CouchSurfing

  www.couchsurfing.org
  www.couchsurfing.org
There are newer employer reviews for CouchSurfing

2 people found this helpful  

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

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Product Team Leader in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Product Team Leader in San Francisco, CA

I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than an year)

Pros

Couchsurfing 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.

Cons

There'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 ManagementAdvice

Keep moving.

Recommends
Positive Outlook

28 Other Employee Reviews for CouchSurfing (View Most Recent)

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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

    I have been working at CouchSurfing full-time (less than an year)

    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. 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

    I have been working at CouchSurfing

    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
There are newer employer reviews for CouchSurfing

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