After Steve Blank’s great fireside chat at Startup Istanbul Conference we caught up with him for an interview. He had great insights into how Turkey’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is shaping up. Here are some key answers to some questions we asked.
What do you think about the Turkish entrepreneurial ecosysytem?
I have to be honest, I was actually impressed about the Turkish entrepreneurial ecosystem. You know most places I see in the world have lots of entrepreneurs because entrepreneurship is everywhere. The cost of doing a software startup has dropped by a factor of a thousand in the last couple of decades so we see lots of that but entrepreneurs without finance is like one hand clapping, doesn’t make any noise. What’s great about Turkey and Istanbul is that there is an angel and venture capital ecosystem forming. I predict that the next couple of years that Istanbul will catch up to London and Berlin in terms of a startup hub in this region.
What is your advice for startups?
So, for startups, whether they’re struggling or not, you know the best advice is while you might have a great idea you know staying in your building just building the idea assumes that you could pre-compute all the customer needs, it turns out that’s just theoretically impossible. There is no way you could be smarter than the collective intelligence of your potential customers, so my advice to start-ups is to get out of the building and actually test minimum viable products, that is small iterations iteratively of the product you are building and get customer and partner feedback as early as possible.