Sentences starting with “in our days” are frequently heard clichés from our elders. I started to follow Formula 1 in 1996 with real interest. In spite of that I knew the near history especially the Senna-Prost era very well.
I knew that a man who became champion in 1994 and 1995 twice in a row was starting over from the point of zero. I remember his competitions against Hill as well as I remember the goals of Fenerbahce. I have created a wide Formula 1 archive in time, I even mixed some of the faster pieces with his press conference, mp4 and f310 sounds.
I was so sad to see him as 3rd in 1996 and his championship miss at the last race in 1997. My man who suffered from many setbacks for 2 years was losing due to technology in 1998 and losing due to a big misfortune with technology in 1999. He was closing the season with a broken leg as a result of an accident at the Silverstone. Each time he lost a pole position and each race was in fact making me focus on my goal of two weeks and made me wait for the weekend with Friday to start a new free practice. I was waiting for my hero who would say “stop” to technology with his talent, again with rain or a new Brown-Todt strategy.
He was overtaking McLaren which is 8th position at Spa98.
He was not having a rest on Saturday and tested a start-up system. 2-4 ranking of Ferrari was becoming 1-3 with the 5th red light on Sunday.
The first win in Catalonia 96, under heavy rain and among many better cars reminded me of Senna. The pole position that he earned for Ferrari at Donnington 93, Monza 96 at home after so many years. It was incredible that the pole position made with that car at Monaco 96.
after a long time AAAfter a long time successes started to come with the double with Irvine at Magny-Cours 98.
I still cannot understand how he could win 3 races in the 1996 season against the strong Benetton and Williams teams of the season.
Maybe nobody will ever be asked that question again: “Euhh Michael, this is your 41st victory, which puts you equal with all time winner Ayrton Senna. How do you feel?”. Nobody will give the answer he gave even if they were asked!
Italians threw their TV sets out of the windows when they became the world champions saying TVs could not show anything better than that. When he became the world champion for the 5th time in Magny-Cours due to a mistake of Raikonen, he hugged Jean Todt. He was crying. It reminded me of Senna again, look I remember him again and my eyes got wet again. When I see a crying F1 pilot or a crashing F1 car, I remember Senna and Kaan Onuk, who commented on Senna’s death as “Man how happy he must have been, he died in his car, when racing where he loved most” and unfortunately we lost him due to a car accident too.
I want my Schumi to stay like that, like always. I want to tell my grand children about him saying “In our days..”. Maybe I want him to quit when he is at the top like Eric Cantona. Isn’t there a moment that makes us love someone or something? For me that moment was his facial expression after dropping a lap to Alesi at Interlagos 96. I’ll never forget that!
There will never be another F1 pilot after him who can make me feel the way he made me feel. I guess I finished my mission as an F1 fan. I could not write anything on our list for a long time because I did not get anything from it. I haven’t been reading your writings for months either. Maybe I was angry with technology, especially technology he created with Ferrari, breaking him too.
He was big for me because he was side by side with Senna, cried with Hakkinen, rebelled against technology every year and stood as a symbol of resistance. Now that resistance has unfortunately gone. Driving an F1 has become as easy as playing a game with a Force Feedback steering wheels for the pilots.
I am sad now because I did like one bit and was very angry with Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, Coulthard, Alesi once.. Because my hero is left with nothing to do now.. Because technology came to a point that the feeling of resistance has lost his meaning.
Maybe Raikonen will say “ there was a young man you gave a license for only 4 races”, just like the young man who was brought to SPA for just 1 race. And then maybe I will remember with my Kimi; my Schumi and Senna. I will wait for that time and I will make that time “in our days”. Then I will write my articles and defend the guy who resisted.
Cengiz – July 24, 2002
This is January 19, 2014. It has been exactly 18 years since we lost our Kaan. It has been 12 years since I published the article above to a Formula 1 group at that time. There have been 5 more people who have been F1 champions so far. Raikonen has been one too. None of them could make me write again. Schumi won two more championships and said goodbye to F1. He has been in a coma as a result of a skiing accident for 1 month. I don’t know if he can survive, but I know that I will always remember him “that” way, like the way I wrote many years ago, just like the legendary Murray Walker said.
Just thinking about it now makes me realize. You were the one who made F1 my passion Kaan. Rest in peace.
17 years of work life has taught me that if you stay too close to the king, you could lose your head. You must always keep your distance even if he is your close friend and you should not spend time with him outside of work unless you have to.
It has taught me that no one will plan your career for you – you had to do it for yourself. You must take action without waiting for orders and, most importantly, you must completely separate your personal life from your work life.
It has also taught me that management is not done by managing people but by setting them free. You need to be a shield in front of your team and act like an older brother. Never let anyone abuse that in your team.
Towards the end of 2007, I was torn from a company of which I was a founding partner, like a knight spent by the king. At one point, I even contemplated becoming a taxi driver because of work and money problems. In fact, no one, not even the king, understood that I rebelled in service of the king.
Yes, I rebelled in the past; against the people who pretended they were more than they really were and the people who were taken in by them. Against those who stuck to their corners and those who allowed them. Against the people who used business resources for their own benefit or used them for their own fights. Against those who judged unfairly and even got cursed for cruelty.
I decided that victory would not come by fighting them but by raising Jedis. Time sent me a signal that my years of work and hardship were for a great purpose when I met Cem Demiröz. That purpose was knowledge. It was the fact of having honest and ethical employess. It was the necessity of turning towards people who knew nothing rather than knew falsehoods.
First, I stopped rebelling. I had to come back as Gandalf the White.
I had to raise people who did not lobby, did not get cross with their colleagues, did not set traps and talk behind their backs, did not sell them out, did not suck up to a higher manager, who knew when it was necessary not to work, who could empathize, tried to develop themselves, defended the truth, were not afraid of making mistakes and most importantly tried to do better tomorrow than they did today. The idea of “ordinary” was to be our enemy!
It seems that I had to realize all the truths above and become ready to meet with Cem Demiröz. He had heard my name and wanted to find out my ideas on some issues. We met and talked for a long time.
After understanding each other a little bit, he asked,
-“Will you work with me?”
-“I will, but I do not want my methods to be interfered with,” I answered.
-“Also, I have a trip to America planned. Will that create a problem?” I asked.
-“When are you going?”
-“In two weeks time.”
-“If you do not go to America, I was going to ask you to come to Paris with me. There will be a meeting with a e-commerce managers from other countries and also you could meet with CEOs and boards of directors,” he said.
The person in front of me was a man who had a project on which he spent resources for three years and yet had not been able to put it into production yet. And normally I would expect him to fall into panic and say, “We will make you the project leader and you are planning to go to America a week later? Come on mate!” And then I would probably end up going to America and we would never meet again.
Upon hearing his humility and maturity, I said,
-“Of course, the project is more important, I will go to America some other time.”
-“Cengiz, if you want, you can come to Paris with me and then you can go on to America,” he added. That was the vision I was looking for. I said I could work with this man at that moment. We went to Paris together. And thanks to his approach, I felt as if I had gone to America already.
I heard about the opening of our online sales site as I landed in Washington for a later US visit. We went online while I was on the plane. I believed in my team, they believed in me. They were free. They worked for no person, no money, no king, no manager. They worked for themselves and their own business ethics and even suffered a few hardships. They stayed in the office with me until 1 o’clock in the morning every day for a month even though I said, “You can leave my friends,” because we had succeeded in becoming a team.
I think big projects are similar to theater plays. When the play is successfully presented and the curtain falls, you feel like crying. All those rehearsals and studies late into the night, chatting during breaks, shared happiness and sadness, difficulties and fights all roll in front of your eyes like a film from the moment the performance ends until it goes up again in a few seconds later for the encore. Then the applause and the salutation of the actors.
Those few seconds are priceless. They are exactly like the email I opened in Washington airport.
Thanks Cem; for my priceless team, for giving me the chance to successfully deliver a very difficult project from scratch and most importantly for really understanding me.
Culture is what is left after we forgot what we learned.
Knowing by heart does not exactly mean knowing.
Saint Joseph High School is a place where you can deeply examine such notions.
The basis of your life is built while you are 12-18 years of age. Saint Joseph not only teaches how to inquire, discuss and learn but also the notions like loyalty, friendship, family and solidarity.
All the factors that led to the French revolution are divided into centuries and reviewed by the tens of literary masters. They are surely forgotten but you are never forced to memorize the notions of freedom, equality and fraternity.
At the end of all this, you become a Saint Joseph graduate.
It is like you get education from the walls. The cumulative knowledge of the ones who walked the corridors and played in the gardens of that historical building in Moda passes to you in a spiritual way.
Then your career starts. You realize that there are people around you trying to make you like themselves with all their complexes and fears. They know nothing about equality, fraternity; they have no idea about freedom…
You say either I will adopt to them or they will adopt to me. There have been ones that I adopted to and ones who adopted to me over the years. But when you say to the people that you can only reach over 2 assistants or you cannot reach at all: “Hi, this is Cengiz sj95” it feels as if you had talked to them just yesterday. Because he, too, knows that you don’t know things by heart and he knows that you have forgotten many things actually.
No one can help you, you should ask for help.
No one will find you a job, you will search for it.
No one will plan your career, you will plan your career and even your life yourself.
If you know that there is a person from Saint Joseph behind a door, go on and knock on that door. Maybe it will not open. Go on fighting for it. There is no ready-made success in this life!
I started my career with the late Baris Manco who came to the Saint Joseph Theater activities and accepted me to his team.
Just after that I stated as a DJ at Istanbul Fm with the help of a friend from the High School. Then with the motivation from another high school friend I joined Club Med. I became the Broadcast Coordinator of the Genc Radyo which was one of the first private radios in Turkey owned by yet another elder brother from the high school. The brand management that I did at the Dunya newspaper was also with the help of another close high school friend.
I have been in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing since the year 2000.
We have established sahibinden.com with the partnership of a friend from Saint Joseph.
Later, with yet another high school brother’s advice, we have implemented the e-commerce for Tchibo.
It was because of a promise that I gave to a friend from Saint Benoit that we developed the online project of Koctas.
Year 2013 and today in the e-commerce world of our country there is a feudal structure created by memorizing heads. There are Lordships that are being flattered by people with insufficient experience.
If I’m trying to change the world of e-commerce into an interest-free sharable structure today, the roots of this goes back to the age of 12: those walls, those writers, those fights in that garden.
I want free-thinking brains. I want trustworthy people who won’t stab me from the back, people with whom I can share my knowledge, time and experience.
Don’t be one of those memorizing parrots my friend; search, inquire, discuss… and then come to me.
Sports media and e-commerce media have a lot of common features. I will evaluate these features later. Now, let’s look at the results first.
As much as I was very proud that “sahibinden.com” received “The Best Web Initiative” award with the help of “Vote for us” banner placed on the main page as I am the co-founder and the first regular employee of it, I was also very surprised that the same e-commerce media did not put any of the founders of that web site on “The Best Web Entrepreneur” candidate list.
Why doesn’t it occur to anybody to ask “why is the Best Web Entrepreneur award not given to the Best Web Initiative award winner”? This initiative was created when the earth was cooling down?
Have you thought of giving the Best Web Initiative Award to the company that we established in 2000 just today? I ask the friends who voted from here: Which rational and fair grounds did you vote? Are you saying “Don’t ask because we did not choose the candidates!”?
While in the past 12 years, a lot of entrepreneur friends added tens of beautiful initiatives to our e-commerce world with their 2 cents budgets, how can we objectively justify awarding “sahibinden.com” created with limitless funds of an already rich friend? Are you saying “But those entrepreneurs did not dignify or sponsor the e-commerce media outlets to be candidates!”.
Let’s not look for logic. Moving from “perception tells the truth”, let’s take a look at some of the comments: all comments
- Published results are very clear, I find it strange that Facebook, Twitter and Google are listed on the foreign web initiative category, they are neither specific to 2012 nor an initiation anymore.
-If you think that way, initiatives like, hepsiburada, gittigidiyor, yemeksepeti, ciceksepeti should not be listed either. Then the competition would be resulted with 4, at most 5 categories instead of 31. The candidates’ heading is not the best foreign web initiative anyways. The best foreign web initiative listed the best foreign initiative of” all times”. Since the candidate selection was not made by the webrazzi team, not some initiatives but the ones that were most written by the candidate selectors. This is quite natural.
-Thanks god they did not pick Markafoni the best web initiative or anything this year, we were bored of it every year…
- I do not think these votes are very transparent. (I do not refer to the voting site), people begged for votes from the whole social media, asked from pms, also, a 3 month old agency coming second in the category of Best Digital Agency shows that there are “personal efforts” here.
I understand voting for websites, campaigns – the services used and tried – but I do not understand how many of the 29250 people who voted for the CEO of the year knew about “which CEO did what for his/her company this year”, I wonder if they really followed
-Selecting Teknorasi as the second best digital agency is very interesting. How can an agency set up this year leave behind all those agencies that created quality works? How many customers do they have, which big companies are they working with? As far as I know they do not even have an office.
-This agency was founded less than 6 months ago. I did not hear even 1 project that they got a result. It seems being a sponsor of Webrazzi brings along success
- I think it is interesting too but while all candidates were mailing to beg for votes, we did not even vote for ourselves to be ethical. One should respect; if your knowledge is limited, I wish you did not comment on it.
- Now just because something like that could happen, we used our short Url for our visitors could vote for us. It show the number clicks as 9614 but 3361 votes were counted. It is interesting if you think the link’s sole purpose was to vote, but we still love Webrazzi, it’s alright.
-In the Game category, the total number of votes is twice as much of the closest competitor which is interesting .Go check the votes in the garbage can.
- 68K people voted but the total number of votes is 800K. If social media accounts were not matched then 60K real persons voted. Obviously it was not a fair and logical voting, the winner was Webrazzi. 900K traffic in 15 days is not easyJ
-It is like a football match between the hood’s big boys and youngsters, big boys are getting every ball, how can you say that sahibinden, hepsiburada etc are initiatives?
-Having a separate category titled “New Initiation” does not make sense. Because “initiative” indicates that the business is new anyway. It needs a category titled like “initiated/finished” for the old big websites.
-sahibinden.com is one of Turkey’s most visited web site and they tried like crazy to collect votes both from the site and by email. It is normal that they come first or second of all the participated categories and but in my opinion it is not natural.
-Knowing the web polls are unreliable, why should we accept this one as an exception?
-Too big a vote difference in the best game category makes you think. And I had never heard the name of Joygame. Mynet Game, Kral Game, Peak Games etc. .are OK but what is Joygame? This smells like advertisement to me.
-Sahibinden.com’s best web initiative award shows that we have a lot of way to go as a country .I think sahibinden.com can only get best office awardJ
-It is interesting that sahibinden.com mobile app comes at the first spot, their new logo has not been updated on the mobile apps yet they are the first.
-About the Celebrity who uses the social media best category, I wonder for what purpose Hilal Cebeci is using the social media! Because the work “use” has a lot of different meanings.. Strange I mean.
-Thanks to you we have learned that ”Google” was a web initiative. After seeing that the rest became meaningless…
-I don’t understand why it was taken that seriously, there were a lot of mails for the companies who took a lot of money from their suppliers but in reality it was a value adding project for webrazzi, it can be organized every month now. .
-It has stronger mail data comparing to its competitors. Of course the sites with the higher number of hits came first. Every candidate site asked for votes from their websites. Candidates’ mail list worked with that voting. The winner is, of course, webrazzi who got the free advertisements on the biggest websites of Turkey because of the voting.
Blog and Information Websites
What the User Thinks: I can get fair information from the digital world, e-commerce sites and operations. I can follow the innovations. I get to know the people in the sector. I can gain experience by taking the companies’ rights and wrongs as examples.
In Reality: Give us some money. We will put a banner, we will make some news about your company. We do not make any news about anyone who does not pay or be our sponsor. It is not like the users will be informed of everything. We can go on making the news about the same companies..
Seminars and Activities
What the Participant thinks: I will have the chance to listen to the professionals of my sector. I will benefit from their experiences and take lessons for myself. I can even meet them during the coffee break and ask some special questions too. I can apply them to my company’s business model, I can even use it for my career development.
In Reality: Give us some money. Be a sponsor. We will give you 5-10 entry tickets. You come and advertise your company. Other participants have a lot of money anyway. They can pay 300-500 EURO to come to the event. Don’t come if you don’t have money. You can be gifted or a genius but first you must have money. If you don’t have money, then you can follow later on our blog and website. We will even take additional ads for them We will make money from this too.
The dream of the Investment seeking young people: My business will grow with the investment I get. I will have bigger team. I will give vision to my team with the consultants paid by the investing firm. I will provide jobs for the talented young people who really need to work around me. My firm will grow bigger. I will be beneficial to my country, maybe a global giant company will invest in my company. We will all be proud of it.
In Reality: Now we pay 40.000 USD for the 50% of your company. Don’t mind if the amount is small. We will make news about you on the most important information and technology blogs. First we will say that you received that much investment. Then we will make news about you from time to time. We will arrange a presentation for you at the first seminar, you can make your own company advertisement. In the mean time we are already exaggerating the Turkish market anyway. When we make a sale to a foreign investor then we will save you too.
Last word: “We love the e-commerce sector so much that we inform you for free” image will lead the sector to a crisis eventually. At the end of that much of blowing up and giving no importance to the infrastructure, the ecosystem definitely will restart itself .Be fully equipped when that day comes. Do not let the time go by with the pre-arranged news of seminars and industry-based blogs. Learn more, ask more, investigate deeper and wait for 2015.
Happy new year for everyone who put the e-commerce and internet world in mind with no expectation of benefits.
Obama wins the election and at his first speech he praises his rival Romney and thanks him. He says “He worked a lot”. He says “ We will fall and stand up together.” He says “Our differences make part of the freedom of USA”. And Romney congratulates Obama and says that he will pray for his success.
While watching this and questioning the rarely found concepts of kindness, unity, respect and reconciliation in our country, I open my computer: There is an e-mail from the CEO of E-bay ,John Donahoe, celebrating the 11 .Year of collaboration: It reads: “We want to say thanks and let you know how much we value having you as an eBay community member”.
Oh yes I was in the USA to visit eBay, Google and Facebook last week anyway. I wanted to look at the photos I took there: There was a girl at the side of the road when I was walking on the University Drive in Palo Alto, San Francisco. She wrote “Please help me buy a bigger cello”. She believed that! Her purpose was not money anyway. I felt very happy when made a small contribution.
I had another cello photograph. I took the photo of the two boys making music on the main street Strip in Las Vegas. While I was listening with awe Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal cello version I saw what: They put a QR code for the social media they prepared themselves. No way man!
When in Vegas, you should see the hotels and look all around you in the casinos. Which liberty understanding is it then, that reserves a seat for people with disabilities at the blackjack table and not let anyone else to sit there? Ok for the parking places, restaurants, game parks but when I entered the WC, what I saw there simply rode tears to eyes: A sink that was 1.5 cm lower than the others!
Which CEO or General Manager or Board of Directors of a multi-million dollar e-commerce company ever got a system designed for people with sight disabilities in Turkey? Which one of them tries to do anything to enable an armless veteran place an order? Sycophantic bloggers, twit thinkers, of course, can advertise about them. It will be unfair to blame someone from the e-commerce sector for an understanding that does not exist in Turkey like in USA.
Will it be the same yesterdays and today of our know-it-alls? As late Jobs says: are we going to keep on selling sugar water or are we going to change the world?
I started to write with Obama’s speech, I was at my computer. I read what our opposition party said while the US rival leader was saying that he would pray for Obama’s success.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the AK Party group meeting, criticized CHP with harsh words and likened Kılıçdaroğlu to the “Hapless Bedevi”. Kılıçdaroğlu answered “You are the one who wanders in the deserts. Turn around and look in the mirror, you will see the Bedevi. But beware of the polar bears while wandering the deserts”.
With AKP government coming to power in 2002, investments on technology, never happened before, started to be constructed along with many other issues. In a panel that I attended as a co-founder of the sahibinden.com, I talked with officials appointed by the Prime Minister in relation to the laws. It means that this conversation was not for nothing.
If e-commerce grew a little in our country and we can talk about foreign investments, there are two reasons for it that no one realizes in general:
1-The Law number 4077 about Customer Protection, published and put in effect on 8.3.1995 , the law number 4822, which was considerably changed and important additions were made, accepted on 6.3.2003 and published on the Official gazette on 14.03.2003.
2-The infrastructure investments made again in 2003 and ADSL connection became more widespread and started to enter the houses.
What is this distance sales contract?
Distance Sales Contract is a requirement of the above mention law with the purpose of consumer protection. When you purchase a product or a service on the internet, you cannot touch it directly like in a shop . You cannot be very clear about its size, color, material. Thanks to that contract you can return the product after it was delivered to you without showing any reason for the return.
Additionally, the seller site has to inform the user about the important information like price, vat, cargo and show them on the invoice too, so that the customer is not mistaken.
Internet shopping is advantageous for the customers because they can return the product within the designated period without showing any reason by using the “Right of Withdrawal” presented by the distance sales contract.
I saw people who said “I don’t shop on the internet, I need to see, touch” and could return the goods they bought in a store.
I saw people who said “I don’t trust internet, they can steal my credit card” and gave their credit card information to a call center operator.
I am not surprised by that, but I am amazed by the people who think that internet commerce is nothing more than building a website.
Changing that perception and educating the consumers should have been the primary priority of the people who call the shots in the internet sector. However, they chose to play for the tribunes by criticizing everything and lead the e-commerce sector that they exaggerated into another bottleneck.
The law protects the consumer from the issues related both financial/payment systems and after sales return/change. The consumer is still afraid of the internet. The ones who really need to be afraid of the internet are the internet business enterprises and their managers. Because the laws are always by the consumer’s side.
That is why; the intelligent sites are always by the law’s side, consumers’ side.
People who never used public busses, never waited in line for a taxi or a dolmus in the rain invested in the internet companies in 2000s. Do you know why?
Their biggest ambition of life was to pass their fathers. There was no other way to pass their fathers in the Özal era.
Companies are built and teams are formed with the daddy’s money. Do you know what happens then?
Not helping those young people, not making career plans for them..
Not training them to be ethical, patient people who do not give way to their excitements.
Do you know what they really want to say even?
-Let them work with the minimum wage; if he leaves another comes.
-What training? They should be thankful that we pay their salaries.
Like he worked for years to buy the Jeep he drives.
Like he worked at the canteen to save money to be able to study at a private university.
Like he cleaned the dishes at McDonald’s, walked the dogs while having his Masters degree in US.
There will come a time when you, raised with parental love, never had a complex of getting better than your fathers, worked hard to get where you are or on the way to get there, will receive job offers from those highly qualified bosses.
They will not ask of you to pass your values to the other employees or give a liberal environment, an innovative vision to your team. They will expect you to be puppets!
Be careful when you deal with the ones who established an internet company with their father’s, grandfather’s money. Because, they will do micromanagement, and get involved with every little fışkı and then they will ask you “Why isn’t this happening?”.
This article is not about the ones who declare “We are shutting down our operations today, go look for a new job.”
This article is not about the one who say ”We are changing the organization, thanks for your works” either.
This article is not about the empty heads who praises every cheap initiations or every foreign investment.
This article is for the ones who took the bus at least once.
This article is for the ones who waited in line for a dolmus in the rain at least once.
This article is for the ones who do not have meaningless ambitions and never sold and never will sell their colleagues for benefits.
The Ottoman Empire had a very strong DNA in terms of Supply chain management and logistics. Major battles and Long-distance sieges in their history brought a natural experience.
This inherited experience was one of the key factors in winning the War of Çanakkale.
Shipments of troops and ammunition to the front.
Transferring the injured to the field hospitals.
Using cannon balls removed from the ships as a mobile gun.
A very clever use of the small number of submarines.
The correct mine placement strategy.
It is the Çanakkale experience that helped the Çanakkale losers to win the Normandy Invasion.
In May 1940, the French and the British who lost the battle of Dunkerque, would come back in June 1944 already learned about the supply chain and logistics.
Of the French could have understood what Atatürk meant by saying: “You don’t defend a line, you defend a surface .That surface is your country .You do not leave your country until every inch of it is drenched with your blood!” Then they would not set the Maginot Line and adopt a more mobile tactic.
The Germans who won big battles in Europe, Africa and Russia, would lose the war because they had a stock problem even though they were magnificent at logistics. They could not reach the oil reserves in Russia and after losing in Africa front, they lost the Romanian oil reserves too with the American bombings originating from North Africa. That was the moment that they lost.
World’s first jet-motor planes Messerschmitt 262 could not take off due to lack of fuel, legendary efsane U-botlar was being the target of the British Spitfire.
Logistics and supply chain was totally dismantled. They could not use the great technologies they had.
I went to the Dixons Retail Warehouse with these historical thoughts in my mind. Before I went, I took me only 10 seconds to get my train ticket from the kiosk, that I requested to be delivered at the King’s Cross train station on my internet order. The system asked for the credit card that used for placing the order. As soon as I placed the card my tickets came out. It took just one touch on the screen. No other operations. I still remember that sweet experience .It is a vision of its own the electric outlet for mobile device charging next to my seat and the wi-fi service on the train during my travel between London and Nottingham.
In my opinion, the spider web of train rails all over France and England is an indicator of their sensitivity about the supply chain and logistics .After Paris and New York Underground, London underground can really be used as a lesson on logistics.
Then why do we change the car as soon as we find any money?
Because we did not invest anything on the railway system for ages?
Because we misunderstood the proverb “horse, woman, gun”?
How come we did not build anything over Istanbul, Tunnel (1875) which is the oldest metro after London (1863) and we start doing metro workings in the Anatolian side in 2012?
I am now sure that the reason our e-commerce is left behind is not the internet lines, it is the rail tracks.
We are having our periodic meetings in the Paris Pixmania Office last year .While waiting for the elevator, we are talking with John Browett who was the CEO of Dixons Retail at that time and the VP of Apple today. No matter what I could not get him in the elevator before me. I did not ask myself what it was next to the people full of complexes I met in my professional life: British kindness or family upbringing. Because the liberal and respectful air I felt in the office is following me to the elevator. After completing the office work program we go to a dinner with all the other e-commerce managers. I am saying to Steve the CEO of Pixmania who is sitting next to me “If I lived in Paris, I would definitely work with you”.
This year I am creating an opportunity to go to the Internet World Expo in London, something I wanted to do for a long time. I receive a mail from the organization. “Cengiz, wee that you are coming from afar. Let’s help you: if you land in Heathrow do like this .If in Gatwick you can follow this and that alternatives. You can check our contracted hotels in the area if you need a hotel.” This customer centered approach that I experience many times in the US makes me so very happy again.
I took the plane for Heathrow .Of course I downloaded the Tomtom Uk and London Tube apps on my iphone. I go to Earls Court so easily by taking the train from t he airport and metro from the train station. I say this is the advantage of having the industrial revolution. I think about which train or metro I would take to go to Tüyap from Sabiha Gökçen Airport?
The speakers from LinkedIn, Google, Expedia, Yahoo etc are holding sessions. Everything is organized. Even the smallest details are thought of. I don’t either get hot or cold inside. I don’t see a drop of mud inside even though it rains cats and dogs outside. Everybody is respectful, everybody smiles. On my way out I see a chewing gum conversion unit on the wall of the building. “No waaay” I say .I mutter “When we try to convert the customers, they are converting chewing gums”.
Inside, the era of collecting business cards is over already. Every participant that I talk to, all the brand representatives I converse with can collect my information by scanning the participant card I wear on my neck. Even the Sitefinity representative scans my entry card, his card and the related free version barcode from his carton and tells me “You will see that you account will be activated in a day or 2”. I am talking with Worldpay ve Sagepay especially so that I can show my swagger to Emre when I get back.
At that time I ask myself how can the biggest e-commerce expo be free to attend whereas even the most ordinary summits in our country ask for high fees, even from the students?
Our situation is best described with the saying: “You can swim all day in the Sea of Knowledge and still come out completely dry”.
As long as the basis of our e-commerce conferences cannot put a stop to welcoming the innovations of the sector, worries about informing and growing the sector , the benefits of the organizers and finding pre-arranged speakers; the participants will not be able to realize the real benefit but follow a timetable and pay a lot of money to do that. While the bright young men who can be very useful in the future cannot attend to these seminars, others with no interest but invited out of respect will attend as VIP.
Do you know what we don’t realize here? The Concept of Life-Long Value.
As long as we make our seminars pricey for our student and free for our CEOs, VIPs etc, our CEOs will continue getting in the elevators first.