Yesterday’s post about how difficult it is to get a building permit for even a neon sign sparked some interesting Facebook discussions. Clearly getting any sort of building permit is not an easy task in the Czech Republic. Our own experience at AVAST shows that getting a permit for a small sign can easily take 3 months. But, we should not be unthankful. At least at AVAST, we did GET the permit.
I mentioned AVG in my blog yesterday as the other well-known antivirus brand from the Czech Republic. In case you don’t remember, some time ago AVG was actually called Grisoft after its founder Mr. Jan Gritzbach – GRItzbach SOFTware. And the Grisoft company was located here: 49°12’9.262″N, 16°36’23.723″E (view the satellite image).
Since then, the company has changed its name. They have even moved their offices. But the GRISOFT logo is still there, laying flat on the roof. I wonder if it was ever mounted and visible or if it is still waiting for the official building permit. ;)
In case you didn’t know, almost half (!) of all home computers in the world are protected by antivirus products coming from the Czech Republic. That’s because both AVAST antivirus and AVG have been and are still developed here. This does make me wonder why: Why here? The Czech Republic is a small country and even though its borders are surrounded by mountain ranges we are hardly a valley – at least to say – of silicon. As far as I can tell, there is no obvious reason for this. Speaking of technology, the only other thing we gave to world is the word “robot” (invented by Czech novel & play writer Karel Capek who used it in his play R.U.R. in 1921).
So why antivirus? I really don’t know but I do know why we are no longer famous for construction and buildings. It is all thanks to our system of building permits. But it wasn’t always like that. Read more…
To follow up on the previous post on videos, I forgot to mention one important thing: we never planned to produce ‘silent movies’. This means we were looking for somebody who could help us to record the voices.
Luckily, we didn’t have to search long. Some time back, we introduced the new Community section on our website where you could play and download theme voice notifications. “AVAST virus database has been updated” and all the other ones. A couple of the themed voice versions (for example the “ex-president”) were recorded by our voice actor Luis Acevedo.
Here is his show reel. Play sample
That’s right, we now have our very own video animator in the marketing team. We will be able to produce in-house videos and share them with you. I guess we will cover various subjects from showing and explaining how a particular program features work to addressing unique events in the life of our company or anything else worth of sharing. Read more…
I watched the BBC program “How Facebook Changed the World: The Arab Spring” about the importance of social media in the changes happening in Egypt and other countries. (If you have couple minutes, search for it on YouTube). Clearly, being online and connected was the key for receiving information, sharing news, and organizing protests. Read more…
Yesterday (1 Sep 2011) we made a Facebook post recognizing avast! antivirus users in particular towns in the USA, towns that because of their names have a special affinity with where avast! originated:
“Since we’re headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, we’d like to say a big ‘Dobry den’ to avast! users in the following US towns: Prague, Nebraska… Prague, Oklahoma… New Prague, Minnesota… and Praha, Texas.”
These North-American towns all began as Czech communities (or at the time Czech, Moravian, and Slovak communities) in the ‘new world’ about a century ago. Even today, a lot of Czechoslovak festivals are held in these regions and many others (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_American).
Today, however, we want to recognize avast! users in our top 10 COUNTRY markets: Read more…
At AVAST, we not only provide you with free protection, we also reward you for registering it! No, no, we’re not crazy.
You help us immensely by recommending avast! Because of that, we don’t need to advertise, and so we want to reward you even more – e.g., Internet Security licenses, t-shirts, iPods, or a trip to Prague. (see the Winners Section at: http://www.avast.com/community )
And as we informed you several weeks ago, we celebrated our 160,000,000th registration of avast! Free Antivirus. The lucky person who won is Fabricia from Brazil. When she received an email to her native Brazil that she had won an all-inclusive trip to Prague for herself and a friend, she was of course skeptical, as junk mail scams with surprising winner announcements are so common these days. But since she had just registered her avast! Free Antivirus she was curious and asked her brother for his opinion. After a few phone calls and finding the announcement as well on avast.com, she knew it was legitimate.
Best of all, selecting the friend to accompany her was easy, as Fabricia had recently become engaged! So Fabricia’s trip to Prague – from being our 160 millionth user registration – will now also be her honeymoon.
We at AVAST are proud to be a part of it.
We are happy to announce that our Facebook fan page for avast! antivirus has reached a whopping 300,000 fans!
This week we released program update version 6.0.1203 for avast! antivirus. Among several great improvements, two new languages were added:
This means that avast! antivirus is now available in 38 official languages, listed here in alphabetical order:
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
- Estonian Read more…
My first couple times meeting Chris Cantoro, I didn’t know what to think of him but, compared to the Czech personalities I most often work with, I initially thought he was ‘arrogant’. After a few months, however, I had the opportunity to work with him more on various projects, and I discovered that what I’d initially (mis)perceived about him was actually more of an extroverted confidence. As a ‘foreigner’ myself in Czech lands, I started to suspect that his native Italy was somehow involved. The more I’ve gotten to know Chris, the more I’ve appreciated the worldly humor and relaxed energy he brings to our work environment. (BTW, the name ‘Cantoro’ means ‘Singer’ in English, and he can sing in five languages.) – Jason Mashak
1. The general public is often confused about how AVAST remains stable with a ‘freemium‘ model as our flagship product – can you explain how that works?
Everybody has a PC at home, in most cases more than one. We offer a FREE solution for domestic users as we believe everybody has the right to enjoy Internet and at the same time to be protected. If people are happy with our FREE product, then they will consider it also for their business, and they will buy it. Our key marketing strategy has been that the best way to show people we have the best product… is to offer it for free. Read more…