DMM: Hilmi Ozguc

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For someone who admits to being the analytical type, Hilmi Ozguc (pronounced Oz-gooch) appreciates the human touch. An hour-and-a-half after using his company Narrative's Enliven/Impulse technology to place a credit card order within a 1-800-Flowers banner ad, he received a phone call thanking him for the flowers. "Wow," he exclaimed.

Mr. Ozguc cut his high-tech teeth managing the development of design automation software for microprocessors while working at Mitsubishi. Lotus Development Corp. was his next stop, where he became lead product manager for the first graphical user interface version of Lotus 1-2-3, spearheading international product marketing efforts for Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim. He was responsible for developing Lotus' first e-commerce system for distributing Notes-based software on the Internet.

Vital stats:
Title: Co-founder and CEO, Narrative Communications Corp., Waltham, Mass.
Age/bio: 35, born in Ankara, Turkey, grew up in Bonn, Germany, where he attended British American schools; B.S. in systems engineering, Boston University, 1984; M.S. in software engineering, Boston University, 1985.
Software engineer, Mitsubishi R&D Labs, Osaka, Japan, 1985-87; software development manager, Mitsubishi Semiconductor, Durham, N.C., and Sunnyvale, Calif., 1987-89; various product marketing positions, Lotus Development Corp., Cambridge, Mass., 1989-95; current post, 1995-.

Always drawn to entrepreneurial activities, Mr. Ozguz enjoyed "running a $30 million dollar business" within a company where you "could grow a business from scratch."

Three years ago, Mr. Ozguc foresaw the potential for e-commerce and multimedia marketing on the Web. "The timing was fantastic," he said.

He left his seven-year stint at Lotus to co-found Narrative, a company that creates advertising technologies, ad delivery and reporting services. Clients include IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and Ziff-Davis.

Shortly after founding Narrative, the company won backing from Greylock, a venture capital firm that's also backed DoubleClick and Open Market.

Narrative's goal is to help "bring the storefront to the customer, not the other way around."

"The Web is the ultimate interactive environment, and people want to see immediate results without having to do a lot," he said.

Mr. Ozguc's belief in results-oriented online marketing emphasizes the customer's needs, rather than the marketers.

"Make your advertising and marketing content as easy, compelling and instantly gratifying to the customer as you can," he said.

Betcha didn't know: The son of a diplomat, Mr. Ozguc is a world traveler who speaks four languages: English, German, Turkish and Japanese.

Mr. Ozguc loves "traveling to remote corners of the world, exploring exotic locales and immersing myself in diverse cultures," because he finds it such a complete "antithesis to the high-tech, fast-paced world that we live in. It puts you in touch with the rest of humanity."

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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