CouchSurfing

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CouchSurfing Reviews

Updated May 24, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 27 reviews

60% Approve of the CEO

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Tony Espinoza

(5 ratings)

54% of employees recommend this company to a friend
27 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Speechless...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

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

    ConsDefinitely 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 Senior ManagementPlease 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.

    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

    2 people found this helpful  

    The biggest 180 I have ever witnessed a company take

    Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    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 Senior Management-- 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.

    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

    9 people found this helpful  

    On your toes

    Programmer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsIf 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.

    ConsWhat'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 Senior ManagementChange management.

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

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

    17 people found this helpful  

    Hire and fire

    Mobile Applications Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe 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.

    ConsThere'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 Senior ManagementStart telling the truth and listen to our customers.

    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

    15 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsMany 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.

    ConsI 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 Senior ManagementIt'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.

    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  

    A great idea going quickly down the drain

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsGroup meals and fun office space.

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

    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

    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
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of certainty and direction.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe food is phenomenal

    The office is open and airy, with swings, ping pong table, and plants/trees

    A really cool platform that creates a great community

    ConsMore than one mass layoff and several other firings made for a company culture where employees wonder whether they would also suddenly find themselves unemployed one day

    Revenue model ideas that changed on a weekly basis made for uncertainty

    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
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Time to go back to the roots that created this awesome community

    Programmer (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsHere are some of the good things about this company:
    Great Chef
    Great Office
    Good Pay
    Awesome product
    Talented Team
    Phenomenal Passionate Community

    ConsHere are some of the things I did not like:
    Lack of Clear direction
    Upper Management takes no Responsibility: blames, fire and rehire.
    The last two years the new Management TOTALLY 'missed the boat'

    Advice to Senior ManagementTake responsibility of your fault and stop blaming all us employees that had trouble keeping up with lack of direction all the time.

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

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