Tolga Tanriseven is the founder & CEO of KizlarSoruyor, a community platform connecting people to help each other for making better decisions about every-day topics ranging from dating, fashion to sports, technology, and more.
Q: What would you like to see your team accomplish in 2019?
We have a multi-cultural and diverse remote team. Improving communication within team members is always at the top of our priority list. When you have an environment in which you want to be in because you can communicate, feel part of, have a purpose hence enjoy, the rest comes easier.
Q: What were the most challenging areas in the early stages of the company’s growth?
Finding the right people is always the hardest. As a start-up, you have to make sure you have the right people and in the right seat. Making sure the person fits from a skillset, character, and cultural perspective is tough to make after one or two interviews. As hard as it is, you need to hire fast and fire fast.
Q: Who is your role model or hero?
I don’t have a single role model. You learn something from many people. Take something from everyone to improve yourself. It’s impressive to see that there is something you can learn from every single person.
Q: What is your favorite book?
Getting Real is an old book by Basecamp guys, which has great advice on how to start small and grow as a start-up. I believe it applies to many industries and is a must-read for every entrepreneur.
Q: Do you use any specific method or system to run daily operations?
Slack is our office, and we use many tools for collaboration. JIRA, Monday.com, Meistertask as daily tools so that everyone is on the same page with each other and also can organize their tasks for higher efficiency. I like to take notes and star emails, very simple methods, but help quite a lot.
Q: Why did you choose your present industry at this time?
I’m a computer engineer, so it’s not a surprise I’m in technology. I wanted to build KizlarSoruyor because I also believe technology can bring people together, so we help each other to be better, smarter, happier. 1+1 can be much bigger than 2.
Q: What is the best/worst moment you can remember in your career?
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. I always heard that, and I can attest that it’s 100% true. You have to know that when you are down, there can be ups no matter how down you are, and when you are up, there will be downs. Finding investments is hard, but getting your company to be profitable, at least turning itself, is harder. Achieving that was important to me.
The worst moment would have to be the point a few years back where we were about to run out of money, revenues weren’t enough, and I had a team that was relying on my company to live.
Q: Looking back – if you could advise a younger version of yourself to do something different – what would it be?
I don’t have many regrets. I think all the mistakes you make help you become better at some point, even if you don’t realize it at the time. You fall, but then you get up and start running faster, even faster than you were before the fall. Not only because you have to catch-up but mainly because you are more experienced now. However, one thing that I wish I knew earlier is to listen to people more and know that every person can make you better if you listen carefully then take what applies to yourself.