Russian Prefab Homes
Concrete blocks stacked into an apartment building.
Sakhalin Island, North of Japan. (The ocean swim at midnight was brisk!)
Their transition from a planned economy was slow, and the U.S. was trying to help with the transition with some business coaching sessions. I met with about 40 entrepreneurs, and few of them had any concept of market competition. If they had a manufacturing permit for rototillers, for example, they wanted to ramp to full production, even though their manufacturing cost was far greater than the sales price of the fully taxed Korean imports. (The sentiment was very different, and more hopeful in the newly independent states in the West, such as Estonia, which I also visited in 1998).
Two oil exploration consortia have spent $37B on this island over the past decade. So the startups that owned their office real estate have done well.