Apr 09, 2022
In Fashion Forum
When it comes to starting a business, some entrepreneurs put the pedal to the metal. They jump into the project, push for rapid growth above all else, burn capital, and commit to live or die on the success of their business. Aytekin Tank takes its time. “It took me 10 years [to start my own business], because I didn't have the courage to start,” says Tank. "But I always had this belief that one day I would start it." And he did it, gradually. Over the course of a decade, what began as a college hobby gradually morphed into JotForm, a now profitable online form building service with three offices on two continents (primary locations are San Francisco and Tank's home country of Turkey). The product offers over 100 integrations with PayPal, Salesforce, and Dropbox, and attracts 3.7 million users, for whom JotForm hosts 12 million forms. It took him a while to employee email database achieve this financial success, and he suffered from a lot of uncertainty about his path along the way. But Tank is living proof that while some may consider it an entrepreneurial weakness, taking a slow and steady approach can yield a solid foundation and lasting success. bide his time As a computer science major in college, Tank joined a student organization and was tasked with creating its website. Part of this website involved filling out a member profile, for which Tank single-handedly created the form. He thought it was good enough to share, so he released it as a free, open-source product. "People loved it," he said. It didn't take long for people to start requesting customizations and sending. Tank checks for his efforts. He saw an opportunity and created a paid version of the product during his senior year's winter break. People immediately started buying the premium product, but Tank still wasn't sure if his idea was valid. "Even though I had a few sales, I had no confidence," he says. “I didn't think I could be an entrepreneur, that I could start my business. So I continued to look for work. After graduating, Tank took a job as a developer for an online media company in New York. Even as his own product began to take off, he saw this work as nothing more than a side gig. He got up early in the morning, worked on his business for a few hours, then at 9 o'clock he left for work. In the evening, he continued to work on his product and read blogs and books on entrepreneurship. Tank maintained this routine for five years. "It took me a long time," he said.