CouchSurfing

  www.couchsurfing.org
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CouchSurfing Reviews

Updated July 24, 2014
Updated July 24, 2014
28 Reviews

3.1
28 Reviews
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Tony Espinoza
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Empowered and encouraged to be creative

    • 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

    Pros

    Couchsurfing 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.

    Cons

    In 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 During this time, the website became quite outdated and dysfunctional, and the community's relationship with the company started to sour.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 ManagementAdvice

    Push hard, stay focused, and keep the vision of a better Couchsurfing in the minds of everyone

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. 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

    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
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    A different world — now in turbo mode

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    You 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.

    Cons

    People 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    The first startup I have found that feels like a real family.

    • 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

    Pros

    Really smart people, regular work hours, in-house chef, amazing office space, travel stipend to visit other countries and use the product.

    Cons

    Lots of change (both in technology and personnel)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With any startup, there are tough decisions on how to grow the company to support new projects. If the current management team continues be honest about "change", then the company and product will continue to improve.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. 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

    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
  7. 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

    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
  8. 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

    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
  9.  

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

    • 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

    Pros

    Fantastically 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.

    Cons

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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