Contextweb Reviews

14 Reviews
2.8
14 Reviews
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Shanthi Sarkar
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Dynamic environment, too much work pressure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Developers in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Developers in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Always working with dynamic intelligent people.
    Freedom to pursue creative solutions

    Cons

    Too much pressure.
    Mostly you are working 24 hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring better work life balance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Company making changes for the better.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    Talented people in a very dynamic market. Combination of technology and media business.
    The merger with Datran creates new possibilities but also complexities to deal with.

    Cons

    Many subcultures in the company, some internal conflict between groups.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to develop the management team and their leadership abilities. Build a shared vision for the company - its diversity of capabilities makes company positioning especially challenging.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    ContextWeb

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    The people who work at ContextWeb are some of the brightest best educated people I have ever worked with. They continually push each other to do more and create better products.

    Cons

    At times there appears to be favoritism in play when it comes to things like promotions, salary increases and bonus payments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to use your best resources which are you people in constructive ways. They will continue to be your best assets.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    It all comes down to bad management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    There are some great people at this company (on lower levels, higher management are all worthless)

    You can get freedom to do things the way you feel is best (but this is somewhat due to bad management which allows you to do what you want, it would be better if this was structured)

    the atmosphere is pretty good

    Cons

    Management doesn't have a clue about where the company is going.

    In the last couple of years they are chasing market trends instead of leading the market (which is amusing since the competition is moving towards places contextweb had been two 2-3 years ago)

    Product management doesn't know our business or our products, they also don't know how to manage a product in general.
    Marketing dept. is doing whatever they want, except for promotion the products that the tech team puts out.

    people get promoted if they're 'yes-men' or if they can BS enough to fool the management.
    management doesn't want someone who would tell them what they want is wrong but would just do what they say.
    people with no experience were promoted, people who just joined were promoted, ahead of people who were promised promotions or even hired with that promise. This caused many to leave the company (including me) and this so called managers end up doing all the work because they don't know how to manage or they just let things drop and then make developers on their team stay on weekends and holidays while they're at home doing nothing.

    No raises in the last three years and no bonuses in the last two.

    No one gets credit for their work. which sometimes boost morale and motivates people (to at least know your work is appreciated when you're not getting enough money)

    most people don't know what anyone on other teams does.
    I've never heard a tech person or small team singled out in company wide meetings.

    Product team takes credit for work done by tech team where they were not involved at all (since tech management is cutting them out for being clueless).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Here are the steps Contextweb should take to salvage this company:

    1. Find your vision for the future. where do you think the industry will be 2-3 years from now? and don't cheat off the competition (I don't care what google thinks, what do YOU think?

    2. Get rid of everyone at the product management team and hire someone who knows this business and managed a web/software product in a startup company before.

    3. Reward your employees. sales people get commissions even when the company is doing bad. Tech people get nothing, no raise, no bonus, even though they created a lot of the features that allow the sales team to actually sale the product. Give the people you want to keep a raise (after three years, it should be significant) otherwise they will leave (it's already started)

    4. Stop thinking short term. Hiring more sales people is a short term solution. The biggest player in this market isn't making all their money by hiring more sales people. they just target the right clients

    5. get your parachute ready...

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Some challenges, but a good place to work, and the pieces are there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Contextweb

    Pros

    - great people, everyone trying to do the right thing
    - small enough you can still know everyone on the floor
    - interesting industry and problems

    Cons

    - challenges coordinating teams and communicating
    - tendency to take on too many things simultaneously and spread thigns too thin

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - focus on doing a few things well and following through
    - great people, make sure everyone has the information and tools to drive thigns

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    It shouldn't be this complicated

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at Contextweb

    Pros

    Employees are listened to which means anyone can make a difference.
    Contextweb is an industry leader in contextual technology.
    There are some very bright people that one can learn a lot from.

    Cons

    Either management is unable to see that certain people are incompetent or they know it but still don't do anything about it.
    Management does not have a clear direction in mind for the company.
    Teams are spread out thin trying to run in every direction management points.
    Poor cross-departmental communication which results in poor teamwork/coordination.
    Sales team is amateurish and does not inspire confidence.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a direction and get rid of the lead.

    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Needs a overhaul.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    - Dress code indicative of a internet startup.
    - Games
    - Pizza sometimes.

    Cons

    - Air quality
    - Bathrooms
    - Office
    - Management
    - Communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The ideas behind this place are good. Contextual advertising with an ad-exchange is a solid foundation and some of the implementation is spot on. But...

    The morale is horrible here. People leaving/being laid off. The review process is a joke, no one really gets what they deserve it is a given that even if you bust your ass that they are going to find something that will lead up to not giving you your full compensation.

    CTO left, CEO, was replaced, Senior HR person left (don't even get me started on how many Director's of HR came and went at this place), it sometimes feels like the Titanic with less lifeboats.

    Can it be turned around sure...but it will take something that most companies at this stage are afraid to do and that is shake up management (i.e. replace them). It is hard to be an instrument of change if you are part of the problem to begin with; or are afraid of losing your piece of the pie. Cut your loses, admit they are not going to be able to take you to the next level.

    Bringing in good managers will be tough at first but will pay off in dividends later. There will be a learning curve and a period of adjustment but with strong good managers at the helm change will come and it will be a good one.

    You lead from the top down and unfortunately the top needs to be cut off and replaced.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    company is tanking fast

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    Great people. Smart, hard-working, friendly. Casuel and laidback. Used to be a great team oriented environment.

    Cons

    Poor management. Poor communications. No one knows what anyone else is doing and that seems to suit management. People are leaving left and right (5 other people quit within a few weeks of me. More have left since than or been fired). They cant keep good employees anymore. No internal processes in place and managment failure to communicate on even the simplest things. No raises or bonuses paid in last two years, and hardly any promotions. Product and tech mgmt are okay. Sales is struggling. Finance, HR, and marketing are absolutely horrible and impacted negatively on everyone else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the bad managers that are ruining the rest of the company. Hire actual professionals with real experience who can manage and communicate with others. Start paying your employees again, with raises and bonuses. No one wants more of yoru stock options that will be worthless soon,. Find a way to raise morale again and motivate whoever is still there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work, learn and contribute to a team.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY

    I have been working at Contextweb

    Pros

    Outstanding technical leadership
    Well organized agile development process
    A stable business with endless opportunity for growth
    Coworkers are vey friendly and super smart
    Cultural diversity makes for a great cast of characters

    Cons

    At times interesting work keeps me from honing my ping pong skills
    More seltzer in the vending machine please, it's always out
    Review process is a bit bulky but improving

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A job well done in handling rapidly expanding business challenges and turning growing pains around to make our workplace more enjoyable.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    The worst place I've seen

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in New York, NY

    I worked at Contextweb

    Pros

    There are some:

    - Small company environment
    - For the most part nice and friendly stuff (excludes management)

    Cons

    - The most incompetent management I have come across in my fairly long career.

    - Management is not making good use of people's abilities and creativity. Stuff is largely in the dark, unhappy, and often being treated unfairly (sensation exaggerated by lack of communication and complete failure of management to accept and listen to feedback both in general and professional areas)

    - Dirty office, with poor air quality

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can't help believing that ContextWeb could be an excellent firm. Average in size, with good people and some new and creative ideas supporting its business.

    I think that poor choices were made in hiring some of the management stuff, and that is where it all falls apart. People could still be happy in less then perfect office, or according to other reviewers - poor location. However, incompetent managers, with big ego is a huge drain on everyone. Counterproductive work environment, lack of creativity, or desire to be creative - is the result. Thumbs down to ContextWeb.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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