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Ep. 245 – Tim Cakir best advice: Be obsessed with the problem not the solution; if you obsess about the problem, the solution will change over time, getting better and better.

Tim Cakir Headshot

Tim Cakir is a growth consultant who helps companies, entrepreneurs and students achieve fast and consistent growth.

Working with 17 startups to date, some of his best achievements include helping two startups receiving 1.7 million euros in Horizon 2020 funding, increasing MRR of one startup from $80k to $300k in less than 18 months and completing projects such as implementation of OKRs, building company dashboards, rebranding and product launches.

In addition to that, Tim’s passion for helping people realize their potential to bring their ideas to life means that he also teaches Bachelor and Masters programs at two universities in Barcelona, ESEI International Business School Barcelona and Geneva Business School.


Most passionate about

  • I’m very passionate about education at the moment. About 30% of my professional time, I dedicate to teaching. I teach in two master’s programs in two different universities. I usually teach around digital marketing, online growth, and some business intelligence.
  • I really love any kind of high-tech, deep-tech startup, trying to solve some of the problems that must be solved by technology. That’s where my passion lies.

Tim’s career and story

  • When I was about 17 or 18, in California, I sold Turkish and Persian-made carpets. It was a bit of telesales, a bit of door-to-door sales, trying to book appointments with people who visited Turkey before. In California, I would visit them and try to sell them carpets. This was, I think, my first business venture.
  • When I moved to London, I really got into creative marketing, media marketing. I helped a few publishing companies digitalize their magazine offerings from the offline world to the digital world. That’s where I switched myself, big time, to digital marketing. I was lucky enough, about five or six years ago, to move to Barcelona, Spain, where I’m residing right now.
  • I became a sound engineer. I studied media production, concentrating on audio technologies, and found myself in the music world, which was always a passion.

Best advice for entrepreneurs

  • My biggest tip would be to focus on the problem. Why does that customer have a problem? What is the problem?
  • Don’t be obsessed about the problem, because if you obsess about the problem, the solution will change over time. The solution will get better and better, what you’re building. But if you focus a lot on the solution, that’s where you’re not innovating anymore. You get stuck on the solution that you’ve already come up with.

The biggest, most critical failure with customers

  • I’m going to look at the perspective of when we targeted the wrong customers. In one of the businesses, which was the B2B SAS, we had a technology for e-commerce businesses and targeted the wrong segment. We targeted big e-commerce shops. We were closing deals, but it was very slow.
  • I think the biggest mistake that I’ve made was not thinking about different customer segments or testing or experimenting with the messaging to different people.

Biggest success with customers

  • One of the greatest successes that I was involved with in a company was when some drama happened in the world – actually a major problem around the world. We had an e-commerce and we were setting products in America.
  • There was a bigger movement of Black Lives Matter, as you’re aware. We donated some money to certain charities or projects that we believed in. A percentage of our client base suddenly turned a bit racist and we started getting hate messages, hate reviews. That really scared us.
  • We blocked these customers, these racist comments, and we said no to certain revenue. That helped us grow even better.
  • We didn’t just focus on the money. We focused on the good people whom we had. We got rid of the bad people, and this helped us grow. People started talking about it and protecting us on Reddit. We got amazing loyalty on Reddit.

Tim’s recommendation of a tool

  • I’m going to look at this from more of an internal perspective. If you give a great employee experience, and if the knowledge is there and everything is at hand, they’re going to give a better customer experience.
  • Notion
    • They really focus on growth, marketing, or marketing to grow.
    • Collective intelligence, into one platform.

Tim’s one key success factor

  • I was able to find platforms and tools that other people in my company weren’t aware of. By showing that knowledge very quickly, I was able to evolve in my career from a marketing assistant to a marketing manager in eight months’ time.
  • So, I guess it’s not just the technology, but it’s the curiosity. You have to keep being curious. That really helped me a lot.


Tim’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?

  • I love mountains because I snowboard, but let’s talk a bit more on the business side of the mountain.
  • My mountain was education. I’m going to make my mountain educational technology, and I’m going to try to climb that mountain by delivering multiple projects today. It starts from music but in the near future, I would also love to look more on the business education side of things. I’m gaining better skills quicker for people. This is becoming a personal mission as well.

Mountain as Education - Climbing to the Top


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