CouchSurfing

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CouchSurfing Reviews

8 Reviews
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8 Reviews
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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Speechless...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at CouchSurfing full-time

    Pros

    Nice people, handmade chef meal for lunch and dinner, spacious fun office, competitive compensation.

    Cons

    Definitely capital ruined this place. Bunch of employees got fired suddenly including people just got hired within a month. I don't think this company has clear vision and strategy to generate revenue to pay back to VC unfortunately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please do not forget there are actual people who love doing Couchsurfing all over the world. This is about being curious, making a connection and giving them more than you took.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    The biggest 180 I have ever witnessed a company take

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    - The people you work closely with on a day to day basis are phenomenal. They are fun, they feel like family, and most everybody is bursting at the seams with talent.

    - The free lunches and dinners you share with your coworkers are better than anything you could possibly get at a nearby restaurant. The main chef is extremely talented and tries very hard to meet the wildly varying dietary restrictions of the employees.

    - The office space is *incredible*. Very open and cozy, very anti-cube, completely lit by the sun through the skylights during the day. It's a fantastic building, and has been seriously decked out to be a wonderful place to spend your working days.

    Cons

    - I can not even begin to stress these three words enough: *Culture Of Fear!* Senior management actually uses the phrase, "If you are not excellent, you will be fired" in the *new hire orientation!* ...I can't make this stuff up, folks.

    - They have fired *many* talented individuals with little to no notice in recent months. Almost all of the people fired have been the "old-timers" who had a very strong and passionate love for what Couchsurfing has historically stood for and meant to its community members.. which is far from a coincidence.

    - Senior Management claims that the grass roots, "meaningful connections" culture that CS was founded on is still the vision, but it feels as genuine as record company executives claiming that they're in it for the art. There appears to be no interest in the community as a collection of individuals who have shared amazing experiences through this service - instead the loyal community is viewed as data points for future monetization, and really nothing more. It would be foolish to think that a company would never have financial interest in mind, but it is a sad day when Couchsurfing has also lost its heart.

    - There used to be cork bulletin boards on the walls, with countless postcards from members thanking Couchsurfing for changing their lives and being a positive part of their experiences.

    All been taken down.

    There used to be art on the walls, and posters which inspired you to "live your dream, and share your passion."

    All been taken down.

    *Why* make such a bold and drastic statement? It speaks volumes to the fact that management isn't even *pretending* to the employees that they care about the culture anymore. It's worse than apathy, it's rubbing it in our faces.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -- Don't remove the art and inspiration from the walls. It shows your true colors.

    -- Listen to your community. They know what made Couchsurfing special, and you clearly do not.

    -- Stop firing talented people who actually care about Couchsurfing. They will add more value in the members' eyes than all the trendy Rails development in the world could ever dream about.

    -- Couchsurfing can have a heart without jeopardizing your equity value. If you TRULY do your best to keep Couchsurfing's soul alive, the value (both monetary and otherwise) of the company will soar higher than you could ever imagine.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 17 people found this helpful  

    Hire and fire

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Mobile Applications Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Mobile Applications Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    The couches in our giant sky-lit office in San Francisco are comfy.
    Top-of-the-line medical, dental, and vision. 100% company-sponsored for employees. 50% for spouses and dependents.
    Extra time off to surf on members’ couches and experience Couchsurfing firsthand. Travel expenses.
    Equity stake in a start-up that’s already had eight years of success as a former non-profit. And a salary that rewards my creativity.
    Free healthy lunch, dinner, and snacks. Friday happy hour. Caffeine on tap. Safe parking for bicycles. Weekly ping pong turnaments. No dress code.

    Cons

    There's no strategy and no vision. A lot of stress and panic lately, resulting in last minute cancellations. If they don't fire me soon, like most of the people who worked here when I started, I'll have to quit before I go crazy or get an ulcer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start telling the truth and listen to our customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 9 people found this helpful  

    On your toes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    If you want to learn to change directions at the the bounce of a ping pong ball, catering to whims and about faces and general directionlessness, fixing what you broke yesterday by tearing it down tomorrow, CS is the perfect place for you. Adaptable people who can pretend to be working, offering fake contributions while praising today's fad and criticizing it tomorrow once "management" has decided to flip the coin again, will be mush appreciated.

    Cons

    What's to complain about? Now that the old staff has been tossed in the gutter, the cream of indecisiveness has taken the helm. They are so decisive they can go left and right at the same time, while falling backwards. It's a bit tiresome pretending to be an idiot, and while the food is free, it's a bit monotone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change management.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 15 people found this helpful  

    What was once a user-centric, hospitality-driven trusted community is quickly turning into just another travel website

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at CouchSurfing full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Many of the people who work at CouchSurfing are wonderful, but leadership leaves much to be desired. Members of CouchSurfing are extremely passionate and committed; that kind of consumer engagement is hard to come by. That said, many of the most engaged members have become disenchanted and frustrated with recent changes to the website, and some of the best community leaders are leaving the site.

    Cons

    I agree with another reviewer who said that this has turned into a hierarchical organization run by a culture of fear. There have been several rounds of layoffs in the past 18 months, with little to no explanation given. Highly skilled and talented people have chosen to leave. CouchSurfing is losing its soul.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's one thing to talk about having a strong culture, and another thing to practice what you preach. Diversity in perspectives, skills, nationality, background makes a team stronger, not weaker. Finally, I worry about safety issues when you have men in many countries who perceive CouchSurfing to be a dating website.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 14 people found this helpful  

    A great idea going quickly down the drain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Group meals and fun office space.

    Cons

    Gross mis-management issues destroying the unique vibe and replacing it with a culture of fear and "Yes Men".

    When I started, this seemed like the best job ever. Even in just the year or so that I've been here I've seen the company rapidly decline. Any sort of mission or vision focus has been completely erased. Most of the original people have quit or been let go through regular mass layoffs. Those who have managed to hang on to their jobs have learned to do whatever the head guy tells them to and not to ask questions. My job is no longer about making decisions or creating, it's about pushing buttons. I just hope I can hang on to it long enough to find a new one elsewhere. There's no passion here any longer.

    I hope the Couchsurfing community finds a way to survive with CS or without.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Best of luck to you. I hope I can leap frog onto the next job before you fire me.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 17 people found this helpful  

    CouchSurfing as we know it is no more

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time

    Pros

    All the great community members.

    Cons

    The new management have quickly fired anyone who was around in the non-profit days and have completely forgotten the original mission and vision. Semi-annual mass layoffs will continue to happen without notice while they struggle to figure out how to make money off of people's goodwill and hospitality. Good luck to the actual CouchSurfing community members in the future.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  9. 14 people found this helpful  

    Mismanaged startup with big issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at CouchSurfing full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Company culture, unique headquarters, on site chef, travel benefits.

    Cons

    Low salaries, top-down management, frequent unexpected firings/layoffs, lack of direction or leadership, unwilling to be honest with themselves about poor results, lost touch with product's core community/beginnings.

    Nearly every original employee of CouchSurfing has quit or been laid off in a very short period of time in 2012 (since the organizational transition that took place in April 2012) due to either poor engineering management and disenchantment with how much the organization's lost touch with its roots.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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