Four Operations

The only issue that I am constantly amazed at in the world of technology and entrepreneurship and which I have not been able to get used to over the years is that a significant number of people working in this world are not capable of doing four operations.

At first glance it sounds ridiculous, I know. In a world where we talk about topics such as blockchain, cryptology, artificial intelligence, software development, I can hear you saying, “how could four processes be a problem for anyone?”. But believe me, it is a problem

It is essential that every idea and every project to have a basic logic. In fact, this logic emerges from the basic four operations of mathematics.

Imagine an entrepreneur, preparing a business plan when looking for an investment. The goal of reaching 1.2 million users in 6 months and 10 thousand TL monthly marketing budget were put into the business plan. The interview of an excellent investment project might be locked by questions such as “how would you get 200 thousand users per month” and “cost per user is 0.05 TL, is it possible?” If you wonder why, it is because the investor is doing simple four operations and trying to understand the rationale. The entrepreneur who has not done these four operations tries to defend the plan with things popped in their mind at the moment, but often dives into nonsense.

The main difficulty is that the plan has been prepared without putting it into a logical basis. Unless the marketing plan and the operational plan are considered in parallel, such awkward situations can arise. We often see this in technology companies as well. A software development project is spoken, and it is questioned which priority it should be. Believe it or not, the time spent at meetings sometimes exceeds the total cost of development.

During the hours of debate for the first priority, the question “what will this project cost us, how many months will we get the investment back?”, is not even asked. The whole project is being designed and hours spent for discussions, but when the project comes in front of the CEO for final approval, the CEO makes a division using the advanced “four operations” ability and rejects the project. Because the return of investment is reaching an endless time.

The main difference that distinguishes the Internet industry from traditional industries is the number of people who pass through the front of the shop. When you open a store on a street, the minimum and maximum number of people to pass through is certain. So, when you bring in a new product, if you get a few criticisms about it, you may need to take action immediately. But in the internet world you reach hundreds of thousands, even millions. A few negative comments coming from social media to a new product might be just a trivial issue as well as a seemingly high peak of an iceberg of problems. However, mathematics never lies. Proportion of user numbers and positive and negative feedbacks, analysis of their changes will give the right result and again the basic competence needed is four operations.

It is a very good reference that an entrepreneur is liked by two different investment funds, but there is no point in having two people enjoy a game played in the stadium.

I always say that Turkey is an ideal country for internet entrepreneurship. We have very talented, hardworking, ambitious entrepreneurs and young people, on the other hand it is also important to see what we lack. One of our weakest points compared to countries where Technology companies’ ecosystem is more developed such as such as America, Korea, China, and the UK is that most of the employees in this sector does not possess the culture needed by the industry. Using four operations frequently means understanding the logic of each project and manipulating the logic.

On an unfamiliar subject, a search on Google or a short training video from Udemy can solve your needs before you go to the company’s human resources department and request training. Those who do not do these are those who work in the industry but not adapted to the sector. We must change our outlook if we want to be successful in the technological world and challenge the opponents.