So here we are – in 2023; I wonder, will it continue the trend of being “roaring” – but not quite like the Roaring Twenties of last century? You know – first covid and the lockdowns, then you-know-what. Whatever next? I just hope there’s less roaring, and more… purring – and a lot less geopoliticism…
All this geopolitics, though – it has had one interesting effect on us here at K: it’s forced us out of our comfort zone. It made us adapt, quickly, to the new macro-reality we found ourselves in. We’ve been working harder than ever before – not quite in panic-mode, but not far from it, and we’ve ended up stronger, nimbler and smarter for it. Just as well – for who else is going to do much of the heavy-lifting in building the secure digital future we all deserve?!…
And all our hard work really has paid off: despite everything (though the official figures aren’t in just yet), we managed to maintain sales of our products practically at the same level as in 2021! Sure, we took hits in both North America and Europe, but those were made up for by boosts in all the other regions of the world. In a word: woahski.
// Photographic digression. Why? See the bold below… ->
So, like, how did we manage it? Two main ways really: first – because we’re awesome, obviously; second – we’re kinda getting used to thriving through ****storms! For let’s face it, they’re becoming the norm for us. Crisis management – what’s that? It’s simply “management” now ). Yes, of course we’d prefer calmer seas, without all the geopolitical thunderstorms we’ve zero control over. Instead the seas are as choppy as heck. So we adapt, we toughen up, we get our sea legs, and steer the ship as best we can to ride out the storm. What else can we do?…
The first storm in relatively recent memory came at the end of 2014 and into 2015: sanctions, a sharp devaluation of the ruble, and assorted other nasties. Back then around 20% of our income was in rubles (now it’s a lot more), and the drop in the national currency’s value hit us hard. We managed to pull through, but it was unpleasant all the same.
Then came the fall of 2017. Practically every day – sometimes twice a day – a leading U.S. newspaper/media outlet would write all sorts of BS about us – none of which was true! Here are some details and our reactions thereto. Things hotted up so much that at one point I was invited to testify at a congressional hearing in the Capitol. However, in the end, I never went: their interest in listening to what I might say on the record suddenly waned. I wonder why? )
Fast-forward to the year 2020 – and you know all about that so I won’t go into it here; it was a toughie for the whole world, carrying on as it did throughout most of 2021 too. Then… 2022. Oh my gamechanger…
Which brings us to 2023. And it’s all quiet on the traveling front so far for me – with no conferences or other events coming up for the time being. However, it is still winter – often a quiet period. I used to go to Davos and a few other Euro-destinations of a January, but not anymore. I found out in 2020 that, alas, Davos has gone full geopolitical-blowout mode. And as to Europe on the whole – there’s no place for me there since February 2022. So here I am in Moscow, overseeing how the business is operating – and sharing annual reviews plus the odd tale with pics and impressions now and again ).
Still, at least I know this quiet patch won’t last: in the first half of the year I’ve plenty of travel booked – to practically all the regions of the world open to me. And “plenty” really does mean plenty: not just lots booked, but at an action-packed quick pace too – just how I like it.
Meanwhile, it’s a gray, overcast, and pretty miserable Moscow for me and all my colleagues at HQ. But should I really be complaining? After all, I kicked off this year with… this! ->
“This” being – Seychelles, a fave no-brainer destination of mine for some much-deserved R&R.
The tide goes out real far, as you can see. No barefoot sandy-beach stroll to be had here, but – with sturdy flip-flops on – a rather interesting afternoon saunter checking out the marine life here and there ->
Sensational sunsets ->
Here’s a different island – much more classically “tropical paradise” >
Coco de mer palm trees grow here near the peak ->
Not the best place for an arachnophobe! ->
Alas – no sand, surf or super sunsets now. But perhaps that’s just as well; we’ve work to do – plenty!…
The rest of the photos from Seychelles are here.