The Back Story About How Y Soft Started

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How This Co-Founder Emerged From Communist Rule and Launched a $30 Million Business

In 2000, Vaclav Muchna started a print management company in the Czech Republic. Here’s how he overcame austere attitudes towards entrepreneurship–leftover from Stalinist ideology.

By Zoë Henry – Václav Muchna remembers November 17th, 1989 like it was yesterday. It marked the beginning of the Velvet Revolution, a month-long period of upheaval that ended communist rule in the former Czechoslovakia.

Muchna mostly remembers that it was a day he wasn’t required to go to school. At the age of nine, he preferred to stay home and tinker with computers or write code. Muchna never intended to become an entrepreneur, though, largely because the profession had been illegal in the Soviet Union for several decades, since the beginning of communist rule in 1917.

“The word ‘entrepreneur’ didn’t really exist back then, because you couldn’t have a private property during communist time,” he recalls. “The government would confiscate all the assets, and make it government [property].” 

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