Friday, November 27, 2009

Pek Pongpaet - Tweetlytics

Today Gigs at Startups is interviewing: Pek Pongpaet - Founder of Tweetlytics.

Name: Pek Pongpaet
Company/Product: Tweetlytics
Role: Founder

What is Tweetlytics?
Tweetlytics is a social media monitoring web based application that provides various analytics on Twitter. Brands, marketers, and PR agencies can use it for brand monitoring and seeing a big picture view of their campaigns. Tweetlytics lets you slice Twitter data by various dimensions including time, geography, gender, sentiment, and location and more.

How did you get involved in Tweetlytics?
Our company has built several Twitter based apps mostly games that are consumer focused, some of them for clients. As we were building more and more of these, I was curious to know the effectiveness of these Twitter apps so that I could answer the question that our clients had of what am I getting out of this? Questions like how many people is this reaching, who where when what? And so the idea of an analytics dashboard came up that could be used for such a task. However we realized that this was an even bigger idea. The field of social media/brand monitoring was huge and that was how the product came about.

What is the best thing about working at Tweetlytics?
By far the best thing about working at Tweetlytics is the people. We bring on really talented people who are great at what they do and we have them do what they do best. I'm constantly amazed at what people have produced for Tweetlytics. Also the field of social media is so young and new that it is very exciting to be working in this space. Aside from being an entrepreneur which means we are trying to figure out what to do, we are also trying to figure out this new field of social media, so it is doubly exciting.

What kind of people do you think are best suited to work at start-ups?
I believe the people best suited for start-ups must have at least these 3 qualities: passion, perseverance, and self motivation.

Start-ups are hard. And more often than not, start-ups will eat up your life. If you do not love what you do, it will not happen and I believe it will be difficult to succeed. Passion means you believe in your idea wholeheartedly. If you do not believe in your own idea, how will you convince someone else either to join your cause or buy your product.

Start-ups also do not succeed overnight. Every time you hear of an overnight success, it usually involves years of lessons learned. It could be the founder tried several start-ups before finally hitting on the jackpot. The idea that you can just build a site and tons of users will immediately flock to it is a romantic fantasy. Behind the graceful execution of that is usually a bunch of people working hard at making it look effortless much like a swan that moves around the lake gracefully. You do not see it kicking its feet beneath the water. People who do not have the stomach to persevere through the ups and downs of start-ups and willing to roll up their sleeves for good old fashioned hustling are in for a rough ride.

Start-ups can also be very open ended and ambiguous. The very definition of start up means that there are not yet processes in place. Things are also usually so crazy that if a person needs to be micromanaged and told explicitly what to do, they would find it hard to succeed in a start-up. I believe a start-up requires people who can self identify tasks, opportunities, and goals and just go ahead and execute them. The essence of a start-up is a different beast than a corporation. In a corporate setting, your role is clearly defined. This is what you are and hence what you do is already predefined.

I also agree with Mark Achler that you have to be a little crazy to want to work at start-ups. No one in their right mind would want to subject themselves to the stresses of start-ups. There are much easier ways to earn money than to go in a start-up. But for those people who are not motivated entirely by money, but to the pursuit of creating something lasting and of value and have a helping hand in shaping and creating a new entity, then start-ups might be for them.


  1. great article, and very,..very inspiring, as the founder of a start up myself, (

    when Pek, mentioned all start ups need "good old fashion hustle"

    i couldnt agree more, even though his start up could'nt be more diffrent from mine,(inventing the first premimum cup and jock strap)

    non-stop hustle for a product or service you truly belive in, will increase you odds for success much more then any mba or vc money.


  2. I've seen a demo of Tweetlytics, and it's an amazing tool for brands. I've also seen Pek at work and know that he has the passion to make it happen!