Interview With Furkan Akyurek
Describe your product or service:
“We provide the world's fastest hiring service by enabling our clients to book world-class experts with two clicks.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our mission is to change the way we work. We want to democratize the access to work and experts and make hiring as simple as buying a cup of coffee in the morning.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“We're currently self-funded.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“We have six people, all co-founders. I'm running the products and strategy. Berk, Basri, and Yusuf are on the technical side building the product and have a combined 15 years of experience. Didem is our marketing/growth person, and Elif is our sales/partnership person.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I've always wanted to build my own business but lacked the skills and know-how to start one. After graduating, I became a product manager. The experience of being a product manager at a large company was rewarding. I had a chance to build many products all the way from inception to growth stages. However, until the idea hit me, I didn't want to leave my comfort zone and start building a startup.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“I came up with the idea once I came across a massive disparity in the market of hiring. As a PM, it was incredibly hard to find any projects for me. But once I did, I realized how hard it was to find one and how much the clients were willing to pay. Since I was also responsible for hiring as a PM lead, I experienced the difficulty of hiring first-hand. We would find 30 to 40 people who are low to mid-tier quality [and] would always know there are people out there but current platforms make it super difficult to hire them.
So I decided to build a system that wouldn't gatekeep all their experts, [wouldn’t] hide their identity, and [made] it super easy to reach out and hire based on the price they set for themselves. I believe it's better to hire someone as a contractor then hire based on the work they do full-time later on. So the platform we're building allows just that. You come in, see the full profile of all the experts we have with a strong search engine that highlights the best in every expert matching your keywords and allows you to hire someone in a few mins. Not sure if the person is the right one? Cancel before the work begins. Our goal is to reach the peak simplicity while making sure everyone gets paid what they deserve without wasting time on weeks of interviews that are mostly pointless anyway.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“We initially started out with Workceptor since our original idea Farsight was taken. Then an angel investor told us that Workceptor sounded like a dinosaur name, so we decided to change it again. We came upon flatwork from making the work experience flat and simple and landed on The Flatwork.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“It's so hard to get the word out to the clients. All the companies are hiring, but you either need to know the first ones in person or use the network. It's an uphill battle at the moment to find companies to sign up since we have no sales experience and our SEO is still weak.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Our target market is hiring managers, startup cofounders, team leads who are looking to staff their projects, and teams.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Our current marketing strategy is reaching out to the hiring managers and checking if they're interested in hiring people. We are going to evolve our strategy around suggesting potential candidates to existing job posts. We're also building our content strategy to bring organic traffic.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Our key customer metric is the number of expert bookings and average booking revenue.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“‘The Hard Things about Hard Things.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“Y Combinator's podcast.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“Everything is hard, and nobody tells you if you're doing the right thing.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“I spend enough time with my family and regularly take breaks.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Developing new things and reading about original ways to grow, other ventures keep me motivated.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“I was already a persistent person, but staying on this path and spending money without any return for a long time while being optimistic was something new I had to learn.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Although there's still a long way to go, I'm proud to build a talented and experienced team who believes in the idea as much as I do.”
More on The Flatwork
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Furkan Akyurek, founder of hiring startup The Flatwork that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We asked Furkan Akyurek, founder of The Flatwork, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.