Thursday, October 4, 2012

I was a Potato Oligarch: Travels & Travails in the New Russia

The Book: I was a Potato Oligarch: Travels & Travails in the New Russia, by John Mole (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008).

Why You Should Care: An illuminating case study about the creation of a new fast food franchise concept in post-Soviet Russia; this book highlights the importance of adequate commercial law foundations to the development of new ventures.

Last month, my stroll down memory lane took me to the former Soviet Union via a book that, from a macroeconomic perspective, toured the lawless chaos that is the modern Russian economy. No sooner had I put the finishing touches on my post than I stumbled across another book that covered some of the same ground, but from where the rubber meets the road.

Being a devotee of eclecticism, I thought twice about writing again so soon about the same general subject matter. But then again, it is no secret (nor would we want it to be) that Gray Plant Mooty is a global player in the franchise law arena. To quote a catch phrase from a 1960s TV Western (and, as usual, to date myself), “No brag, just fact.” So what could be more appropriate than to follow up a review of a somewhat conceptual book about the development of capitalism in Russia, with the memoirs of an Englishman who decides to create a new fast food franchise concept in Russia?

Many entreVIEW readers will identify with John Mole as he works through problems relating to supply, employment, finance, intellectual property and the like, all with sometimes surprising Russian twists. Suffice it to say that American entrepreneurs who are frustrated with legal impediments to building their dreams, may well rethink things after they read about the difficulties of building a new business in a society where there are no legal foundations.

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