Oznur Aytekin

Founder of Edhabit

Oznur Aytekin is the founder and CEO of Edhabit.

Edhabit is a learning discovery platform for finding the best resources like articles, videos, books, online courses, and more. Oznur held executive roles in several startups and at Microsoft. She has an MS from Stanford University in Management Science and Engineering and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. In her spare time she loves to spend time with her family and friends and jumping on a trampoline.

Where did the idea for Edhabit come from?

After spending more than a decade in Silicon Valley, I moved overseas to head up Product Management at one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in Europe. At that time, I started to get a lot of requests for giving talks in Product Management and Entrepreneurship at universities. When I realized there was a real need for that type of knowledge, I wanted to find a way to help more people at scale. So we started Edhabit.
Edhabit is a social learning discovery platform for finding great content like articles, videos, books, online courses, and more. With new content added every day, there is always something new to learn. It’s free.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every day is different, so there is no typical day per se. It really depends on that week’s priorities. While there are regular daily tasks, I like to focus my workday on one big priority as much as I can – strategy, new feature development, user feedback, execution.

To be productive I need to know why I am doing something (intention) and to make sure I do one thing at a time, I use the “pomodoro” technique.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Having a strong vision is important. I talk to a wide range of people to understand their needs. We are all connected and caring about others motivates me to solve their problems. I then have to create a vision, communicate it in a compelling way and enlist others’ help. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”

What’s one trend that excites you?

“We are all in this together” trend, which was born out of Covid-19 is very encouraging – not just for today but for our collective future. With compassion, we can create better tomorrows.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Pomodoro technique. During “pomodoro’s 25-minute stretch working interval”, when the clock is ticking, you are supposed to do focused work. Even doing occasional pomodoro is helpful – it reminds me that the clock is always running!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Figure out what you want and work to make it happen. Life is too short to worry about whether you might get rejected, whether you might fail or worse, what others would think of that. The biggest mistake is not trying.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Running in the rain is the best way to reset.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Try and learn something new every day. As long as you are making progress, no matter how small, you will get to places.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Solve other peoples’ problems. Potential users and customers don’t care about your problem, they care about what you can do for them.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I did not launch fast enough. I initially feared that the idea might be stolen and that somebody else could do it faster, better, with a bigger budget. Interesting enough, none of those things mattered once we launched. It’s the action that counts. Doing the things you fear, frees you. Knowing what I know today, I would have launched in our target markets much sooner.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There are so many great ideas but it’s the execution that counts!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I had bought a slime kit for my daughter (the powder, sparkles, scents and tiny bottles all that). I am not a slime fan, to say the least, but it made her so happy. It was definitely worth it!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Edhabit It helps me to learn continuously, actively share what I’m learning and contribute to others’ learning experiences. Teaching is the best way to learn. In this case, teaching is as simple as discovering useful content and putting a link to it. Plus, I can never remember/locate all the great articles I read, so I leave a public trail behind so I can spot them easily.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“A Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. It is a great book that tells us even in the harshest living conditions, where we cannot change our external circumstances, we can still choose our own attitude. The external world does not define us!

What is your favorite quote?

“The fire you want to ignite in others must first burn within you” – Augustine of Hippo

Key Learnings:

  • We are all in this together!
  • The external world does not define us!
  • The fire you want to ignite in others must first burn within you” -Augustine of Hippo
  • If you want to get something, give it away. If you want to learn, teach.