Utku Uzman

Startup Mythbusters

This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Utku Uzman speaks to us from Startup Istanbul’s event from his expertise as an MD at EMEA Citus Data Company and other similar firms. At times we hear a lot of things from friends, family, movies and even some advices from social media. Today we talk about myths, these will help us learn from other people’s mistakes, our mistakes as well and avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Raising money fast to build momentum will ensure immediate sales pressure, and one can focus on other things apart from money.

The downside to this can be that there might be unnecessary dilution in your company, in terms of equity, you might even get “not too smart money” because when your investor doesn’t really understand what you are doing then tend to obstruct your path and are constantly intervening in some of your company decisions. It is important to decide when you need to raise it. Money should not be an end goal but a means to an end.

Attending a lot of workshops

We all get to network, hear a lot of feedback and learn from them, we even practice our pitching. We also take a lot of time and end up in analysis paralysis because of too many directions these advisers are leading us. Utku suggests that people should be cautious with their time. Just attend enough but not too much.

“God takes the lead”

Very true, but how will you explain to your investors accurately what you plan to spend their money on and how you blueprint your visions. Some VCs and investors excuse themselves and say, “Things change fast and making a plan sometimes doesn’t work.” This statement is true, a plan and reality are not always the same, merely if you have no plan then you cannot measure success, design nor strategize, it makes it easier to talk to investors and most importantly to readapt and reanalyze accordingly.

Strategic partnerships, are good for references

It gets you resources, and a big deal. But they might be slow, may tie down your resources, and might sometimes be difficult to align goals. Sometimes it is much faster to do things your way it becomes faster.

Hire fast, fire slowly

This might prove counterproductive, especially to your team morale. Firing can be difficult and when it is constantly made after hiring the wrong people, it might probably have costed you money, time and resources that you have kept in place. Take time to get the right people!

Find an idea everyone likes, it is good for winning competitions, and might even help you get funded

In the real sense, this will mean that your idea is not so revolutionary! The best ideas are not always well received, don’t be discouraged even when you are the only person who believes in your idea.

Listening to expert advice

This is up to you to think about. Utku suggests that you just need to listen and assess diligently, but don’t drown your own voice in the process.

─ April 5, 2019