90octane Reviews

Updated May 15, 2015
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3.3
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Sam Eidson & Jim Grinney
7 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Fun & Laid-back Agency

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 90octane full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - "work hard, play harder" mentality - If you are doing good work, you will be recognized and praised for it. - Not difficult to design your own career path and advance quickly. - Unlimited PTO policy. If you need it, take it. - Beer and wine in the fridge. Snacks in the cupboard. - Just a fun & laid-back agency atmosphere overall.

    Cons

    They are really picky about who they hire (which is a good thing) but it also means it can take a while for them to make hires. You can feel overworked at times. It's something they are open about and continue to work on.

    Advice to Management

    Keep moving in the direction we have been for the past 6 months!


  2. Helpful (1)

    Great Co-Workers. Challenging Work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at 90octane full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I am constantly learning new things. I LOVE and am INSPIRED by the people here.

    Cons

    Sometimes, the work is really tough and stressful... but really, that happens with any job.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to be open and listen. You've been doing a great job at that. Thank you.


  3. People, Passion, Culture & Inspiring Work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 90octane full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    As someone who has worked at 90octane for a few years, I've seen the company evolve quite a bit. The agency has gone from a "corporate" infrastructure (layers of management, department silos, saying "yes" & taking orders from clients, etc.) to a flat organization where the owners are very involved, clients are assigned a team of problem solvers, and our main goal is to identify and solve client problems. With 90octane's emphasis on bringing on the brightest people, challenging us to do the "best work of our careers," and creating an environment grounded in trust, I can honestly say this place has turned from a job to a career.

    Cons

    Constant change as the agency continues to grow/evolve. Typical agency stress... tight deadlines, client business changes, client budget changes after contracts signed, etc.

    Advice to Management

    As you have asked of our team, I recommend you: * Continue to "hit the gas" * Don't be afraid to "fail forward" * "Don't miss an opportunity to celebrate our wins - big and small" And, never settle for good. The team you've built and company you've created is well on our way to GREATNESS!


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  5. Helpful (1)

    I love 90

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at 90octane full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I've been at 90 for a while now. I've always found it to be a really great group of smart, dedicated people who know their stuff and are willing to go above and beyond to help each other and clients out. Pros: • Great team • Learning/growth opportunities are abundant • Openness by senior staff as far as hearing from people at all levels • Unlimited PTO/sick days • Decent benefits and pay

    Cons

    Some of the more negative reviews exaggerate the problems here, IMO. We went through a period of turnover that brought morale down, but we're over that hump and things are much happier and stable again. Cons: • Starting pay could be higher for some roles • Some inbalance of work demand vs. actual availability can mean late nights and weekend work

    Advice to Management

    Get the agency staffed to a level that'll mean more even workload balance across all teams. Figure how to how allocate roles better so that people aren't as over or under-extended. Keep up the good work on bringing back the openness and fun culture.


  6. Great Employees, Zero Culture and Horrible Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at 90octane full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The team at 90octane truly is amazing. It's full of hardworking, smart people who are willing to help one another and work overtime to get the job done. Teamwork is huge here, which definitely differentiates 90 from other agencies around town. For the most part, there aren't many people here that would stab others in the back to get ahead. 90 offers a wide range of services (search, web development, online media, storytelling, etc.) giving employees, especially those recently out of college, great exposure to the world of online marketing. The experience you will get at 90octane will make you extremely marketable. There's a decent range of clients, including nonprofits, B2B and B2C companies. 90octane also offers unlimited PTO, which obviously a plus.

    Cons

    90octane used to be a wonderful place to work. It was a growing agency, with a strong culture, happy employees and an excellent training program for those right out of college. Unfortunately, over the past year, every great thing about 90 has pretty much disappeared. As mentioned in previous reviews, 90octane used to offer employees a compressed work week, giving them every other Friday off, which was probably the biggest perk of working here. That is now gone. 90octane encouraged teams to have quarterly offsite outings to help build comradery, as well as all-company quarterly offsite social events, which were a blast and a great way to get to know employees who you didn't get to work with on a day-to-day basis. Both of these activities are now gone. 90 used to offer quarterly profit sharing, where employees would get sizable bonuses. This no longer happens. Professional development, such as sending employees to top industry conferences and specialty training classes, was very important to 90, and a huge benefit of working here. 90 also used to hire employees right out of college as Account Coordinators, and provided these individuals with an incredible training program. I have never seen such a solid training program anywhere else. Like everything else, these great perks have disappeared as well, as it's almost impossible to get conference budgets approved and the company has discontinued the Account Coordinator position. The culture at 90octane is nonexistent. The staff is overworked, underappreciated and extremely unhappy. 90octane has lost a significant amount of employees this past year, and has only rehired for a few of them, giving additional work to an already overburdened, unsatisfied team. 90octane is having a terrible case of identity crisis. Significant, crazy restructures are a common occurrence. It's as if management and the owners think that changing the structure of the company will fix all of the problems. The owners are also delusional, nonexistent, and truly do not care about the staff. If 90 begins hiring for entry-level positions again, and you're looking to get your foot in the door at a digital agency, then perhaps consider working here. If you have experience, you can easily find another agency in town that will offer better benefits, pay and work-life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Remember what made 90 great, and bring that stuff back. Understand that not offering perks will make it extremely difficult for you to retain decent employees. Quit being delusional. Open your eyes and see the issues that this agency is truly facing, or face the consequences of continuing to lose stellar employees.


  7. Great team, lousy management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at 90octane full-time

    Pros

    A generally talented and hardworking team across departments. Decent mix of clients, but not stellar. You can work on a range of projects, from web dev, banner ads, social media, lead gen, and SEO. Opportunities to learn from employees with a sound grasp of SEO, writing, and business processes. Teams are collaborative. If you're a sorority girl with a marketing degree right out of school, you'll have fun and learn some things.

    Cons

    Schizophrenic management. "Management" at 90octane is a set of equal partners. They disagree. Until they don't. Sometimes they're engaged. Sometimes, they're MIA. This is the only small company I've ever worked for where the owners behaved like absentee landlords or trustafarians. They may agree on goals overall, but now to reach them gets debated endlessly. Given their reluctance to lead and to work, a second set of favorites actually runs the company. These people lack the kind of experience you'd look for in a marketing agency. Many employees are right out of college and lack any sense of how a well-run agency works. The partners have brought in senior people, but usually come into conflict with them and either fire them or ignore them. And the favorites sabotage them anyway, because they're threatened by different points of view backed up by competence and experience at a functional agency. For these reasons, the company has plateaued, bouncing along at roughly the same billings level for the last several years. The pace for those who aren't the owners is brutal and constant. Yet, hard work isn't rewarded by increased compensation. You might get a pat on the head. You might not. Health care plan is a ripoff and worse than nothing. Benefits are substandard.

    Advice to Management

    Increase compensation to standard market levels. Invest in a decent health care plan that's better than what the state offers through Obamacare. Offer star performers a share in the company. Get the hell out of the way of people who know what they're doing. Decide if you want to run the company for real and grow it, for real, or just feel real cool. Actually -- just hire a decent manager and go fishing.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Culture Struggles & High Turnover

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Account Coordinator in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Account Coordinator in Denver, CO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at 90octane full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    When I first got hired, there was a lot to love at 90octane: compressed work week, thirsty Thursdays, quarterly social activities for the entire staff, and more. By the time I left, things had shifted a bit. However, the tactical training for Account Coordinator staff is truly excellent; in fact, many of the Account Coordinators would be hired by other companies because the industry in Denver knows how well 90octane trains their staff. Opportunity to be relatively autonomous was presented, and if you are a high performer, upper management will work with you to find a job/title/department that fits your interests. The owners believed in profit sharing, and bonuses were distributed on a quarterly basis dependent on profit. The people make 90octane, hands down. I have indicated that I would recommend this employer because of the valuable training received in the Account Management department and because of the connections possible with the awesome people on staff.

    Cons

    The company wasn't prepared for the level of growth they experienced. By my departure, the owners had stopped showing up at all-company social events, thirsty Thursdays were basically nonexistent in terms of attendance, and the focus had shifted from culture to billable hours. There were mixed messages from upper management about what the future of the company culture was, and the understanding around time off started to disappear. Where before they had encouraged work/life balance, they started to make it known that salaried employees are expected to work overtime (particularly if you wanted to spend time on professional development). Base compensation was low.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to the values and remember the culture. This staff is incredible and the product very valuable, and the staff will work harder for you and stay longer if they feel valued.


  9. If you are right out of college, this is the place for you.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Intelligent staff; Great if you are right out of college to gain agency experience.

    Cons

    Questionable ethics; Politics plays more in to advancement than talent; Aforementioned intelligent staff are worked like dogs for little benefit.

    Advice to Management

    Should really take a look at who is doing the work rather than who is presenting the work.


  10. Helpful (1)

    I'm a happy 90octane employee, excited to work at a growing Denver marketing agency.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Recommends

    Pros

    We have a wide range of clients in all kinds of industries, which makes for an interesting mix of work. Plus, we use a variety of digital marketing tactics. I appreciate the opportunity to develop my expertise in email, PPC and SEO, online media and many other areas. The benefits are awesome and help make up for the hard work. On top of health/dental/vision/life/401K, we have a compressed work week option and 4+ weeks of PTO and paid holidays. There are fun quarterly activities planned for the staff. There’s a greater emphasis on professional development now than ever before, which is nice. For a medium-sized agency, we have a good amount of long-term employees. It’s also great that we have so many recent graduates working here. It keeps the culture vibrant. I really respect my co-workers and the agency administrators and hope to see 90octane take over the world!

    Cons

    The work has ebbs and flows. Sometimes work picks up so much that the pace seems hard to sustain. Finding new ways to support each other during these times would be a good idea. The agency has grown considerably, but it would be great to see it even bigger to allow for more professional advancement opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up strong hiring practices and processes. Reward hard workers. Gather input from the team. Reach for big new clients. Liven up the office decor.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Great place to work if your straight out of college.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    Pros

    Very liberal with time off. Good place for a stepping stone, but no long term prospects.

    Cons

    Very low pay and they seem to prey on students straight out of college. No experience in the real world and will take very low compensation to have their first job. Promotions and advancements are based on time with company and have little to do with your actual performance.

    Advice to Management

    As another user stated. Focus on accomplishments and work abilities and less on length of time in the company.



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