CouchSurfing

  www.couchsurfing.org
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CouchSurfing Reviews

Updated Jul 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 28 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

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Tony Espinoza

(6 ratings)

52% of employees recommend this company to a friend
28 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Best decision I ever made

    Current Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros...was coming to work for Couchsurfing.
    The people Couchsurfing attracts are dedicated, intelligent, optimistic, hard-working, professionals who want to change the world for the better, and have a positive outlook reflective of that desire.
    This means that people here are aligned in our mission to facilitate people all over the world to connect in meaningful ways, by creating the best tool possible for doing so.
    Open, frank communication is the norm among the staff, including upper management.
    We all know each other, and eat meals together every day.
    Management creates opportunities for learning and growing into new positions for those with aptitude and drive. They are clear with staff about deliverables and job performance expectations, and make every effort to facilitate us reaching our goals.
    We work collaboratively. I feel my experience and input here is valued.
    It is fun! People here laugh a lot, and care a great deal about what we do, and who is affected by it.

    ConsThe transition from the Couchsurfing of yesteryear to what Couchsurfing is now has been intense. Having been through several iterations of this organization's business structures, I can say that, as difficult as the staff, site, and communication changes have been, this organization, and the community that is persevering, is going to be better off for the changes, Dramatically so.
    However, in this crucial period, the multiple challenges of supporting our members in their endeavors, creating the most amazing site possible for them, maintaining our dedication to the safest and healthiest community of sharing individuals, and communicating about all of these things effectively is a real challenge. Exciting and daunting every day.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you're doing: reaching out to individual members with experience who believe in what we're doing and take their advice, being diligent in taking the global perspective and considering all of the factors when making decisions, working collaboratively with your whole staff.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    An inspiring place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsBefore I even started working for Couchsurfing, it was the reason I got up in the morning! The Couchsurfing community has been part of my life for years and working for the company now is better than I could have ever imagined. Every single staff member is brilliant, fun and passionate about what we do. Being around people like that every day not only makes your job more fun, but pushes you to do better.

    We're given every single resource would could possibly need to do our jobs to the best of our ability. We're encouraged to think outside the box, ask questions and management is incredibly transparent. As an employee you feel valued and encouraged.

    ConsIt's hard work! And because of the changes happening to the website, not everyone knows the answer to everything. There is no set path and decisions are changed daily. This definitely keeps us on our toes, though it's really only a con when you're tired.

    The split between the old community and new community is always a tricky one. Some days it can be hard to do your job when you're being pushed from all ends.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep on keepin' on. Keep infusing the original spirt and mission of Couchsurfing alive every day. That's what reminds us why we do what we do.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Dynamic, performance-based workplace that's finally gaining momentum

    Product Team Leader (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsCouchsurfing has (finally) completed planned lay-offs of low-performing staff and is now picking up a huge amount of momentum. The company is moving at the speed of other consumer internet startups: using Agile-ish processes to iterate quickly against clear, high level strategy from an experienced, intelligent, well-liked, and well-respected leadership team.

    I'm an experienced, choosy product leader and I could get a similar job at many well-known consumer internet startups. But, like I said, I'm choosy. I wanted to work with an experienced management team in part because I'm tired of working for young men with no experience and a lot of entitlement.

    I've never worked with a leadership team that I liked or respected more than the current leadership of Couchsurfing. The engineers are curious, skilled, flexible, and happy. The community team is also fantastic; walking that very difficult line between tactical and strategic communication with a well-established userbase.

    The pay, perks, benefits and culture are awesome. I've spent many super fun nights out with my coworkers, who are now some of my closest friends. I'm honored to work with these people every day working to connect people across the world.

    ConsThere's a ton of work to do to repair the relationship between the company and the community of Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing (the company) has a history a poorly thought-out products and mismanaged communications when it was run by the (recently laid off) original staff. If you work at Couchsurfing you'll spend quite a bit of time dealing with the legacy product, which for experienced product designers and developers can be a nightmare.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep moving.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Empowered and encouraged to be creative

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsCouchsurfing is a small startup with a very passionate userbase that have had life changing experiences through Couchsurfing. The company is currently totally redeveloping the entire website, along with its mobile apps, giving employees a unique opportunity to solve complex problems while having the freedom of creating new solutions.

    All of the teams and employees are empowered to come up with solutions, with management acting as good mentors and guides. I've found all of the management very easy to talk to, and always open for feedback.

    My favorite part about working at Couchsurfing is seeing the company working on new and better technology to solve problems the community has been dealing with for many years. I'm excited for the world to see a modern Couchsurfing service that makes it easier for members to have amazing experiences.

    ConsIn contrast to most startups, Couchsurfing has been around for nearly 10 years. During this time, the website became quite outdated and dysfunctional, and the community's relationship with the company started to sour. The current Couchsurfing staff are remaking the entire website, while also rebuilding and repairing relationships with some of the long-time members.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPush hard, stay focused, and keep the vision of a better Couchsurfing in the minds of everyone

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    A different world — now in turbo mode

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get stuff done. A LOT of stuff.
    Extremely results-oriented; what matters is what you accomplish.
    Politics is at an absolute minimum, or maybe even zero.
    Incredibly low-drama team.
    Eyes are all on the ball…everybody's aligned towards a common goal — of building an amazing Couchsurfing.
    People get fired. It's weird to say this as a "pro", but every company ends up hiring people who don't really fit. In the long run, it's far better for them to end up leaving than to have dead wood all over the place.
    Everybody who's there absolutely, genuinely believes in Couchsurfing. It's more than just a job. It's about what Couchsurfing is and what that can bring to people around the world, not about making money.

    ConsPeople absolutely get fired. Not arbitrarily; it's uniformly either for lack of skills or because the way they work is ineffective for the organization, but it definitely happens. (See this under "pro", above, too.)
    The culture has changed absolutely enormously over the past few years. It's gone from a community that was amazing to be a part of for personal connections and for the sheer fun (travel around the world, with your friends, having fun!) to a company that's amazing to be a part of because it gets stuff done — and there are still lots of amazing people there.
    That transition was extremely painful to some, and some took it deeply, deeply personally. But it's an inevitable fact in the transition from a travel-around-the-world commune that happened to also run a website to a high-speed startup mentality.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    17 people found this helpful  

    CouchSurfing as we know it is no more

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsAll the great community members.

    ConsThe 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    14 people found this helpful  

    Mismanaged startup with big issues

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

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

    ConsLow 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Never has my workplace felt so much like home, in a good way.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsFantastically talented, passionate, and dedicated colleagues that are as much friends as coworkers. Fun yet focused atmosphere in the workplace. Regular social outings with colleagues which we all enjoy. We are aligned in our view of the possibilities and real change we are creating in the world every day; that bond makes work a joy. Lunch and dinner every day by a holistic-health oriented chef. Lots of creative collaboration.

    ConsIt's easy to make CouchSurfing your whole life, so we strive to get ourselves out regularly!

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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