On this week’s Startup Spotlight, we’re thrilled to interview Kaan Bereket Bulut, one of the co-founders of Send to Me, a platform that allows you to send chat messages without divulging your personal details until you’re ready to do so.
Kaan was born on April 11, 2001 in Efeler, Aydın, Turkey. After completing his high school life at Aydın Fen Bilimleri High School, he was accepted to the Cartoon and Animation Department of the Faculty of Art and Design at Istanbul Kültür University in Istanbul, Turkey, with the WE-ACCEPT scholarship, which is the university’s special scholarship system.
Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you better. So, can you tell us a bit of your “backstory” and how you got started?
Everything actually started with small dreams.
Hundreds of new startups are created every day around the world, and only a small fraction of them become successful. I interpret the reason why many attempts fail as “repetition of existing ones”.
Today, many entrepreneurs are trying to offer an exact copy or a similar version of projects with many examples to consumers. But people are not interested in new projects because many projects are already in this sector.
That’s why I wanted to enter the social media industry, which has very few competitors and is divided into different sub-branches within the industry instead of one sector with hundreds of competitors.
In this way, me, my team, and the countries where our offices will be located in this large social media sector can reach the level of economic prosperity by taking a slice of the pie.
Of course, the only reason I started this sector is not the big financial data it will bring. We know that consumers now want to use social media where they can get better quality and support.
As the Send to Me team, we interpret the support system, which is not provided at all or partially in other social media applications. We offer an uninterrupted support service to our users.
What was the most exciting story that happened to you since you launched your startup?
I think starting a startup and growing it is the most inspiring thing.
In this direction, we develop it by following the constantly changing and transforming world order day and night so that Send to Me can rise with these dreams and reach millions of users.
It is a great pleasure for us to complete the development of a large part of Send to Me. Because; This makes us believe that we are one step closer to our dreams.
For us to manage our operational process in Turkey, we are delighted and proud that Mr. Abdurrahman Yuvalı, who assumed the role of CEO for the Turkey activities of the world’s and Turkey’s most prominent companies like Coca-Cola, Efes, Rotopack Pack and Tadım Gıda, provided us with the mentorship we needed to pursue our vision.
No startup founder is immune from making mistakes, and it’s part of the “growing pains” they go through. Can you share one mistake you’ve made with us and the valuable lesson it taught you?
We have not made any mistakes so far. We continue our efforts to develop Send to Me with our strategic decisions that we believe to be correct.
There has been much talk about supporting diversity and inclusion among startup investors. This may be obvious to you, but can you share with our readers the reasons why it’s so important for investors to support startups with a diverse and inclusive executive team?
Once a startup is established, an equal sector needs to be created, and this is generally a long and challenging road.
Today, male dominance is superior in many sectors, and some companies think that it should be so. However, I am against this idea.
Many small, medium, and large companies want to provide gender equality by giving critical roles to women. We believe that men and women are equal in all roles, including these critical roles, and that both genders can achieve challenging jobs.
When investing in a startup, investors should examine how equal approaches the startup offers to people, what it does to improve the welfare of its employees, and make decisions accordingly.
If you can inspire a movement that would bring a positive change within your community, what would that be and why?
We also want to make a difference in the field of human resources. We aim to become the “Employer Brand” and reach the position of the most preferred company with our innovative Human Resources application based on equal opportunities, respect for differences and ethical values, is development-oriented and supports high performance.
Instead of the experienced staff requirement set by many companies, we want to measure whether a person really needs experience by starting a trial process. Thus, if our method turns out to be wrong, we also allow the person to have experience.
We believe everyone is equal, so we allow all staff to criticize managers.
If you had a chance to spend a day with someone and have the liberty to ask anything, who would that person be? What three questions would you ask?
That person would definitely be Mark Zuckerberg because of our industry.
And the three questions I would ask him would be:
- Would you have a new social media venture if Facebook hadn’t been successful?
- What was your initial vision for making Facebook a success?
- If your Instagram purchase had not been successful, would you set up an Instagram-like platform?
Great! Thanks for that. Now, let’s go to the main focus of this interview. Can you share with us the story behind that “A-ha Moment” you had that led to the idea of creating and launching your startup?
It all started with a small design dream to overcome embarrassment.
Our Send to Me project aims to address one of the biggest problems of our age. It was established to overcome the embarrassment people experience when communicating with someone for the first time.
While navigating the social media applications that are very popular today, I saw that people had difficulties communicating with each other, and I started to think about it. At the end of my thoughts, I decided on the following idea; The biggest obstacle for people to communicate is the first message. If this first message is successful, there will be no obstacles for people to continue the conversation.
Many put more importance on whether the people they are chatting with share the same thoughts and ideas as they do. Others want to be with a cultured person rather than their appearance when establishing friendship or love with a person.
We designed and developed Send to Me to allow people to chat anonymously with each other for as long as they do not want to concentrate on these symptoms. Thus, the person who started the conversation can influence the other party with his thoughts instead of his appearance.
What do you think makes your startup stand out? Can you share with us examples to show this?
The biggest factor that made our startup stand out was our value, and our most important value is the “User-Centered” social media understanding.
Our user-centred value is our platform’s most significant value, besides bringing various values.
We can summarize them as follows:
Send to Me is the digital age project that constantly improves itself with its user-oriented approach.
New Generation Design Approach
We are constantly redesigning and developing Send to Me to align with the changing needs and concerns we observe in our world today.
Developed with Feedback
We monitor all the feedback our platform users send us, both positive and negative, and improve Send to Me based on the feedback and suggestions we receive.
Who Cares About Support Quality
We interpret the support service concept, which is not offered at all or partially on many other platforms. In Send to Me, we offer our users a Help Centre and Support Centre openly to all our users so that they can get the best support service.
What are some “myths” or misconceptions people have when launching a startup that you’ve debunked throughout your journey?
Some people think that because Send to Me provides an anonymous-based environment, there may be pornographic content within the app. We know they are right to believe this because some people may harass people for being anonymous.
But we have developed additional features to make Send to Me a safe environment for everyone.
If a user harasses another user, we immediately review complaints and take appropriate action if such a sad thing happens. In addition, we cooperate with law enforcement authorities to ensure that the events reach the proper channels. There is a fair trial, and the abusive person receives the necessary punishments.
Our artificial intelligence, which we developed and continue to develop to prevent all these sad events, automatically scans thousands of content per second and automatically removes inappropriate content from our platform.
(Abusive or slang speech without each other’s consent does not violate our community rules. If the two parties consent to each other, the content of the jargon used in communication is out of the scope of our community policy.)
If there’s one significant difference between launching a startup and launching a small business, what would that be and why?
We believe there are significant differences between starting a startup and a small business.
The vision of continuous growth and development is the basis of startups.
Startups have more growth potential than small businesses and are developed to adapt themselves to the world ecosystem according to the direction of this growth desire.
What are the top three traits that entrepreneurs must possess to launch a startup successfully? Can you expound on why you chose these three traits?
1. Higher education
I do not believe that the startup established by that person will be successful if a person does not receive a modern and advanced education or does not continue education. Because; Higher education schools bring together well-rounded people.
The most important of the startup is the vision. If the startup does not set a vision for itself, it cannot take concrete steps forward.
3. Following the change
When establishing a startup, a person should follow how the world has changed and what people want to consume and develop new ideas for this.
Let’s flip things around: What do you believe are the three things that can cause a startup founder not to become successful, and why?
1. Ignoring feedback
Instead of acting on customer feedback and working with his team in line with these instructions, he constantly acts according to his own taste and what he thinks is right.
2. Not doing market research
It is also crucial for the entrepreneur to conduct market research before implementing his own project. Market research will not only determine the business’s target audience, but also give an idea about whether the business will bring profit and how long the company will last.
Many entrepreneurs who enter the sector without doing market research are unaware of the competition in the industry and do not know what kind of target audience to reach. For this reason, after a while, they decide to terminate their employment because they do not get what they expect.
3. Underestimating resource needs
Of course, the most important resource is the flow of money. Still, other resources, such as acquaintances in the industrial field and access to marketing channels, may be more important for some products. Having too much money can be just as devastating as having too little if not managed wisely.
An entrepreneur should not leave the day-to-day business until the new income system demonstrates that it provides the money cycle.
As a parting gift to our readers, what are the top three pieces of advice that you can give to them about launching a startup and why? Please share a story for each.
Always be open to criticism.
If someone or a community criticizes you, don’t be offended by them or your work. These people most likely love you and your business, so they want to help you improve your business. Listen to their ideas and include these steps in your initiative if appropriate.
Be open to investments and support.
Some entrepreneurs think that investments and support humiliate them, but this is a complete misconception.
Many companies and entrepreneurs, including the world’s largest companies, receive funding and support. These investments and supports will provide a great opportunity for your company to grow and get the results you want.
Build your ecosystem
It is very important to build a strong ecosystem network during and after setting up your startup. To create this ecosystem, talk to many entrepreneurs, investors and consumers from your industry and different sectors, and create a business partner network with other companies.
Thank you for these fantastic insights and for your time. We truly appreciate it and wish you all the best on your journey.
Send to Me is Raising!
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