This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Magdalena Yesil is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and board member at many of the world’s top technology companies. She was one of the speakers at Etohum San Francisco 2017, she tells her tale of how she went from industrial engineer to successful venture capitalist in 3 decades, after her session, she takes questions from the Audience.
Magdalena Yesil, successful venture capitalist told her tale about her journey into entrepreneurship and her success building startups, she answered a few questions from the audience, find them below:
- My startup is trying to make mobile open source, we need some advice and mentorship about it?
Open source is incredibly tricky, not so many startups have done well in that space, giving your software for free gets you a lot of users, but throws up the questions of how to monetize those users? what are your users ready to pay for? the person with the right answer to this question is a potential customer. You will need to find out if you’re using the best approach, and also if there are better opportunities to upsell your startup, consulting your customers is a great approach but you’ll need to get a really good sales organization.
- It is incredibly difficult to run a successful company, given your success rate with 3 companies you have been with, what would you say has been the common denominator?
I think I am so driven to solve problems, when I see a problem that technology can solve, I never sit back and relax. It is very hard to say there has been a common denominator, each time has always been different, partly because economically and industry wise things differ for each startup. You probably have a different customer base each time too, a few things that stay consistent is how deal with hiring people, how you motivate people,and setting company culture.
- During your merger with your first startup, which company was bigger and how was it managed?
We had litte leverage, we were a smaller team, we were in California while they were in West Virginia, the merger had no acquisition or money exchange involved in it, we were closer to Microsoft and that helped me get a deal with Microsoft which allowed us to go public, that differentiated us and helped put us on the map.
- Can you tell us about your 4th company?
Although we are yet to launch, my 4th startup deals with auto financing, it is aimed at bringing more clarity about the finance dealership process to the consumer, it will also bring more efficiency to the finance industry, I attended the National Automobile Dealers Association earlier this year and it motivated me to deliver this service.