
Amid the gloom, doom and disaster which seems to dominate headlines about Russia and the Russians it's heartening to spotlight a young Russian who's instigating a universally beneficial revolution. Sadly this particular revolutionary has had to make his latest pitch for fame under the protection of political asylum in the United States.
By all standards Alexandre Konanykhine was a entrepreneurial wunderkind in his teens. By his mid twenties he'd taken Russia's emerging market economy by storm and made himself a cool $300 million. He even had enough spare cash to donate $10 million to Boris Yeltsin's campaign to win the presidency. That was while Alexandre was still a favoured son of mother Russia and had faith in the Yeltsin establishment. Before dark forces in Russia, including corrupt KGB officers, drummed up charges alleging the young banking and property tycoon was guilty of a whole bagful of wrong doings, including embezzlement from his own banks and illegally gaining a visa to the United States. Allegations which so hoodwinked the authorities in the United States, that they had the young Russian thrown in jail. Alexandre used up what was left of his fortune, after the Russian twighlight establishment had confiscated most of it, in legal battles in a bid to prove he was innocent and that he'd been railroaded by corrupt Russian officials and gullible authorities in the United States. Eventually, in 1997, the verdicts against him were reversed and he and his wife, Elena, were granted political asylum in the United States.
Now Alexandre, who was studying to become a rocket scientist before his leap into big business, is bouncing back with vengeance. He's set up a company in New York, called KMGI.com Inc, which has developed a bundle of internet tools and skills which are set to revolutionize the way firms sell themselves and their products on the internet. KMGI is producing what they've called "Webmercials" - TV style animated commercials which make banner ads seem as dated as wall posters. And they also produce similarly dynamic Web Presentations. The magic comes from KMGI's imaginative use of Flash technology from Macromedia. They've combined vector-based graphics with streaming technology to deliver full screen, high impact, animation and graphics along with audio and interactivity. The really clever bit is the way their designers describe an image with succinct mathematics rather than specifying each pixel. This means they can produce miniature files-typically 25Kb- which deliver a punchy audio visual message in just a few seconds.
The cost cutting implications for advertisers' budgets are impressive. KMGI say Webmercials can be produced for a fraction of the cost of a full blown conventionally produced TV commercial.
It also looks like being the long awaited answer for web site operators who've been concerned about the relatively low impact attractiveness of banner ads. "Banner ads are so boring," says KMGI president Alexandre. The Webmercials are already attracting big buck advertising spenders in the United States and KMGI is about to go global.
Whatever the truth about his past the now 33 year old Alexandre Konanykhine looks as thought he's onto a legitimate business success with KMGI's products. So I doubt, provided no more dirt is thrown his way, that it will be too long before Alexandre has regained his fortune and accrued a lot more.
And I'm sure Alexandre also hopes the dark forces in Russia can keep their jealousy and vindictiveness under wraps this time round.
Visit Alexandre's revolution at: kmgi.com