How Twitter Counter uses positivity to harness the best from its employees

by Jobbatical May 23, 2017

Twitter Counter, a company based on positivity and the art of analysis

In 2008 Twitter Counter started as a fun weekend project for the Founder, Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten. It was in the early days of Twitter and he thought it would be super fun to allow people to put a counter on their website to see how many followers they had. It was a hit! From this small weekend project a company was born. Today, Twitter Counter tracks over 300 million Twitter accounts and serves analytics to over two million users.

Lovely Amsterdam

Born and based in the center of Amsterdam, the view from the office is inspirational. Housed in a building made up of startups, opportunities for cross-pollination and peer sharing abound.

Like many of Jobbatical’s clients, Twitter Counter is a globally minded company with a team of international employees. We spoke with Omer Ginor, CEO, to find out how this company went from a weekend project to a thriving company.

TwitterCounter team in Amsterdam

How to lead sustainability and growth as a company through employee success

Twitter Counter is a company in a growth phase. But with this company, growth is not just a figure on the balance sheet. They believe valuable growth comes from trusting and investing in their employees. Omer says,

“We want people who care. We want people who are ambitious, want to achieve great things — they don’t work for us because it’s fun or there’s a great lunch. They work for us because they care about what they do and they want to achieve really great things.”

On the other hand, there’s lot of laughing and things that go on in the office that are not all about work. “We try to make it fun and light to be in the office,” Omer says. Being an international team, they’ve also created their own culture. “We have a lot of people from warm climate countries and we bring our warm temperament into the work space — our work culture is more open, it’s more positive, it’s warmer.”

Trust is also a vital part of team metrics. Omer continues, “It’s very often that on our announcement channel on Slack, you’ll see ‘guys, I need to work from home today’ and there are no questions asked because we trust each other. I believe in reciprocation. As the leader of the team, my job is to lead and that covers trust as well. I trust everyone to do their best, be the most professional and bring their A game to the team. Everyone knows that when they need someone in the team — they will be there for them.”

Leading with respect and positivity to fuel creativity

“I believe in positive management. So there’s no blame, ever,” says Omer. “As long as people give their best effort and they apply themselves completely, then there is absolutely nothing negative that can come back to them. There’s only, ‘okay let’s work together to make this happen’ — a person doesn’t always succeed by themselves.”

With an open and flexible schedule for employees, there is also room for a work life balance. In fact, there is also an open vacation policy, again based on trust. “There’s no quota, take as much as you need, when you need, responsibly.” Omer believes employees need this open policy, “to strike a good balance in their life between home and work, to get energized, to get inspired, and to bring their A-game to the company.”

As a technical company operating in competitive social media space, Twitter Counter fully supports the empowerment of its workforce. “We invest a lot in educational growth and the ability that people have to take time to learn and to take pet projects and to do them. We also encourage employees to choose their own technologies to use. We want employees to feel inspired and to get ideas and to grow professionally. Because we provide a lot of freedom and flexibility in a positive and empowering atmosphere, Twitter Counter is a great place to develop your skills.”

In it for the long haul and ready to accelerate with you

A self-funded company that’s not backed by venture capital, Twitter Counter is privately owned. The Founders, Boris and Patrick are “serial” entrepreneurs and also created The Next Web — a well-known hub for information and events about the startup and technology world.

The Twitter Counter business model is based on partnership. They’re looking for employees who want to win the war with them. They don’t want people interested in a short-term stint. Omer continues,

“Our success is all about who we work with. It’s not about the idea. It’s mostly about execution and well — luck, which covers the rest. Execution is really dependent on the talent, the effort and whether people stay long enough to bring it.”

Currently, Twitter Counter is looking for front ender, back ender, and online analyst. Omer adds, “we’ve been recruiting internationally for a while. So using Jobbatical to help us find international talent is just an extension of an existing frame of mind that we already have.” Twitter Counter is interested in reaching out to an international talent pool to bring together the best talent no matter where they are in the world. Are you that person?

Here are some recommendations from the Twitter Counter crew on their favorite things in Amsterdam — Enjoy!

Great tacos — Los Pilones 7 days a week — designed by two brothers from Mexico City; what’s not to love.

Great food experience — Vleminckx — Dangerous yet amazing spot near the office; great place to beat that 4pm dip; best fries you will find in Amsterdam.

Weekend Market — Saturday and Monday mornings this is the place to be; once you’re there don’t forget to eat endless hummus at: Hummus Bistro

Street food you must try — ‘herring’ aka ‘maatjes’:

Best “locals” bar — Cafede Wetering — harry potter meets neighbors meets hipsters meets anybody; only cash so bring your coins!

Best ‘expat” bar — Brouwerij — Dutchies are a minority here while.. great beers are an honest price.

Favorite ‘Twitter Counter’ bar — Gollem — for any beer emergency; just a short walk from the office.

Best place to take a date: get in a happy mood at: Wester Wijnfabriek

The historic town of Zierikzee

Best long weekend in Netherlands — Zierikzee — sweet town, to forget about the crazy city life for a while.

Feeling cheesy? Cheese Museum

Where to get the best:

City Center sandwich: De laatste kruimel

Perfect pizza: Pizza Perla

Charming cheesecake: Latei

Tast Thai food: Billy Thai’s

Raving ramen: (daytime only) Taka Japanese Kitchen

All about apple pie: Winkle 43

And if you only do one thing in Amsterdam you have to do this: Take a bike and start exploring!

Best event in Amsterdam every year: it’s too hard to pick just one; instead follow this blog for daily advice on events in Amsterdam: Nachtsnuiver

Best event in the Netherlands every year: King’s Day

Once you’re done enjoying the Amsterdam city center.. take the ferry from behind the central station to amsterdam noord.

Looking to move to this great city? We can help.

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