We talked to Batukhan Taluy of Uservision on how businesses can understand their customers with AI powered insights and this is what he had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Batukhan Taluy: Thank you very much for having me today. So as Uservision, we have been strong supporters of working remotely, and since our inception, I personally endorsed and cultivated a remote culture in our endeavor. Hence work/life balance-wise nothing has changed. On the other hand, my family and friends are having a harder time adjusting to the post-COVID era, which immediately affects your mood. Further, you start to cherish those small moments, where you can go out whenever you want and give yourself some headspace, perhaps going to a restaurant or celebrate a win outside. That is all gone, unfortunately.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Uservision.
Batukhan Taluy: When I was in college, I had already failed 2 startup attempts and was working on a new one. During that time, I have been approached by a venture builder company. They invest a certain sum of capital to a future endeavor, and hired me as an entrepreneur-in-residence, to build a company from scratch. The idea of Uservision (back then the name was Usertouch) was born during that time. After a while, we separated our ways by mutual agreement, and I pursued the idea by myself, which was something totally different from what we currently do. In 2 years, after talking with more than 1000 stakeholders, the idea pivoted many times and transformed into what it is right now.
How does Uservision innovate?
Batukhan Taluy: We continue the dialogue with our stakeholders ( customers, research participants etc.) On the other hand, we follow the updates on AI and through scientific journals, we also try to understand the developments in our area. Melting all this knowledge in a pot, and getting inspired by other startup’s we innovate.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Batukhan Taluy: As mentioned earlier, we are very used to working remotely, and as our offering is remote research services, our company grow 8x compared to last year. However, although we were working remotely, I was always out for building relationships. There was a nice balance between staying at home and meeting with new people. On the other hand, after we adjusted the situation, our efficiency rises rapidly.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Batukhan Taluy: It is hard to train new employees remotely, and if they can not work autonomously and provide practical solutions, we have to let them go. Before Covid, there were more opportunities to train the weak points. Now it is mostly black or white. Further, short and mid-term financial decisions are always stressful. We grew our team during the Covid era and where everyone is more frugal, investing in the team was a risky choice, but I can say it paid itself off.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Batukhan Taluy: Owning and bootstrapping a company is always stressful, so that is not new in my life. I always do the usual, jogging/working out, playing some music, and trying to tackle every problem one by one, so you are not overwhelmed. Even if you have a million problems, you have to empty your mind and choose your battles one by one. If not, you would be constant stress-cube.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Batukhan Taluy: We have many different highly-funded competitors in the industry; however, we have the third mover advantage. That means the market is established…We are growing rapidly and have our own propriety methodology and technology, along with recently starting to fundraise.
Your final thoughts?
Batukhan Taluy: Crises always accelerates disruption, and there is always a better path to take. Hence, if you are in a tricky situation, I recommend everyone take a step back, breath, and see the bigger picture.
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