Emin Onur Genç, Founder of UseINBOX
Who are you?
I am Emin Onur Genç, the founder and the sole shareholder of UseINBOX, an email marketing company that develops its own infrastructure and software. My company started to serve in Turkey and now we offer our services globally via our office in the United States.
I have a degree in Computer Programming and another one in Business Administration.
Now, I live in New Jersey, US with my family.
Can you tell us the story of your business from idea to where you are now?
We have first started our journey as a web-design company under the name of “Genç Dizayn” in 2009. For a year, until 2010, we mostly did business for web design and SEO. As widely known, web design is among the hardest professions of the digital world; because you must always interact with people and keep them satisfied with your work! Personally, I knew that such efforts were not sustainable and there would be an end.
So, I was in search of new business opportunities and even had some trials. Unfortunately, most of them were failures. Then, I chewed over the most important digital communication method for a while and realized that it would only be the oldest but ageless method: Email. Later, when I decided to create something related to ‘email’, UseINBOX was born automatically.
We kept developing our product with a highly-qualified team of experts in their fields and managed a well-organized marketing strategy which eventually made us a company without borders. So, we sought the opportunity and opened up to global markets after becoming the biggest email marketing company in Turkey.
Today, we have more than 4000 users from dozens of countries and the feedbacks we have got from the new users outside of Turkey are just amazing. I suppose we are doing it right!
What has been your biggest failure or struggle?
The biggest struggle for me when I started INBOX was the lack of capital. Since almost nobody believed in this project to become a successful business, I received no investment. At the initial phase of my startup I used my own savings; which I have accumulated for years in my previous recruitments. Only after 3 years in business, INBOX started to generate a notable income. When it started to do so, many people in different countries wanted to invest into INBOX.
It may have been a much bigger business with greater resources if we were to accept these types of offers; however, my team and I are following a path that both seems quite promising and enjoyable. I started my own business since I wanted to enjoy what I do, I believe this is the logic behind being an entrepreneur. Therefore, we don’t seek to accept any investment opportunities for now, as well. Generally, investments – even if the investors have a smaller share than the entrepreneur himself/herself- create a profit-oriented mind behind the management. What my team and I want to accomplish is to have a business that is more than profit. Hence, I guess I am thankful for all the struggle I have been through.
And what has been your biggest achievement or success?
I believe that my greatest success has been gaining the ability to learn lessons from my mistakes. Especially when you set to sail on your own in a business, it tends to teach you a lot. That can sometimes be harsh on a person. Nevertheless, getting the best out of the way from down the hill is a better success than what you accomplish at the end. Because you could have never achieve them without those very lessons.
What’s your must read business book?
This may not sound inspiring; but, I really like the book I will suggest. It is Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing. He fills a fundamental gap in the literature in our business sector, makes it understandable for everyone. Marketing is an essential part of any business; yet, the novel technological models of it, namely the digital media is still a closed book for especially traditional businesses. However, it is obvious how much is it full of opportunities.
Who’s your most inspirational CEO or founder?
It would be mainstream; but I can’t hold myself to admire him. Elon Musk is the most inspiring people in a world that promises a life with opportunities which no one seems to grab for the good of the human kind. His projects, accomplishments and vision themselves is a step forwards for the humanity. Our generation, including Musk himself may not see a colonial life in space; however you cannot deny the fact that he believed and put a lot in it, if it were to happen any day.
And can you tell us something weird or interesting about yourself?
I am normally a person with a calm nature. However, when there is an emergency, I act so calm that I may sometimes surprise myself.