The Time2play work experience

An introduction

Dear potential team member,

I thank you deeply for your interest in our baby, Time2play.com.

She’s still young, but she will grow up fast. And I hope you’ll be there to help her.

First, I need to be there for you though. You’re about to make a potentially life-altering choice. I want you to be sure that you make the right one.

You know yourself better than anyone:

Will we make you happy?

Can we help you achieve your goals?

Can we offer exactly what you need and deserve from your work life?

Only you can answer that.

You need information though in order to truly know. And I’m writing this to give you that.

What we strive for

Did you ever try googling “modern startup buzzwords”?

If you have, you’ll be familiar with a lot of these terms.

Most startup companies advertise themselves as:

  • bleeding-edge innovative
  • thought-leading
  • solution-oriented
  • agile
  • super flexible
  • empowering
  • striving for greatness
  • failing fast to succeed fast
  • people first
  • paying crazy good salaries and offering benefits no one else offers
  • being non-judgmental & inclusive
  • offering world-class learning opportunities
  • and in general, being f**cking AWESOME.

That is just the surface though.

Let me tell you a secret:

The company that offers all of the above to perfection? It doesn’t exist, unfortunately.

There’s utopia and there’s reality. And unless you know something I don’t, most of us live in reality.

HOWEVER, there ARE companies that strive towards all of the above.

I guarantee you that Time2play, part of the KaFe Rocks group, is one of them. You have my word.

We are not there yet. We most likely never will be. But we will do our absolute best to get as close as is humanly possible.

Let’s dive into where we currently stand, buzzword for buzzword.

Bleeding-edge innovative? → YES

We DO offer something bleeding-edge innovative in our niche. Innovation is at the core of what we do. No one else in the iGaming sphere is trying to create a product FOR the user.

Our vision is to bring positive change to the world and provide a truly honest platform for users, who are already searching for the best casino or bookie to gamble with. Something that doesn’t exist right now.

We aim to offer absolutely unique features no one else does. An example would be our Playscore that aggregates reviews from the entire industry to provide as transparent a user overview as possible.

And that’s just the beginning.

Imagine what we’ll offer when we’ve really kicked off?

Thought leading? → NO

Does that make us a thought leader in our industry? Nope.

No one cares about us yet, because we don’t have enough traffic to make an impact.

We hope to become a thought leader though, and shape also how other affiliates work.

Honestly, if we can make all other affiliates in the iGaming niche finally act in an honest way towards the users due to our thought leadership, and we go bankrupt in the process… I’ll consider Time2play a roaring success.

Solution-oriented? → MOST OF THE TIME

In our internal manifesto, we have “we think in solutions, not problems” highlighted. It’s very cliché, but we actually live it.

We consider it essential for a good working environment. And for the success of our product. It’s something we all strive towards.

We have a lot of problems and obstacles especially these days because we are so early in the project process.

I’m very proud of our team in that the solution-oriented mindset is almost always kept despite the current challenges. Even when the backend messes up for the 10th time on the same day, because we still have an MVP product there. Or when we have to figure out how to remove roadblocks with 5 people, when having 20 would probably have been ideal — as you sometimes have to in startups.

We all slip from time to time and complain a bit to our closest work friends.

We’re all human, and that’s ok.

But in general, I think I can say we embody the solution-oriented mindset fairly well most of the time.

Agile? → SORT OF

Being agile I think is a misused word in most companies. Do we follow the agile manifesto to the tee?

No.

Are we inspired by it?

YES!

  • Our users come first.
  • We harness chances for competitive advantages.
  • We deliver frequently.
  • We work in self-organizing empowered teams.
  • We believe in maximizing the amount of work not done through simplicity.
  • We constantly reflect on how we can improve together.

Super flexible? → 100%

In terms of flexibility, I doubt many companies are a match.

We started as a fully remote company and intend to stay that way permanently.

We literally don’t care when you do the work. As long as you reach the mutually aligned desired outcomes.

You need to be available for communication during the core hours each day, as defined in your team. We otherwise have too many potential roadblocks.

But whether you actually work in those hours otherwise? Doesn’t matter.

Some of us have kids and need to pick them up in the middle of the day. Some of us prefer to work extremely early and take off early. Or extremely late and take off late.

Life is life.

We’re all different.

There needs to be room for all our schedules.

We stay flexible.

Empowering? → WE DO OUR BEST

I think regardless of definition, having everyone be empowered is a startup aspect that we’re not quite achieving yet.

Not because we don’t want to, but for those who don’t pro-actively work towards it, it right now sometimes gets lost in the daily trenches.

Our vision is to work exclusively with an empowering approach.

Right now we choose to move with a certain speed to achieve our short and mid-term goals. Keeping this rhythm unfortunately means we don’t always have or take the time to provide enough context and knowledge for everyone to be 100% empowered. Or we just underestimate what that actually means.

We have a few juniors amongst us, who could probably benefit from a bit more guidance than what we provide currently. Just as an example.

I’m myself especially guilty of this. I assume I provide enough context, but I don’t communicate effectively enough and rush at the wrong times. I’m working on it. I promise.

What I can vouch for though, is that we don’t withhold information.

We’re very transparent with everything we do, on all levels, and have documentation in place for most things.

We have complete open (virtual) doors.

We want everyone to be empowered.

And we won’t rest until we have a system that actually ensures this.

Striving for greatness? → EVERY DAY

I’ve honestly never seen a group of people come together and be so focused on constantly reaching the best outcome possible as is currently the case at Time2play.

The organization is filled with the strive & hussle for greatness.

People are passionate about what they do and want to constantly look to improve. People accept that we never get to 100% regardless of what we do, cause the bar just keeps moving.

We often say internally:

If we work the same way as we do right now in 6 months, we’ve all failed miserably at our jobs.

Challenges at Time2play are embraced and EVERYONE is hungry for more skill, more knowledge, and better outcomes.

I realize this is a lot of fluffy words with no concrete examples.

I think it’s something you need to experience.

And I hope you’ll get this vibe also when you get to meet the team in your final interview round.

It’s a pleasure to be part of.

Failing fast to succeed fast? → EVERY DAY

We had trouble with this in the beginning. It took a few months to build the trust for everyone to accept that failure is nothing to be afraid of.

And I see it in quite a few new people joining as well… it just takes time to understand and internalize:

⭐️ ️️FAILURE SHOULD BE CELEBRATED ⭐️

Because it’s a needed stepping stone for proper innovation and great learning.

How do we do this in action?

  • We are very transparent about our failures and communicate these.
  • We have an all-hands every 6 weeks, where each department is asked to present the failures they learned the most from.
  • I myself highlight my own failures in my weekly update email to the org, and all leaders are encouraged to talk very openly about mistakes and highlight the key learnings whenever possible as well.

We’re actually considering if we should start giving out bonuses for really good failures. Food for thought.

We are very highly inspired by black box thinking. For more on this, I can recommend this book.

People first? → NO DOUBT

I’ve been in companies that were not people first, which is part of why I can say with certainty:

We ARE people first at Time2play though.

It’s shown in what our product actually is:

  • Really for our users.
  • Really striving to make the iGaming niche better for the people using it.

It’s shown in our internal organization how we genuinely care about our team members and their well-being.

Other than what you can already deduct from the rest of this article, I think this is best illustrated by providing you with a snippet of what we call “key desired Time2play behaviors”.

These are currently being discussed internally, but we are close to being aligned.

Don’t worry, we’re all different, and no one is expected to fit themselves into a framed box of behavior. But it shows a snippet of what we as an organization really appreciate:

  • Take good care of yourself
  • Take good care of each other
  • Treat our users with respect
  • Be non-judgemental
  • Give and embrace constructive and reinforcing feedback
  • Dare to be vulnerable
  • Be self-reflecting
  • Embrace humor

Crazy good salaries and unique benefits? → ISH

It’s all relative, isn’t it?

What I can say is, we aim to pay market value. We’re not advertising ourselves as having “competitive salaries” and then offering wages just above the minimum. We aim to be fair and do have the funding to be as well.

We are fans of the Netflix salary approach. We do believe that if someone provides a star performance, they more than deserve a star salary.

That being said, we are a startup. We have secure funding, but we can’t pay Silicon Valley salaries just yet.

I guarantee though that anyone joining us in the early days will not regret it long-term financially.

What I’m very proud of is that even now we don’t pay your salary based on your location. If you’re a top front-end developer and happen to live in Vietnam, we’re not paying you a Vietnamese salary. We’re paying you your actual international market value.

What I’m also proud of is our policy of unlimited vacation days. As long as you reach your targets, we don’t care if you take 25 or 35 days of vacation during the year — or more if you need it. There is no upper cap, and we pay close attention to that you don’t hit the lower cap. We want you to have a good work/life balance.

In terms of benefits, we are honestly lacking otherwise, in my opinion.

Unless you consider the complete flexibility time-wise a big benefit (I would just consider it a requirement 😄).

We are a fully remote workforce, and it’s challenging to provide a lot of local benefits due to our international setup.

The exact details of our benefits (because of course, we have some) you’ve of course already been provided in the HR interview round.

I will say this though:

We have big plans here long-term with some innovations coming also in this space. Think what Silicon Valley is currently doing, mixed with European startup benefits, mixed with our very own touch.

Stay tuned!

Being non-judgmental & inclusive? → 100%

Well, I’m sure you saw our inclusivity statement in the original job posting.

We really mean what we say:

We deeply believe in the value every single one of us has regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or physical ability.

No one is judged for who or what they are with us.

If anyone ever feels judged for whatever reason whilst being in our team, it will be an addition to the list of my biggest failures — and swift action will be taken!

Offering world-class learning opportunities? → NOT YET

This is something we are definitely failing at so far.

I would excuse it with us being a startup and not having had the time or funding yet, but I do think we can be better even with the means we currently have. We are working on it.

The long-term intention?

  • Having a learning and development department with enough time to support all managers in creating effective learning programs for every single member of our team.
  • Every single team member having a development plan in place, helping them to get to whatever next stage of their career they aim towards — even if that stage isn’t with us necessarily.
  • Having every single member of our team have many work hours a week dedicated just to learning and improving.

This is our responsibility to provide as a socially responsible org interested in the well-being of our team members. And we will get there!

The current situation?

  • 2 work hours minimum a week dedicated to learning, pursuing aligned learning objectives
  • A lot of documentation in Confluence regarding best practices and past key learnings — so good chances for self-learning.
  • Chances to learn through bi-weekly 1:1 coachings and at least 6 weekly team retros
  • Learning materials provided by the company on request. We also have an LMS in place, but it’s still early days there.

And in general, being f**king awesome? → HOPEFULLY, YOU’LL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT

I don’t think I’m able to offer you an unbiased opinion on that one.

I know we have a long way to go.

We are by no means a perfect company, and I promise you there’ll be times where you’ll be frustrated with us.

But I think we’re in the beginning phase of something absolutely amazing here.

We have the foundation, the mindset, the willingness, the potential.

Your choice

Well, I hope you have enough of an impression to make your choice as to whether you make the leap of faith or not.

Do you see the potential with us?

Would we make you happy?

Support you achieving your goals?

Offer you exactly what you need and deserve from your work life?

If so, I hope you’ll choose to join us and help us build both a f**cking amazing product and a f**cking amazing team.

If not, thanks a lot for reading all of this, and we wish you all the best for your future.

If you have any doubts, let’s talk?

If you have further doubts after reading all of this, do feel free to reach out to your contact person so far.

Alternatively, reach me directly via alex@time2play.com, and I’ll provide whatever you need.

Yours truly,

Alex

VP and co-founder of Time2play

iGaming executive. Serving iGaming users and team members worldwide.