This week, we decided to dig topics related to what we’re doing at Limk such as information overload. After a lot of reading, we picked some of the most important entries we think everyone who suffers from information overload problem should read.
Today is the official launch of the Interview Series with inspiring people across the startup world, which focuses on the brave share of the ups and downs of building their startups.
The purpose of doing these interviews is to help startup community to overcome some of the professional technical and business challenges they face in their startup journey, as well as to inspire our readers to create meaningful success.
It’s an honor to have a dear friend Jameson Detweiler to start off this series of interviews officially.
This story is by Oguz Serdar, co-founder of Limk. His story is on how he met his fellow co-founder Ozer Dolekoglu. The story is originally written for the co-founding series of 500 Startups Blog, and we’re republishing it.
In early 2009, I was trying to learn more about the tech scene of Adana (a southern city in Turkey that I moved for my civil engineering major). After few months of non-stop searching for individuals by attending related university clubs, participating online communities, etc., I was getting nervous whether I’d find any new people who are into startups at my new city. The moment when I was ready to quit that search, I decided to take a look at Twitter (it was really unpopular in Turkey) by listing accounts from Adana. Surprisingly, I noticed one of my favorite bookmarking services name: Limk. That was a moment of surprise when I found out that Ozer, the founder of Limk, was living in Adana like me. After checking his social networks, I also noticed that he was rocking with his band as a hobby.
I sent him a message explaining my situation. We met, talked about lots of stuff after his performance. From that day on, as two guys (with 14 year age gap!), who earned their life on various internet businesses became inseparable.
We started Adana chapter of Likemind events to fix the lack of attention. It was our first attempt together. Turns out, not a lot of tech people exist in our city and we decided to let it go. We focused our attention on implementing new ideas to Limk and hosted the first WordCamp Turkey event by bringing Matt Mullenweg and Tim Ferriss to Istanbul. We hustle hard! Later, we contacted big players of the startup scene including TheNextWeb Blog. After long conversations over Skype with the founders, we launched a local TNW Blog in Turkish. That later led the blog team to scale growth by focusing on different channels & languages. After working six to seven months together for TNW, we plunged into developing the new idea forming the media network Limk. Shortly after deferring my enrollment for Civil Engineering (Cukurova University) and Business Administration (Anadolu University), I found myself in Chile with no time to lose in the Start-Up Chile program. Graduating from the program, Limk is almost ready to launch with over 70,000 users on the waiting list, and we’re definitely relocating to San Francisco.
Reflecting back on the last three years, we’re definitely believers in the saying “being co-founders is like being married without sex”. We experienced a lot of ups and downs together. I saw Ozer cry when he became a dad for the first time, and he has helped me so many times through my personal struggles. We have our share of fights along the way too. Solid relationships are built on trust, clear communication, and compassion over an extended period of time. It’s a very difficult journey, but having co-founders that believe in you and share your vision, that makes the journey more manageable. I feel really lucky to have Ozer as a lifelong friend, business partner, and I am grateful for that day we met.
Does the idea of multitasking make you feel like you’re accomplishing more?
Recent studies shows that only 2% percent of people can actually multitask successfully. Do you know what this means for the remaining 98%? They’re actually cutting down their own productivity while not even realizing it. Some studies even claims that multitasking is humanly impossible. It’s already a known fact that our brains weren’t created to deal with too many things at once.
Here are some interesting facts from the infographic below by OnlineCollege.org:
- 89% of people with smartphones use them at work.
- On average, employees who use a computer for work are distracted once every 10.5 minutes.
- 62% of the web pages students open on their laptops during class are unrelated to the subject.
- While working, being distracted by incoming calls or emails lower a person’s IQ by 10 points.
- The average desk job employee loses 2.1 hours a day to interrupts or distractions. This means 546 hours are getting wasted annually.
Back in November 2011, our CEO Oguz was interviewed by a journalist for a monthly economy and business culture magazine published in Turkey, Turkishtime. Since the original article was published in Turkish language, we thought it’d make sense to translate it to English as we’re getting ready to relaunch Limk globally.
Below you can find the original scans of the pages from November’11 edition of Turkishtime.
Have you earned $300k from a single job?
This young man did make that much money and is aiming on making more!
I was sitting in front up my computer, waiting for 19:00 (7 PM) to have an interview with an internet entrepreneur, Oguz Serdar, from far far away, Chile. Frankly I wasn’t expecting to meet an 21-year-old. However, his story is a fascinating one.
From Adana, To Santiago
When speaking of software, we take it granted that young entrepreneurs achieve extraordinary successes. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is one of the world’s youngest billionaires. He is the most popular one, but it’s easy to find many young entrepreneurs who are making incredible sums of money in the Silicon Valley, USA. Oguz Serdar ranks among these young entrepreneurs. At 16 years old, Oguz was earning thousands of dollars before delving into the Internet for his career. Many students were stress out by one of the college entrance exams in Turkey, but, Oguz kept to his routine.
Once he moved to Adana, a southern city in Turkey, for college education; he stepped up to plate to build “the next big thing”, partnered up with his co-founder and contacted with some big players of the startup scene including TheNextWeb blog. After long conversations over Skype with founders, he and his partner launched a local TNW Blog in Turkish, which later leads the blog team to scale the growth by focussing different channels & languages.
New Idea Is Coming Out
After working six to seven months with his partner for TNW, Oguz plunged into developing his idea forming the media network Limk. Shortly after deferring his enrollment for Civil Engineering (Cukurova University) and Business Administration (Anadolu University), he found himself in Chile with no time to lose.
Let’s talk about how the Limk project works.
Take the average person – chatting, and sharing information about Apple. People sign up to Limk, and the algorithm condenses the persons interests about Apple related contents by checking the existing social graph of her. The items in the social graph become subject specific to the user needs to prevent information overload. In this example, not all Apple related searches or information is presented to the user. Only those searches corresponding to the user’s interest are displayed.
Sites like Digg and Delicious helps one stay abreast with what’s happening in the world, perhaps more so than Twitter. Friendfeed, is another real-time web site. Facebook bought the Friendfeed in 2009. Limk gives to the user an aggregate of what the user wants and needs.
With the support of Chilean Government…
“We’ve been trying to turn Limk into a global start-up and relaunch with the new concept for 2 years.” says Oguz Serdar. That is also the reason of being in Chile for the last 5 months. Start-Up Chile, a government initiative that seeks to attract world-class entrepreneurs to spend 6 months in Chile with and a $40k grant and convert Chile into the innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America. The Link team accepted an invitation to San Francisco before Chile, but lack the proper documentation to enter the US.
There are huge steps ahead for Limk. The plan is scaling the product right after the launch and having some advantages by having branches in 3 continents. Limk plans to have major offices in three continents, with headquarters in San Francisco, and pilot offices in Santiago and Istanbul. There are currently more than
60.00070.000 users in the waiting list and the launch of the product will be happening in late 2012. The goal is reaching a million user, one year after the launch.
Over to you now. What do you think about the pivot of Limk? Do you have any suggestions on what you want to see next? Let us know anything you have in mind in the comments below!
Reading through this post most likely takes one minute of your time. Do you know what also happens on the internet in that time? Millions of emails will be sent, hundreds of thousands queries will be searched on Google, statuses will be updated on Facebook, and more. Here’s what happens on the Internet every 60 seconds.
Please keep in mind that, these stats are collected in 2011 by Go-Gulf, probably a bit outdated, and most likely represent less than the reality of now. One thing is for sure is that whatever we try to do, it’s just not possible to catch up the overall information created even in the few moments it took to look at this blog post.
The world needs better filtering, and that’s is core promise of Limk.
Information Overload is when you are trying to deal with more information than you are able to process to make sensible decisions. As start-up founder Leo Widrich recently wrote about how multitasking effects our brain badly, the researches show that our brains weren’t created to deal with so much information at one time.
This great infographic by OnlineUniversities.com shows that how poorly information overload alters our productivity in general, and makes us less efficient.
We aim to cut through the web noise intelligently by checking the social graph of every single user, and offers them related deals or goodies.
In hundreds of interviews with existing users from the first version of Limk, the no.1 thing everyone said they didn’t want another social platform which induces you to create more information noise by only being part of the platform itself. Also, as being the ones who’ve been suffering from needlessly overloaded social feeds even in the biggest social platforms, we’ve always wanted to find a solution to that problem. So that’s what we’re doing. Our vision is to become the first place people go whenever they feel like they’ve been flooding by massive amounts of information without having ways to filter it.
Of course, if you don’t have that kind of problem, no worries. You can get lost in the world of channels that you can get the most essential content, while enjoying the goodies you can redeem from the points you’ve collected by using Limk itself. The more information we collect about the things you’re interested in, the more intelligent feed we can bring to your browser. The same applies for the goodies and deals. And that’s when the fun really begins.
In a few days, we’ll be launching our alpha product where you choose the channel topics to be the first in line to get the access for the beta. Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s going to take a while to build the community and the information base, and we can’t do it alone. Join the movement on the Limk homepage and invite your friends.
We’re just getting started here, and can’t wait to see what you think.
Welcome to Limk!